Guest Post: Ashley From A Spoonful of Smash
Hi, Fitting It All In readers! My name is Ashley and I blog about running, baking and my random life over at aspoonfulofsmash.wordpress.com
Since Clare is on vacation with her family she is so kindly letting me share some of my random thoughts with all of you today. I just started blogging a few months ago and am currently training for my 1st half marathon. I am also, like Clare, a recent graduate spending my first year in the working world. Today I thought I would share with you my thoughts on how you can keep up your social life post college AND stay in shape at the same time.
I don’t know about you but the college I went to was quite the party school, as I think most schools are. Throughout college I managed to maintain my weight by regularly working out at the campus recreation center where I worked as a personal trainer. I also spent a lot of time walking all over my very large campus. But lets be honest there was also a lot of this involved….
Yep, drinking. Like a lot of college students I participated in a lot of “social” activities, also known as “let’s go to the frat parties and bars 3-4 nights a week”. I thought once I graduated there would be a lot less drinking in the “real world” but so far I’ve found that it is pretty much the same. It is now limited to Friday’s and Saturdays, and the occasional Sunday Funday. Being a young 20 something living in the heart of Chicago seems to involve a lot of drinking but I am guessing this is true no matter where you live.
So how can you still manage to stay in shape and not gain excess weight now that you are working a full time job? I have come up with a few things that have worked for me so far.
- Be good Monday-Friday: While working a full time job isn’t always the most fun, it does offer a strict routine. You know exactly what your day is going to look like most of the time, 5 days a week. So make those days your workout days. Figure out a time that works for you (before work, lunch hour, after work) and create a set workout routine. This way even if you tend to get a little crazy on the weekend you at least fit in 5 workouts during the week
- Pack your lunch: I have found that the working world can lead to a lot of eating out if you are not properly prepared. The best investment I have made since being a working woman is my $10 lunch box. Every night before I go to bed I make sure to pack a healthy lunch and snacks to take to work with me so I will not be tempted to purchase food. I even bring breakfast with me when I have to work early. I also keep a supply of protein bars in my desk at work in case I didn’t bring enough food one day. This helps your budget AND your waistline.
- Embrace your freedom: For me one of the greatest things about not being in school any more is that I now have so much free time due to never having homework/projects. When I get home from work I can do whatever I want! Use this free time to go for a walk, ride your bike, explore yournew city or get creative in the kitchen. Soon enough you will get older and have a family so while (if) you are still young and single enjoy as much “me” time as possible.
- When you must drink, drink responsibly: If you have embraced the idea that you will still be out drinking every weekend, drink the smart way! Choose light beers, remember that vodka water and a splash of lime is one of the lowest calorie drinks, and avoid margaritas, martinis and other specialty drinks that tend to be calorie bombs. Choosing a bud light over a blue moon will save you 60 calories a drink, that adds up when you are having 5 a night!
- Choose your late night snacks wisely: Almost every long night out ends up with food. Whether its pizza/hot dogs/cheese fries or any other late night food chances are its not going to be good for your waistline. Instead hold off until you get home and make yourself a snack then. Everyone knows that ANY food you eat while drunk is sure to be delicious so if you choose a homemade sandwich or leftover pasta you will most likely be saving yourself a lot of calories.
And that is my advice on how to survive being a partying girl in the working world! Thank you so much Clare for letting me share my antics with your readers. And if you want to come up to Chicago and party with me, just let me know 🙂
Thanks Ashley! Awesome tips. And I’d LOVE to hang out with you in Chicago! The pictures look like too much fun…