Here’s a trick question for you: How do you enjoy the weekend without a bottomless pit of guilt? All you need is a change in perspective mixed with the art of moderation. As some others may describe it, practicing balance.
Weekends are a completely blank slate, open book, for us to selfishly enjoy. The only items on your to do list should be what you voluntarily devote time to. Goodbye, Monday-Friday, 9-5 job and the early (or late) workouts that get squeezed into those exhaustive days. Hello, old friends, drinks to celebrate the successes of the week, and actual, real time for self-care!
Here are my tips to take advantage of the 2/7 days of the week that really matter ;-), and to enjoy them to the fullest, while being your best self.
Continue the Date Night or Girls Night Ritual
Yes, dining out can be challenging, and yes, bottomless drinks can blur judgments, but it’s important to remember the main reason why we dine with others: to share stories, catch up on life, and simply enjoy company.
Prior to Dinner, scope out the menu, look at pictures on yelp and Instagram, to get an idea of indulgence level and portion size. While many “trendy” food places do not have the healthiest options, there is almost always a protein entree or salad. Feel comfortable knowing you may need to modify your order, and do not let the pressure of others judging you affect your order. Likely, one of your friends (or significant other) will enjoy this dish too! Definitely don’t hesitate to share and encourage healthy options all around. On the other hand, if its a friends birthday, eat a small bite of cake…for good luck!
If you’re going out later that evening, fill yourself enough that you’re not bloated, but also won’t be hungry at 3AM when you pass the corner pizza shop. Our body is normally asleep, so it is most likely not hungry!
Know what to Drink, and How
While wine may be sugary, we all know that red wine reaps some benefits too (my personal justification). For one, it helps prevent heart disease. Consume in moderation to avoid a hangover!
As far as cocktails go, always choose clear liquids as the mixer, with the exception of tonic water. Seltzer and club soda are best. Stay away from pre-made mixers, sodas, artificial juices and anything frozen. The best part of getting a clear drink, is that others at the bar won’t know if you switch to strictly seltzer. Ask for sparkling water with a lime and boom, looks like vodka soda. To feel your best self both in the morning, and avoid “Sunday Scaries,” I highly advise trying out this trick with still or sparkling, discreetly if needed! Brunch? Try a Bloody Mary with fresh tomato juice instead of the pre-mixed blend found on the shelves.
Take a Class you Love, or Rest!
Okay, so now the good stuff. We all have our favorite local spin, yoga, kickboxing, or HIIT studio, and the “treat yo-self” motto can apply to this as well. Treat yourself to the $30 class (if physically possible), or just enjoy the workout that makes your body fill with endorphins the most, either way, you deserve it. Opt for a 1PM class – no alarms necessary! Enjoy an acai bowl or avocado toast, slip on your favorite leggings and head out the door for that sweat sesh. Say bye bye to the toxins!
A personal goal of mine is to begin trying new classes on weekends. With so many unique workout options spread throughout metropolitan areas, it could be a perfect opportunity to explore a new neighborhood and challenge yourself to the overall unfamiliar. I’m planning to try barre, aerial yoga and spenga. Let me know if you have any other recommendations!
Another option is to simply skip your workout. I know, I know, “no days off mentality” gets the best of all of us, but our bodies genuinely need rest, and our muscles and tissues need time to repair and rebuild. After working hard all week, both at your career and in the gym, sometimes its critical to wake up in the morning and listen to our bodies. Let Netflix heal the soreness, but also take a nice walk outside.
Life is Too Short
We all deserve to unwind, eat chocolate, and lay on the couch in sweatpants. With a conscious mind and minimal effort, we are capable of making better choices because we intuitively know what makes our bodies feel best. So grab your 8oz of vino, schedule that workout class and binge that new series, because weekends are all about finding the balance that pleases you. Happy weekend!
Have any additional weekend tips or thoughts? Comment below!