Your Summer Psyche – Making it Work

Your Summer Psyche – Making it Work
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Are you planning your summer getaway? What will it look like?

Do you start with a bag of licorice for the road? Next up, burgers and ice cream, with lots of beer to wash it down. Sounds good, right?

I often wonder why we associate vacations with excess food and drink. We let our good habits go and open the flood gates for feasting we might later regret.

Vacation is a special time we work all year to enjoy, so we want to enjoy it in every way. It’s about deservedness. And celebration! We want it to be special, to feel special, to be different.

Of course we all deserve a break that feels special. There is no doubt about that. Before you let your hair down, consider that it’s much easier to not gain weight than it is to lose it and keep it off.

How do you want your vacation, or your summer to look?
What things besides food and drink might also feel special and celebratory?
What habits and behaviors are currently working for you?

If you find yourself becoming unhinged during these summer months consider these points.
• Plan ahead. Consider your end goals and how they are best achieved.
• Maintain some routine, be it hours of sleep, diet, how often you need to eat, or physical activity.
• Know yourself. Consider your existing health, preferences, what agrees or doesn’t agree with you and follow through.
• Go easy on sugary drinks and alcohol. They are empty calories, i.e. no nutrition.
• Watch your portions. A healthy diet can include anything you might want to have. Just keep it to a reasonable amount.
• Change your belief about treats. Fruit and vegetables in season are also a treat. But we really shouldn’t give treat status to anything if everything is allowed in moderation.

This begs the question, what should be different about summer vacation? How about:
– Going someplace you don’t always go, or have never been.
– Seeing things you haven’t seen.
– Doing things you haven’t done.
– Connecting with people you don’t often see.

Vacation holds the potential for great things besides filling our bellies. On the upside, summer inspires more physical activity because the weather outdoors just seems to make everything easier, and provides more options.

It’s not that the activity cancels the ice cream. It doesn’t. You can’t outrun a bad diet. But you can always enjoy the benefits of a strong and fit body no matter what.

Happy summer!