For months and months, I’ve been reading blogs and seeing posts about perfecting our #SummerBodies–getting in optimal shape for everyone’s favorite show-off season. Bikini bodies, summertime fine, six-pack by summer and all other manner of self-motivating catch phrases have filled our timelines since January. But once you’ve attained your summer body goals, (if you’ve set them because I sure as hell did not,) how are you going to maintain them when confronted with cookouts, food festivals, day parties and vacations? All that work just to be back to square one by Labor Day?
It never really occurred to me until this year, sitting in a park with some friends eating fried chicken, chips and salsa, brownies, and drinking copious amounts of rum on Memorial Day. Sure I ate like 2 celery stalks and a carrot, but the damage was done. And just the Friday before I found out I’d dropped 3lbs. You’d think I’d be trying to maintain that, right? WRONG! Why am I so weak, Lord?
Since then, my inbox has started filling up with invitations to cookouts, brunches, day parties, and all manner of gluttonous outings. So now what? Am I going to be the one showing up to every potluck with a spinach salad, catching the judgmental side-eyes? Do I decline the invitations because I have the will power of a remorseless meth addict? Or do I go, indulge and convince myself that double chins are the new fleeky eyebrow?
Um, I’ll take none of the above for $600, Alex. I hate all of those options. The only salad people want to see at a cookout is potato and I am not putting myself in the position to be judged like that. (Black folks, you know what I mean.) That’s way too much pressure!
And no, there’s nothing wrong with bringing healthy options, but does that mean that’s all I’m going to eat? Not likely. Likewise, being a recluse all summer just isn’t feasible. I love good weather, good people, good food, good drank and good music. So staying home watching the Family Feud doesn’t work for me. And sure, double chins are attractive to some people. There’s a whole market for it after all. Just ask Drake. “I like my girls BBW.” But to hell with what other people like, I don’t like having a double chin. I already have a pretty short one, so add a second layer to it and we’ve got a full on turkey waddle situation. Nah.
So if you’re like me and need help navigating these summer festivities, here are a few of my go-to strategies:
- Yes, bring a healthy option. Of course that’s not all you should eat, but fill up on that. Make that the largest portion on your plate and just get small amounts of the less healthy stuff. Also, BRING ALCOHOL. Cause showing up with nothing but a salad might mean you’re not invited next year.
- Water and fruit! *insert Migos voice* “Splash, drip, drip, woo, splash!” This is a win/win, guys. It’s hot and we need the hydration anyway, so before you even get to the function, load up on water, 24-32 oz an hour before you arrive. Then opt for fruits with high water content like pineapple, blueberries, watermelon, and mango. It’ll help fill your belly and keep you away from high carb junk foods. Side note: Those fruits are also good to have in your system for other reasons, (men and women alike)– if you know what I’m saying. I mean, we grown, right?!
- Keep it moving! Just because you hit your summer goal doesn’t mean you should drop your work outs and chill. That’s a one-way ticket to Fall-Off City and nobody wants to take up residency there. So just maintain whatever got you to your goal in the first place. Switch it up to avoid the plateau and keep pushing. Our bodies are incredible. The more we take care of them, the longer they’ll take care of us.
- Pick and choose. If you suffer from FOMO and just can’t stand to miss an opportunity to be in ‘dem streets, then you have to decide when to indulge and when to pass. If you’re averaging 2-3 events every weekend, you can’t go hard at all of them. Pick one and designate that as your cheat meal. Or spread it out. Maybe have the bread on your burger at one and a dessert at another, so it still only equals one heavy meal? Make sense? That way you won’t miss out, but you also won’t destroy all your hard work.
- Skip the sugary drinks. Sweet, fruity cocktails may seem perfect for summer, but a lot of them are loaded with sugar. I love a good cocktail, but I tend to stick with refreshing, low/no calorie mixers like club soda or flavored sparkling water, cucumber, mint, fresh lemon/lime juice or just take it on the rocks. Honestly, if your liquor is flavored, like a peach Ciroc, ice is all you need! (And if you don’t drink alcohol, same philosophy applies. Skip the sodas. Go for sparkling water or dilute juices, (1 part juice, 2 parts water).
Hope these tips are helpful. And here’s to a fun-filled, sexy summer with no regrets!
Former Fat Girl…Gone. (I got a cookout to go to.)