How to be a Weekend Warrior

We are all guilty of “living for the weekend”. You work hard all week, whether it be in school, work, or exercise, so that you can enjoy your weekend of rest. Though I’m sure we all have our own versions of “rest”. You hear it all the time, “I’m gonna go so hard in the gym all week so that come Thursday I can just get trashed etc for the rest of the weekend”. Oh… you don’t here that? Well, I do. I’m a senior at Ohio University and I am surrounded by all of the greatest temptations. Bars, local eateries, great friends, and “weekends” that can very easily start on Monday. There is nothing wrong with a little fun, but sometimes it is very easy to allow your priorities to slip on the weekends. This post is for the weekenders with goals.

So I’m sitting here, a little hungover, and I’m trying to think of something I can promise myself to do to make my weekends fun and productive at the same time. I used to always be the girl to workout on the weekends but lately I’ve been feeling 21 going on 60. One night of drinks and my body aches. (Is it ignorant of me to think that I’m getting old?) This is most likely because the binge drinking that goes on in college is 100% unhealthy, ridiculous, out of hand, and very fun. After almost four years of this, it is in fact getting very old. “I’m so over it” as the white girls say. It is quite a “coming of age” experience to realize that I in fact don’t have to go out on both Friday and Saturday night, and that my weekends don’t have to start on Thursday. Once I realized this, I felt healthier.

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Not only have I been trying to make my weekends productive, I’ve been trying to make them healthier, and here are a few ways to do so:

1. Have a night in. If you don’t want to go out, you can say no. You can sit and watch Netflix and do tabata abs until you see stars (real life experience from a Saturday night of mine). Find a friend to watch a movie with, or better yet GO to the movies you rebel, you. If you can’t find a friend that will hang out with you soberly, you are choosing the wrong friends. Don’t be afraid to stay in. A night alone allows you to clear you mind, rest, and think about your goals. People are so afraid of being alone. Your relationship with yourself is most important, so I’d start making it a priority.

2. Drinks. If you are trying to lose weight, you can still go out. Have one drink, depending on how strict you are being, or have no drink at all. Order a water with lemon and surely no one will notice. They look almost identical to gin and tonics. Water with lemon/lime is the way to go if you are nonchalantly trying to stay sober and sneak out once everyone gets too drunk to notice where you went. If you are trying to generally clean up your drinking habits, I’d say stay away from beer. I started bringing crystal lite packets to bars with me and ordering gin and water. Gin, because I can’t have vodka. Crystal lite, because otherwise, ew. Gin or Vodka tonics are also a lighter choice. Rumor has it rum is pure sugar so, I nixed that as my drink of choice for the time being. Yes, ciders are Gluten Free but are in no way a healthier choice. They have double the calories as beer and a lot of sugar and carbs.

3. Hangovers. Sleeping is the number one way to rid your hangover. More ways I prevent hangover is one, staying hydrated. Water is your best friend. If you know you’re going out that night, it is very important to stay hydrated throughout the day. (It’s really important to stay hydrated, anyway) Also, have a water with your beverages, or in between beverages. You will not regret this decision. It makes a hangover a hell of a lot more tolerable. Two, chugging a water bottle before I go to bed. Three, chugging 1000 mg of vitamin C before I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning I have eggs and green tea. Lately, I’ve been on a huge lemon water kick. Lemon water is very rejuvenating and I highly recommend drinking it during your hangover! It will get better!

4. Food What is better than a greasy late night meal? It is one of life’s simplist pleasures. When you are trying to lose weight, the drinks and late night meals REALLY screw you over. While on a diet, I try to allow myself one moderate cheat meal a week. This way, I won’t go crazy and I’ll have something delicious to look forward to. I say moderate because I try not to make it a cheat day, or a cheat large pizza-stuffed crust-pepperoni and sausage-cheesy bread kind of day. If you must, the small personal pan pizza’s should be your only option. It saves you 1/3 the calories of accidentally eating a whole large pizza throughout one day. (We’ve all done it…) So I know I talked about drunk food, but I’m gonna ask you, and beg you, to hold out. You know that regardless of the two slices of pizza or large fry you have the night before, you are going to wake up craving the same kind of greasy food. Have a little willpower, get yourself into bed and get your mind off of food. Wake up and have a hearty and healthy breakfast. Something paleo, like eggs and avocado.  (I keep mentioning that I have eggs in the morning after a night of drinking. I read an article awhile back on the various benefits of an egg. Let  me try to explain the science behind it without sounding stupid… Eggs contain an amino acid. That amino acid counteracts something in alcohol that is more toxic than alcohol itself.)  That way, when it comes to dinner time, your pizza or burrito bowl from chipotle is all yours and very well deserved. Or you could have it for breakfast, but I personally like to start my day with a healthy meal. It keeps my willpower in check and motivates the rest of my day.

5. Don’t sit on your booty all day. There’s nothing better than a nice lazy day, but where is that going to get you? If you’re dieting, you’re already cheating on your diet by drinking. Why elongate the process of cheating by not moving from your bed for 24 hours after a long night of drinking? Yes, staying horizontal all day feels great but let me tell you what happens when you make the choice to finally become vertical. First things first, you wake up. That’s the hardest part, I know. After you finish your egg breakfast, your system is moving and your body is realizing “Hey, it’s time to start my day”. Side note: Did you know that the reason late night eaters find it so hard to fall asleep is because if you eat in the middle of the night it alerts your body that it’s the beginning of a new day so your senses are heightened. (Another explanation proven by science where I don’t remember how to scientifically explain it, but just go with it). You start to feel a little normal again and you’re ready to get a workout in. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you think about it you literally will not walk out the door. Convince yourself that you’re going shopping if you have to, just put on your sneakers and get to the gym. I love the feeling of a run, but accomplishing that after a night of drinking is like a whole new world. While everyone else was laying in bed convincing themselves that they are dying, you went out and got your sweat on. Sweating is one of the number one things that cure my hangover. I hop on the treadmill, start slow, and start sweating. Each sweat drop reminds me of a drink I had the night before… “Oh, there goes that cherry bomb.” I’m serious. Sweat. It. Out. It works.

Yours Truly,

Stef

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