My girlfriends and I have always had the tradition of going out to a nice dinner for our birthdays. A good friend of mine, who is extremely dedicated to her diet, celebrated her birthday last weekend. Prior to her big day, I decided to plan something that would be fun and allow her to stay focused on her healthy eating. I decided to change it up from the typical restaurant outing- I opted to take her and our other friends to a Zumba class some of us go to on a regular basis. If anyone isn’t sure what Zumba is, it’s a new and revolutionary way to exercise. Zumba’s choreography incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. In a typical class you could burn between 500 and 1000 calories!
We were able to exercise together; in addition, it was so much fun to do the flirtatious and proactive Latin moves Zumba requires. It was a great experience with us girls.
I had arranged the chef from the fitness center to prepare us lunch after our class. I asked if he could cook everything specific to her diet plan, so she wouldn’t have to veer away from her hard work just because it was a special occasion. He graciously accepted, like most chefs would, and I gave him instructions on how to make everything according to her diet plan.
We enjoyed tuna wraps, salmon wraps, Israeli salad, and vegetable minestrone soup. I informed the chef we didn’t want any mayonnaise or oils, but did want to be very tasty and fresh. The only thing better than eating a great meal is eating a great meal that is up to your diet standards! I also had the chef make a healthy cake, after all, it is a celebration! One slice of cake will not ruin your goals. Just don’t reach for seconds!
A lot of my other girlfriends were shocked to know how healthy these delicious foods were… I also got many of them hooked on Zumba! It was a special occasion for a special friend. She loved every second of it and was glad she didn’t have to worry about cheating on her diet. It was a fantastic day and we can’t wait until the next birthday!
We all question if taking a day off from our diet is worth it. The answer is it’s not. We could make an excuse to cheat for just about every occasion. Here’s the trick to conquering these difficult decisions: BE CREATIVE! Think outside the box. Understand the goals of you and your friends then stick to it. There is no reason to get off course of your regimen if you stay focused and recognize that there are better alternatives to just slacking off. As a result, your friends will be thrilled you considered their feelings and goals. Plus, who knows, you may have introduced people to new hobbies they never knew they’d love! Besides, save your cheat meal for when your grandma makes that special apple pie you couldn’t live without.