For the last 9 or so months Friday morning for me went something like this. Wake up at 5:00am, finish up the day’s blog post, return emails, hop on a phone session with a client in Taiwan, get the kids up, take them to school and go for a run. Today is a little different and not only because I “slept in” until 5:30. Today is different because there is no school. Our family is in that post school year purgatory period where academics are over but camp has not started. I was reminded of this when I read a post on Vicarious Chelsea aptly titled “routine” where she expressed excitement in all that comes with summertime but also fear that her productivity would cease with the school year.
Regardless of whether or not you have kids, most of us find our routine changing. One of our interns (the best part about summer) told me she enjoyed a recent post on weekend eating. She was a little concerned because “now that I graduated every day, over the summer, is like a weekend.” Summer invites us to relax, to spend more time outside, to go to barbeques and out after work. In the summer we go away more and we (ok I) drink more. You know
“There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swingin’ swayin’, and records playin”
but I digress. It’s just so easy to get charmed by summer and all its perks but Chelsea was fearful for a reason, summer has a dark side.
You see in my world and my client’s worlds routine is good. It’s good to know what and when you’ll eat and when you will exercise. In the summer you’re at the mercy of other people’s schedules and menus and margaritas. In the summer we often wing it. Winging it and weight loss don’t go together. If this is all sounding fatalistic, don’t worry. Once you identify a potential (3 month) pitfall you can take steps around it.
- Summer is a great time to train for a race. Whether a 5K or a sprint triathlon, a training schedule can be a great way to organize your workouts.
- Instead of ice cream, experiment with DIY popsicles, we’ll be featuring some in our June newsletter so be sure to sign up.
- Healthy BBQ- not everyone wants a giant burger and nitrate-filled hot dogs when they come to your house. I wrote about Hardwick beef and my favorite turkey burger and tuna burger, branch out a bit.
- Use the additional hours of daylight to do something active after dinner-a walk or a bike ride is a great way to end the day.
In many ways, over the summer, you’ll do best if you make a new routine versus being loosey-goosey (or just loosey).
Do you find summer is less rigid or routinized? Do you like loosey goosey? Do you gain weight or lose weight over the summer? What are your slimming summer strategies?
I usually have no trouble keeping in shape over the summer. Since I dont have kids and I work full time, my schedule is pretty much the same! The only thing that changes is I usually work out in the mornings (bc it's SO hot by the time I get home from work) and after dinner my husband and I always do something…either a walk, play tennis, and yes every once in awhile go to get a scoop of ice cream. Probably someday all this will change but I always welcome summer at this point bc of the minor slimdown, although if things work out as planned I'm hoping I might gain a little weight this summer in the belly area 😉
Interesting Erin, you don't feel more temptation with "summer fun", good for you and good luck with summer projects.
Totally agree! Between less routine and more social life in the summer, healthy eating and exercise don't always take the priority they should. Two things I've found helpful are to surround myself with people who are more active than I am (ie I'm somehow on a dodgeball team…) and to make plans with friends that include exercise rather than (or before) dinner. I try to keep in mind that it's the best time of year for fruit before giving into gelato/fro yo. Sometimes it works…
Dodgeball-so impressed. I think peer pressure, as you mentioned, can be good if you have the right peers. It's not a struggle when all your friends think a hike or a walk on the beach sounds good.
Yes! It's so easy to let things slide nutritionally over the summer with cookouts, ice cream, and more social things happening. But it's also easier to get outside and be active. In addition to my normal work out routine, my husband and I go for long hikes most weekends in the summer…I always start out a little breathless (even though I do cardio on machines at the gym, nothing compares to climbing a mountain in real life) I always end in the fall with better breathing, which makes me happy.
I never gain or lose weight ever, really. I have stayed within the same 10 lb range for about 15 years now, but as I write this I have just finished a bagel with cream cheese and am sucking down an iced coffee with half and half and sugar to help with my vodka hangover. Ugh! I have COMPLETELY fallen off my awesome workout schedule for the past week and have done the whole summer concert series in the park, hanging out with friends, house guests, fun dates with Jaime…etc… The thing is that I KNOW myself and if I start really guilting myself over it, I will get depressed and just sink deeper. I just booked a barre class with my favorite teacher for tomorrow morning and I am going to just pick up where I left off and carry on. Thinking about "what I just did" is a true killer for me. As it gets super hot outside, I know it will be easier for me to eat lighter.
I am about to leave for Italy for 10 days with my Italian (and not so active) grandparents. Although I am so excited to be in Italy, I am a little nervous about how this trip is going to interrupt the good routine I've been in since summer began and classes ended. I try not to eat out too often, and this is going to be a trip of restaurant breakfast, lunches, and dinners, but I'm going to be certain my "down time" is used MOVING around the country rather than digesting giant meals. It's going to be a great trip, but I know I'll be looking forward to returning to my routine when I return, which is always a good thing.
In general, I always seem to feel more lax even just on the weekends. I think it has so much to do with the fact that I'm not in the usual routine. I've found starting my weekends with exercise helps me to start the day off right.
I agree, summer can be tough. I carefully plan my workouts and meals at the beginning of the week. That's really key for me to stay "on track" all year, but it's especially necessary in the summer. The toddler is home a lot more, and if I don't work out before he gets up most days, I don't get my workouts in. Also, we do eat out a bit more. Besides making good choices while "partying," I also make sure to make our meals at home "extra nutritious."
Summer is the worst. With school out, I don't have a schedule or a routine. I've fallen off the wagon w/ food and exercise. This is my issue every year, and I still can't figure out how to cope. If I can get off my literal and figurative butt, I'll be at yoga tonight.
I too drink more in the summer. There is something about a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the outdoor patio of a lovely restaurant at Happy Hour that just makes me, well, happy! Last summer I allowed the World Cup to derail my healthy habits a bit. I found myself drinking beer like a frat boy and sadly, it resulted in my summer wardrobe being WAY TOO TIGHT! So, this year I am determined to do a better job of being moderate, finding balance, and looking for other fun things to do besides sit around drinkin' and soakin' up daylight.
more great tips bet your a fab RD
I totally rely on the early hours before my kids are awake to get things done too! Once they are awake forget it. I don't think summer is going to differ too much because of the 9 month old. My schedule pretty much revolves around my 3 little ones once they are awake.
This will be an interesting summer for us since we are living healthier lives. I think we are going to have to come up with a routine so that we don't gain weight. The kids will be active in all of their camps, so that will help them.
Summer usually means more travel for us and that does hold the potential for me to eat poorly. Although I do have the occasional cheat meal, for the most part I am trying to choose the healthy option on a restaurant menu. Little things like pushing away the bread basket from my line of vision also help..
I love my routine so I do stick with it but I find that Im outside more so I change my cardio to more outdoor activities. Like running and swimming at the beach, biking, and just playing outside in general. I love all summer foods like watermelon and cucumbers and fresh produce so I dont find that my weight changes at all. I try to just remember to have fun and focus on the gorgeous weather and being with friends rather than the food. Its all moderation!
The only thing that does get me is vacation. But I plan for it. If two weeks out of the year Im not totally compliant I know that when I get back I will be so its ok=) Its life!