The weekends are great. It’s a time to relax, enjoy some time with friends, and splurge a little on foods outside of our weekday routine. For our family, it’s a time for early-morning coffee houses and late-night pizzas.
However, there’s a problem when our indulgences turn into excess calories which throws us off our health plan.
So does living a healthy life mean you’re going to have to give up the weekends you love?
It took a long time for me to realize this, but no. You can have the weekends you love and remember while also excelling in your health and fitness.
I remember my single days when almost every weekend was filled with pool parties, bar hopping, and late-night snacks. The goal for every weekend was to make it memorable. To have a blast with friends. To get the girl. To have it all.
And what ended up happening is that we went to the same places each week. Met up with the same people each weekend. And the memorable moments we thought we were making turned out to be just another weekend. And this may just be a knock on my lack of spontaneity and creativity around what it takes to have a great weekend but the idea is still the same. What makes a great weekend is often not the places we go, it’s who we’re with and how connected we are to the moment.
When I look back and think about the pivotal weekends that I will carry with me into my older age, it’s the nights on my couch drinking whiskey with a friend just talking about real issues we were both going through. It was the weekend I spent alone in a small mountain cabin trying to figure out who I really was and what I really wanted in life. Those memorable moments came when I connected on a heart and soul level to the person I wanted to become.
And that’s how you make your weekends work for your health journey.
How Do Your Weekends Make You Feel?
We can tell you all day about how many calories you should eat and what workouts you should do. But at the end of the day, you have to be connected with who you really are and let that part of you dictate how to enrich your weekends.
I get this may get some pushback. You may already know who you are. You may have this whole mind-body connection all figured out. For you, I’ll ask you this.
When you think back to those memorable moments or even the memorable moments you want to have, how do you feel?
Do you feel energized in those moments?
Are the foods or drinks the center point of the moment or is it the connection you’re having?
Do you feel happy because you know you’re doing exactly what you’re meant to be doing?
I’d bet in every one of those questions you can see how living a healthy life can fit into those moments. For you to feel energized, you’re going to need to get enough sleep throughout the week. You’re going to need to be diligent with your nutrition and exercise. If certain foods or drinks aren’t the center point of the richness of the moment, then why can’t a slightly healthier version of food or drinks be an option? If the feeling you get from the moment is deep happiness, then you’re living from your true self and aligned with your purpose which for most people is going to be treating their body the way it’s meant to be treated.
So how can you make this concept work for your weekends? Try these three things.
01: Plan Ahead
I spoke before about one of the most memorable weekends I had was when I spent some time in the mountains. Well, that took some planning. I wasn’t able to just go there on a whim. Talk to your friends about making some plans for the future. Then for the weekends when you don’t have any kind of trip planned, plan some healthy activities. A healthy activity could be as simple as a walk around the farmers market, a hike, or even a coffee walk. It’s also helpful to plan out a great brunch place where you can make sure you’re getting in some protein and veggies.
02: Go Back to the Fundamentals
Our entire strategy at Pretty Healthy Family is about being…”pretty healthy”. This means you don’t have to be perfect to see results. I know we are far from perfect and I apologize to those reading, but our clients aren’t perfect either and all of us have transformed our lives in tremendous ways. The common thing we all share though is our dedication to getting in our fundamentals. This means trying to get in 7-9 hours of sleep. It’s making a point to have at least 2 out of three meals close to your macro and calorie targets. It means getting in enough water and having some sort of activity thrown in each day. None of these activities will throw off your weekend. In fact, most of the time, it’ll enhance your energy levels to make sure you enjoy your weekends even more.
03: Stay Committed to Your Why
The core why for most of us isn’t a smaller waistline or bigger muscles. It’s a better, more long-lasting connection with the person we want to be which just happens to be a healthier version of our current self. Being committed to your core why gets hard on the weekend because we see the temptation all around us. We see others having fun and living “their best life”. The comparison trap gets us most of the time, but remember, your goal isn’t to be like everyone else. Your goal is to find the best version of you. The best version of you will let loose every once in a while, but the common thread of every memorable moment is connection. It’s finding out more about who you are and becoming that better version of yourself. That can be with others or ….unfortunately on your own. I didn’t say this part would be easy…but it’s definitely worth it.
Your weekends can enhance your health journey, but it'll take a little work to make the necessary adjustments.