Rock Me Mama Like A….What??

Dearest Wagon Wheelers,

Before you get too carried away, I’ll go ahead and tell you that I’m not here to provide an analysis of everyone’s favorite Old Crow Medicine tune (although, if you’d like to pause briefly to give it a listen & get it out of your system before we continue, be my guest! I’ll even make it easy on ya…just click here)

What I am here to do is talk about wagons—not just any wagon, though. I’m writing you to talk about THE infamous wagon that everyone keeps bringing up after long weekends, holidays, and/or special occasions.

You know…the wagon everyone seems to be continually falling off of and trying to get back on? The “I just know that I ate too many [insert something deemed “unhealthy” here] this weekend. I really fell off the wagon and I’m getting back on starting tomorrow!” ….Yeah, that one.

Allow me to be the first to say… “WHAT WAGON?!”

The last time I looked around, we were living in the 21st century and no one uses wagons as a method of transportation—and even if they did, I’m pretty sure said wagons would come with better safety features because falling off of them seems like a major liability.

Not only is this metaphor a sneaky disguise that hides and permits diet culture speak in your daily life, but it also implies that it’s totally okay and normal to engage in lifestyle patterns that encourage unsustainable, unrealistic (and consequently, in my opinion, unhealthy) habits.

Gal pals est. 1998 take on Labor Day Weekend, 2018

So…I’m writing to you today to encourage you to step away from this dangerous sounding wagon AND provide you with 4 *actual* healthy tips to get you feeling strong & healthy after a holiday: 

1. Start with water. I say start here because it’s likely that you come out of a holiday a bit dehydrated (especially if alcohol was part of your celebrations)! Also, this item is super simple and can even be acted upon as soon as you begin your travels home.

Here are a few of my favorite remember-to-hydrate tips:

  • Travel with a reusable water bottle & keep it filled. Plastic bottles are wasteful & add unnecessary costs (unless, of course, you forgot your bottle or happen to be in a place with unsafe drinking water).
  • When ordering coffee, order an additional cup of water and drink it alongside the coffee.
    • Traveling with metal and/or glass straws can also be a great way to enjoy your beverages without waste!
  • Open a can of seltzer water (if you’re into that). Once you’ve opened it, you’ve committed to finishing 12 fl. oz. of fun-tasting water before it goes flat!

2. Focus on nutrients, not calories. If you’re stuck in this wagon mentality, you’re often faced with the aftermath of guilt rooted in what you “did wrong” and all of the calories that you may have “overeaten” (or over-drank).

Instead of allowing this negative speak to rule your roost, reframe and allow space to tune into your body’s internal cues + requests so that you can most effectively determine what your body needs to feel best.

When the veggie phone rings, you answer.

Everybody is different—this is why making your food choices based on what any diet book, Instagram model, or Pinterest post says you need isn’t necessarily healthy or effective.

One tactic I use to tune in and determine what nutrients my body needs after a holiday is to reflect (without judgment) on the general trends in my intake over the past few days.

For example, I know that when I’m enjoying holiday time, snack foods like tortilla chips, pita chips, dips, cheeses, sweets, and the occasional fruit typically make up a larger proportion of my daily intake than usual.

My knowledge of nutrition gently informs me that these foods are high in carbohydrates, fat, and pretty low in protein and fiber (not a negative statement, simply a non-judgmental fact).

Therefore, I know that after a few days of eating like this, my body needs foods that are higher in protein and fiber (along with a balance of carbohydrates and fats as well) in order to return to feeling more balanced.

Remember, a physical + mental practice of healthy living is a marathon of sustainable choicesnot a sprint of fads, crash diets, and unsustainable weight loss measures.

3. Sleep. Even though vacation is meant to be relaxing and rejuvenating, I’d be willing to bet that you likely emerge from your holiday feeling a bit more exhausted than usual. This isn’t always a fault of your own, but is sometimes simply a result of being off of your normal routine.

The best way to transition back into a rested routine? Sleep! Start setting a normal bedtime for yourself and try to make the 15-20 minutes leading up to this self-established bedtime as calming as you can (whatever this means for you).

Your body loves routine—therefore, creating a normal nightly pattern will help you to sleep more soundly and awake feeling more rested. Here are a few of my favorite bedtime rituals you may like to try out for yourself:

  • Place a small amount of lavender and/or peppermint oil on temples and wrists.
    • If you have a small diffuser, you can even fill it up with water + these calming scents!
  • Turn off social media.
  • Three deep breaths. (Read more on this here)
  • Daily recap.
    • This could be done in the form of journaling, making a gratitude list, or talking about your day with someone you love & trust.
      • Side note: if you’re in a long distance relationship, this can be a really great way to establish a routine of talking to your significant other & making each other a priority (Aidan & I do this every night at 10pm!)
My cute, daily 10pm date!

4. Give yourself some grace. No matter what healthy changes you’re trying to make and/or maintain in your life, make self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance a priority.

Remember, no lifestyle is truly “healthy” if it undermines your most important relationship—the one you have with yourself.

Your Challenge:

Now that you’ve read my 4 *actual* healthy & actionable tips–it’s time to make a plan. After all, collecting information and never putting it to use is (to be quite frank with you) a total waste of time.

I don’t want this to be you. I know you can put at least one of these tips to practice in your life starting now–and I want to support you & help hold you accountable.

Once you’ve decided on your one thing that you’re going to take from this post and apply to your life, click here to type me a quick note and let me know what it is. Don’t waste this opportunity–I want to hear from you!

Yours Chewly,

 

 

 

P.S. If you’re wondering how I spent my Labor Day Weekend, I was taking part in bachelorette celebrations for my long-time friend, Abby in Southern Shores, North Carolina. What better way to spend the weekend than lounging in the sun and going for the Founding Fathers’ pool-side look? Answer: no way.

Founding Fathers Hair, ft. Yours Chewly, Abby, & Isabel


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