How to bounce back from a summer weekend

It’s June! Summer has officially arrived, including the whirlwind of weddings, parties, vacations, trips, and nights drinking wine on the patio.

So much to love!

Let's face the facts: it’s incredibly hard to stick to a routine this time of year when our schedules are all over the place.

As someone who thrives on routine, this can throw me off and stress me out, but this summer I’m making it my goal to find a balance between disciplined structure, and go with the flow spontaneous living.

 My husband Ben is a teacher and had this week off before he starts summer school, so we decided to take a little getaway to Galena, IL, an adorable historic town that we’d never visited before. We both love experiencing a new place through exploring its local restaurant scene and so we basically at and drank our way through Galena for 2 days and it was glorious.

In the past, I’d get back from a trip and completely freak out about falling off the wagon. I would probably feel pressured to dive into some really rigid and structured “slim down” to counteract all the indulgences and ward off weight loss, and I would freak out about feeling bloated or heavy and beat myself up for eating unhealthy food and letting myself go.

Luckily I’ve realized that’s not how I want to live! I love food and I love my body, and I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive anymore. Having the perfect body but feeling deprived is not happiness. At the same time, I do want to treat my body with respect and fuel it with healthy food! Is there a way to find a healthy AND happy balance? I think yes.

But there’s no secret formula or program to follow. Balance can only be defined by YOU, based on a combination of how you want to feel, and what foods make your body feel the best.

That being said, here is my general Healthy and Happy Sanity Plan for bouncing back after an indulgent weekend, vacation, or trip!

4 easy ways to bounce back after a summer weekend

  1. Get right back at it!
    I go right back into my “regularly programmed routine” without being too strict. I’ll wake up early to move my body, eat a balanced breakfast, make sure to get my Shakeology (superfoods) in, have an enormous salad for lunch, and a healthy dinner. I’ll make an extra effort to drink as much water as possible, shooting for a gallon. Sometimes I’ll add lemon or cucumber to make my water more fancy and fun to drink.

  2. Avoid the scale.
    I don’t keep a scale anymore, but if you are prone to weighing yourself, AVOID THE SCALE for at least 3 days. I’ve found it takes my body a little while to de-bloat and feel like normal again, especially as I get older. If you are using the scale as a tool to track your health and wellness journey, I recommend weighing yourself on Fridays!

  3. Give yourself space to mentally detox.
    Mondays after a big weekend or trip are rough, and it's easy to get sucked right back into the to-do list and fast pace of life without giving yourself time to breathe, which leads to lots of stress and overwhelm! I try to wake up early to give myself some quiet space to chill, relax, and re-ground myself, because as an introvert, a big and busy weekend or vacation isn’t necessarily rejuvenating for me, and I need time to process the experience and get mentally back on track for the week. Just like my body, it takes my brain 2-3 days to feel like I’m “back on track” when it comes to feeling confident and in my groove with my daily routine and work so I don’t stress if I’m feeling super overwhelmed the first day home.

  4. Practice patience, empathy, and self compassion.
    Release the “all or nothing” mindset around being healthy. This is a big one that my clients and I all struggle with but it's worth practicing! I think it’s human nature to feel like we have to be ALL IN or all out. We’re either bingeing or dieting. But you don’t have to live that way! Practice moderation -- next time you’re on a trip or at an event, choose a glass of water instead of the third glass of wine. Take two seconds to tune into your body before you eat. Do you really want that dessert or extra bite of bread? It’s all about baby steps and awareness. Do you catch yourself scheduling an extra workout to burn off the calories? Do a 30 minute HIIT routine or take a lunch time walk and call it good.

Summer Detox Salad

This is my go-to recipe for the times your body is just craaaaaving some veggies and fresh food! Eat this for lunch the week after an indulgent trip. It's like a juice cleanse ... except you get to actually eat real food.

  • 2-3 cups mixed greens
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 2 T red onion
  • ¼ c cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ c shredded carrot
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • ¼ avocado
  • 2 T pumpkin seeds
  • 2 T fresh mint, chopped
  • Cider vinaigrette

Cider Vinaigrette

  • ⅓ c olive oil
  • 1/3  c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper

Reminders for when you start feeling hard on yourself:

You can’t “undo” progress, go back to square one, or fall off the wagon. The wagon is your life! Your body will remember all the workouts, healthy food, and positive decisions you made for yourself, even if you spend two weeks eating your way through Europe or gain back weight you’ve lost in the past. Keep moving forward, and keep tuning into what feels good. If you start focusing on adding more things that feel good into your life (healthy food, exercise, any mental or emotional rituals like meditation, journaling, therapy), the stuff that makes you feel yucky will get crowded out without any extra effort. 

Focus on ADDING more positive decisions and experiences into your life, instead of trying to remove negatives. If you eat a giant salad, you will be too full for junk food. It’s as simple as that. No need to make a big drama out of will-powering your way through life.

As women, our bodies are constantly retaining water, fluids, and also digesting food. We can't trust the scale. Our weight is constantly going to fluctuate 5-10 pounds over the course of the week. So if you're using the scale to measure your progress (or sense of self worth), proceed with caution and give yourself a "goal range" not just a goal weight.

Since I'm at a healthy happy weight, I decided to trash my scale 2 years ago and it has given me a lot of emotional and mental freedom, but I still don't like it when my pants are tight and I feel bloated.

But I've learned that our bodies are designed to detox and cleanse themselves. We don't have to deprive, punish, or buy into complicated "quick fix" slim down plans.

Focus on the basics!

  • WATER.
  • SLEEP.
  • LIGHT/MODERATE EXERCISE.
  • LOTS OF VEGGIES.

And you'll bounce right back.

Please remember this sanity plan as we head into summer because let's face it -- tis the season for cookouts, cocktails, travel, and living life to the fullest.

xo Anna