Back when I lived in Las Vegas, I had an exciting life…
Because I had a group of friends who would find any excuse to go out and celebrate.
I don’t mean just birthdays and stuff like most people…
But ridiculous things that most people wouldn’t even think twice about… like getting a new haircut!
So they always wanted to go out and party.
And as a Latina… as a Colombian woman, I thought this was awesome! Because of how I grew up, I loved being around people. So they never really had to twist my arm to get me to go out and celebrate with them.
But then when I had my big turning point… when I decided I didn’t like the way I looked and felt and decided to make getting healthy and fit a priority in my life…
I knew I couldn’t go out partying any more.
I mean, these nights usually involved drinking and eating unhealthy foods, and I knew that if I was going to reach my goals, I just couldn’t be around that stuff.
So I took my high heels… tossed them into the closet…. and then bolted the door shut.
And then when my friends would ask me to come out and celebrate something (they get a lot of haircuts!), I had to tell them…
“Sorry, Ingrid can’t come out to play tonight.”
Because that’s what it felt like… it felt like I was punishing myself.
And while I tried to stay strong until I reached my goals, not being able to go out and socialize was killing me inside.
It was a major part of my life… and I was missing it badly.
I was unhappy.
And then I realized how ridiculous this was.
The reason I wanted to slim down and get healthy was to feel better… so I can enjoy my life MORE!
But staying cooped up in my house like a grounded teenager was making me miserable!
I knew I had to make changes…
I knew I needed to get my social life back, without having it interfere with my goals.
So I came up with a plan…
A set of rules to follow that allowed me to go out, without picking up too many bad habits.
Because that’s what it’s all about.
If you want to be successful… and get a slim and sexy body you can actually keep… then you need to make it part of a lifestyle you’re actually happy with.
If you feel like you’re depriving yourself, it’s only a matter of time before you throw in the towel and go back to your old unhealthy habits.
But if you make smart choices… then you can go out, have a good time, enjoy yourself, then get back to your healthy living… without feeling like you’re missing out on life.
So some of the choices I made…
Well, when we went out to restaurants, I made sure to avoid all the fried food options… and the thousands of calories they can quickly add up to.
I stuck to meats that grilled, baked, steamed or roasted…
Healthy options that weren’t dripping with fat.
Now don’t get me wrong… these foods can still be delicious. You can still enjoy them… but you can do it without the guilt of feeling it’s going to set you back from your goals.
When we sat down at the table and they brought out the free bread, I made sure to avoid it.
People don’t realize how many unnecessary carbs they’re taking in while waiting to order. And bread is made almost entirely of simple carbs that spike your insulin levels and make you store fat.
And it’s unnecessary… because you have a delicious meal coming in just a few minutes anyway.
When people sit down at the table, they start picking on the bread more out of habit… because it gives them something to do.
But since I was just so happy to get out of the house again, I didn’t feel like I needed it.
I was focusing on the socializing… the food was just a bonus!
But to keep my hands occupied so I didn’t slip and start picking on bread myself…
I made sure to drink a lot of water that was given to the table.
Not only did this distract me enough as to not want bread… but it helped me to get full faster, so I wouldn’t overeat when I got my dinner.
And when that dinner came, I made sure it was something healthy…
Lean meats and vegetables mostly…
You want to stay away from the starchy foods like rice and pasta whenever possible, for the same reason you’re avoiding the bread.
So that handles the food aspect…
But let’s be real…
We all know people are going to be drinking at these things. That’s what people do when they go out. And while you shouldn’t be binging on alcohol (especially while still trying to reach your goals!), you don’t have to deprive yourself completely.
As long as you aren’t driving, you can still enjoy the occasional drink with friends.
As long as one drink doesn’t turn into 2…3… 5 drinks.
And as long as you follow that drink up with a nice big glass of water, to help hydrate you and avoid any “hangover” effects the next day…. so you can get back to your active lifestyle.
But hey… that active lifestyle doesn’t have to wait until morning…
Many times, the night doesn’t end at dinner…
And going out dancing after gives you a chance to not only have some fun with your friends… but also burn off some of those calories you just ate!
So make sure to wear comfortable shoes and go have a good time…
Because that’s the key!
You don’t need to be preaching to others about your healthy lifestyle… let them do them, and you do you.
You just need to make that healthy lifestyle a part of your overall life…
Once I realized that, I started to enjoy myself much more.
I broke back into my closet… rescued my shoes… and bought some smaller-sized dresses to fit the new me.
Because I learned that as long as I answer to myself… as long as I’m making healthy choices… I can still enjoy my friends and have a great social life.
So please, feel free to go out. Have a good time. And just follow the guidelines I shared with you so that fun night doesn’t fatten you up!
And like always… if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave me a comment in the section below!