We all know the drill. We embark on a fun-filled summer with high aspirations of how all of the fresh produce and outside activities will help us slim down. When Labor Day gets here, we realize that the produce is disappearing and it’s time to buy Winter clothes and we’re usually happy about that, because we think that they cover a multitude of sins. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. One of the worst pictures of me that I’ve ever seen was made while I was wearing a Winter outfit that even had a pretty jacket with it. Although that jacket gave me a false sense of security, the picture told the real story. That Winter outfit didn’t hide anything. There are things you can do to look better and feel better at the end of summer. Here’s just a few. Make this summer work in your favor while you’re enjoying all that this beautiful season has to offer!
1-Take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. They not only fill you up for minimal calories, they are also packed full of antioxidants that are great for your skin and overall health. Romaine lettuce even has phytochemicals that help unlock the energy in other foods. I can feel the difference in my workouts when I’m eating romaine lettuce. More energy equals better workouts which can only mean better physical conditioning for you. Mom was right. Eat your veggies!
2-Take advantage of longer days to get more outside activity. Spending time in nature is known to increase feel-good neurotransmitters. When we are struggling with negative emotions, we are much more likely to binge eat. It’s amazing how good a day at the beach or hiking in the mountains can make you feel! It’s hard to feel depressed with all those endorphins circulating in your brain! Use this opportunity to create endorphins to help you avoid emotional eating.
3-Bask in the light! Just as the darkness of Winter is associated with low mood in some people, the abundance of light in the Summer is a known mood lifter. Slather on the sunscreen and avoid mid-day rays but get more light while you can. Although I do not tan and avoid UV as much as possible, even I sit in the shade in the morning while I drink coffee. The combination of the mood boost from the caffeine and the morning light gets me ready to face the day with more energy and a more positive mindset. Morning light affects mood more profoundly than any other light of the day. Again, better mood equals less emotional eating!
4-TAKE CONTROL at social gatherings! DO NOT allow others to sway you to eat foods and drink alcohol that you do not need to ingest! If anyone pressures you to adopt their unhealthy habits, they’re not your friend and do not have your best interest in mind. Either you want a better life, or you don’t. Blaming others for your bad habits will not get you what you want. Regardless of what others do, YOU are responsible for what goes into your body. Exercise the power that you have and put it to good use to create the best you that you can be!
5-Carry healthy food to social gatherings. I have gone to social gatherings where there was not single vegetable served, other than potatoes. There would be a lot of simple carbs and starchy grains, pasta, rice and corn and sugar-filled baked beans. I always carry green beans, salads, deviled eggs and meats. While attendees would be glad to see meat or deviled eggs, they all but rolled their eyes when they saw a healthy vegetable. It didn’t matter. I had something healthy to eat and so did my family. I have also carried a watermelon boat, a watermelon cut into a basket. The watermelon is scooped out in balls and returned to the “boat” with cantaloupe, honeydew, fresh peaches and grapes. If you like you can add a pack of no sugar added drink mix powder and a little 0 calorie sweetener. This makes an elegant and healthy dessert that is sure to please!
Make up your mind now to enjoy a HEALTHY summer, filled with healthy food, lots of activity and relaxation. Relaxation will help your mood and help you to prioritize your health above all else. When Fall gets here, you can be a much better version of yourself and so much more content overall. What are you waiting on? Get started! Summer will be here before you know it!
Dream Big. Work Hard. Make It Happen.