5 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Back Yard BBQ Success!

Summer is upon us!

Okay okay, so it's been here for about a month, but it's Independence day tomorrow and I know you guys are going to barbecues and pool parties, so I thought I'd keep it light.

Like I went on to say last year, in Independence, people think of Independence Day or July 4th as the slew of barbecues and fireworks… and the ultimate fear that comes along with shoving your body in a swimsuit. For me, this holiday always used to mean panic.

Last year I talked about fitting my ass in a swimsuit and how unhappy I was with my extra skin from all the loss. This year, there’s less extra skin, and I’m a little heavier – BUT – it’s more about my relationship with food and my personal growth in and outside of my body.

I mentioned in Why Your Diet Doesn’t Work that we have to learn to enjoy what we’re eating, and create a happy relationship with food.

“One of the many benefits of an intimate connection with the food that is destined for your body is the realization that food, and particularly the vegetables that come from these Camarillo fields, are wonderfully complex, fascinating organisms that are so much more than the number of heat units that they break down into.” ~ Jeannette Ban, The Abundant Table, Jan. 2017 Newsletter

I was so preoccupied last year with how I looked in a bathing suit and the superficiality of appearance sensitivity. Well, maybe that’s just me, but I doubt it. If you’re remotely sensitive to your appearance, you dread this time of year. Summer attracts nothing but bathing suit scrutiny to even the strongest of willed females. Like Jeannette stated, “Regardless of our thoughts about our outsides, our insides are magically vibrant, breathing and digesting – doing what it was made to do.”

I thought I’d bring back my helpful ways to set yourself up for success WHILE enjoying the ritual of nourishment.

Remember that every day of your new lifestyle is a struggle. None of this is *supposed* to be “easy”. That’s what makes invigorating after you’ve achieved your goals! If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. Believe me, I struggle with it every day, as my journey is still underway itself. Once you see the proper size pants and how they actually fit, you’ll remember why you started in the first place

… but we have to get there first.

Remember that as you stare at the vat of potato salad. Remember why you started this journey! The one towards a healthier you. Don't fight an uphill battle of counting calories and carbs, and you won't If you remember the tips mentioned below. You’ll be just one more step closer to the ‘you’ that you hope to be.

1. Plan ahead! If you know your friend’s party is going to be filled with temptation, "potluck style", bring a platter that works for you! I always end up bringing cut up bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli… and if you like sweets like I do, a fruit assortment and dip.

You can check out those recipes HERE.

2. Remember your portions: It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but don’t overdo it with an additional helping here or there. Once is enough. Busy your mind with other things, like swimming or conversations instead of grabbing that second plate. If you're still hungry in a half hour, then nibble on some veggies.

3. Limit the alcohol!! If you do drink, don't make them sugary ones. Sip on a couple cocktails I've found to keep your lighter options open

Get the Swine's Spirits HERE

4. Keep Track: Snacking is okay, but keep a record of what you’re putting into your fuel tank! Mindlessly eating is where I get in trouble usually, so don’t do it to yourself – Stay accountable! I use MyFitnessPal, both online and I’ve downloaded the app to my smartphone. Follow me here.

5. Don’t Restrict yourself TOO much: At the end of the day, you want to enjoy your time and not worry about whether or not you gained/lost weight.

This IS a celebration of freedom, after all!

Don’t let your new healthy lifestyle chain you to restrictive mindsets – like I said in previous posts, there’s nothing more caging than thinking you can’t have something and craving it. Everything in moderation!

Remember, this is a lifestyle change, NOT A DIET. Have fun, watch some fireworks and enjoy your freedom! On and off the plate!