On this day 51 years ago the grooviest party in history ended. Three days of peace, love, and music done. (Or sex, drugs, and rock n roll depending on who you ask!) To date, it is still considered one of the biggest party weekends ever, with over 500,000 people turning up to camp and boogie. Books have been written about it, films and documentaries have been made and some of the biggest musicians of the time wrote themselves into history. You may know their names: Joe Cocker, Roger Daltrey, Jimi Hendrix.
The party I am of course referring to is Woodstock. Eight years ago I went to my own version. It was a festival in Canada called “Big Valley Jamboree.” And yes, it was as red-neck as it sounds. It’s the biggest country music festival in the world. Hardcore country fans flock to it every year, and it’s wild. What I love most about country people is that they know how to camp right. They would attach their campers and group together to create mini towns within the campsite. There were generators, floodlights, kitchen areas, and communal areas. People built their own dance floors and one guy even brought a water truck and made his own 100ft water slide.
Over that weekend I drank, a lot, I ate a ridiculous amount, none of which was healthy. And I barely slept (more from the country rave sites). By the time the weekend was done I was glad to be heading home and looking forward to eating a salad.
I’m sharing this because weekends for most people can become a bit of a party. Sure, it might not be as extreme as Woodstock or Big Valley, but people can tend to feel like they’ve gone off the rails a little, or ‘enjoyed’ themselves a bit too much. When I have felt that in the past I end up feeling guilty. Like I’ve let myself down and I need to ‘punish’ myself.
Some people do this by working out more, and others do this by trying to reverse the binge they had over the weekend (extreme calorie restriction).
Neither of those options is the healthiest, and over time it can lead to a very negative headspace where we end up thinking that the only way to really achieve our fitness goals is through punishment. Getting fit and into great shape doesn’t have to be a punishment. It’s not about racing to your goal at any and all costs. People who do this end up living a life that is not sustainable.
They find shortly after they reach their goal weight or size it’s not long before their weight starts to increase again. This is something I struggled with for many, many years. When you see exercise and healthy foods as a punishment it’s fair to say you won’t stick with it for long.
When I realized this I decided to create 5 simple baby steps for any time I felt myself going off the rails. But before I share them with you, there’s something I want you to consider.
Not every step will be relevant to you, and that’s ok. Only take and use what you feel is right for you. My only goal in sharing this with you is to give you something you can take away and use today. Whether that’s one step or all five.
My 5 Baby Steps After an Indulgent/Party Weekend
1. Give yourself permission
This is a big one and should start when you’re about to indulge. Recognize that what you’re doing is a treat, a one-off thing and it’s ok to enjoy from time to time.
It cuts out the rebellious teenager that’s inside all of us that likes to do things it’s told it can’t… You know the one…
Remember, it’s ok to indulge every now and then. Just make sure it doesn’t become a habit.
2. Forgive yourself
If you gave yourself permission it should help with that feeling of guilt, but sometimes it can still creep in.
Forgive yourself and know that a day or weekend of indulgent food isn’t that big of a deal in the long run as long as you get back into your usual and more healthy routine.
3. Drink more water
Usually after a weekend, one of the first things to suffer is how hydrated we are. Remember that feeling thirsty is the last sign of dehydration and it can cause issues with how our bodies burn fat. (Especially if alcohol was involved)
4. Go for a longer walk
It’s simple and effective.
Personally I think the mental benefits of a walk are far greater than the physical part. It helps clear your mind and refocus on what’s important.
5. Share with your coach
Sometimes nothing can get your mind right faster than sharing and getting your challenges off your chest.
Who better to speak to than the person helping you get fit and lose weight.
If you go through this and feel like you want to talk more feel free to reach out either by email or phone. I’m here for you.