Summer is here.. and what that means for your WLS journey

I wish I could say that I'm typing this from my pool floaty, sipping on some zero calorie lemon/lime water, with my sunglasses on, listening to Will Smith's jam Summertime on my outdoor bluetooth speaker, but that would be a complete farce...because while I am sipping on some delicious lemon water (yes, still zero calorie), but no pool for me today... but for the sake of all of us visualizing floating out on a pool, and how awesome that would be.... can we just imagine that together?? Ahh....

Okay - back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Summer is just about here, tribe, and I hope you are planning to have some fun in the sun wherever you are, and I'm going to do my best to keep you ON TRACK wherever your travels take you this summer... keep reading!

See, for many, this is the time of year when I see people get off track the most. YES! Even more than the holidays!! Let me tell you why!!

The holidays.. really go from about Thanksgiving to New Years .. which is about a total of 6 weeks.. whereas SUMMER goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day (which is approximately 13 weeks!!!). YIKES!!

The kids are out of school (or your grandkids), vacations take a front seat and routines and rituals that are formed during the rest of the year are typically forgotten or cast aside when friends come in town, you go out of town, when you buy treats for the kids (or grandkids), or when they buy treats for you, or when you are just saying "to heck with it" because you're on vacation either in your mind or in actuality.

And, don't try to tell me this doesn't happen, because I'm human too, and I know what goes on in various households in the summer...

Also, while summer barbecues can be much healthier than other foods because of the grilling and the salads, etc.. I also see where grazing can pick up and eating more rather than less also becomes problematic.

Having a vacation mindset to help you stay on track might be necessary for these 13 weeks (are you as surprised as me that it's sooo long?!?!) So instead of throwing your habits to the side, let's build some that will keep you on track throughout the summer time.

Here are some hacks for keeping your summer healthy, happy, and headache free....

1. Keep an eye out for calorie filled beverages (including the alcoholic kind) and make sure you're getting your WATER in... 64oz at least!

This is the time of year beverages become even more important. It's hot, you're thirsty, and you tend to drink more; and for some that means more alcohol. I'm not going to make this a speech about transfer behaviors after WLS, although that can happen.. Instead, I'm going to ask you to be conscious, cautious, and mindful of what you are drinking because calories add up quickly. Use some watermelon, cucumber, lemon, lime, and/or strawberry to infuse your water so you stay hydrated and refreshed all summer long.

2. Don't let your planning and prepping fall by the wayside.. keep up the basics.
Many people might decide to let things FLY in the summer, and the only problem with that is that you can get back to old habits of chips and dip (slider foods), or ordering out/eating out often where you may not be cognizant of what you're eating. You may not want to plan EVERY meal, but at least stick with the basics for a foundation of protein first, and easy eats so you don't go crazy.

3. Eat on a smaller plate - like Livliga brand just for bariatric patients.
Using a smaller plate will help keep your head in check, and will help you avoid FOMO (fear of missing out). Put different bites on your plate, so you can get a bit of everything at the BBQ, or have a spoonful of different things so you have a taste of it all. Remember that your tiny tummy works best when you're mindful of your meals, and staying steadfast in maintaining your portions. Eating too much becomes uncomfortable and makes you feel worse in the long-run. Use this tool to help you stay focused this summer. (www.livliga.com)

3. Track what you eat at the very least 1-2x per week.
In the summer, many get lazy with tracking and forget to track. To see where you are, focus on tracking AT LEAST 1-2x per week to at least recognize where you are on the spectrum. If you think you've fallen off the wagon with your eating, then pick yourself back up and refocus your attention on tracking, prepping, and planning ahead.

4. Move your body and make your fitness FUN (there's that word again!)
Play volleyball, swim in the pool, or go for a walk outside with the fam. At the very least get the garden hose and start spraying people.. they will run, you will run, and it will be fun. And.. if you haven't be cleared to run around, check in with your supervising physician first.


5. Be a LEADER not a Follower with bari-friendly FOOD options.
So many bariatric patients fear others condemnation by bringing a "healthy" dish to a cookout or barbecue (**shudder**).. but instead of being a follower and letting others decide for you - YOU take charge and be a leader by focusing on HEALTH first. You don't have to announce that your bari-friendly dish is "healthy" instead focus on the deliciousness of it. You can tell them it's healthy after they eat it, or keep it a secret. Most often, they'll never know the difference especially if it's keto, you use stevia, or if it's a protein option.

6. Do your best to choose, live, and eat SUGAR-FREE (and read the labels!)
While I recommend we eat a colorful diet, staying away from added sugars, processed foods (with sugar), and anything full of sugar is truly wise. Sometimes, sugar is added to things we don't even realize (like barbecue sauce, canned baked beans, and ketchup), and these can wreck havoc on our otherwise very thoughtful eating plan adding tons of unnecessary calories and making us scream "WHAT HAPPENED ?!?" when we look at the scale a few weeks down the road. Be mindful. Read the labels, and reduce your sugar where/when possible.

Everything else I'll say here is that staying on track doesn't have to be hard; you just need to stay mindful and present. Have protein first at the barbecue, focus on your bariatric basics, and REMEMBER: self care is just as important now as it is at any time.

Don't throw caution to the wind, and stay mindful this summer so that this fall you don't feel that you have to struggle to lose regain, right before the holidays. Use this summer to stay on track, stay fulfilled, and enjoy yourself - using your bariatric mindset lifestyle change habits.

Here's to an awesome healthy summer for all of us... xoxo