The past few blogs have looked at ways to set your self up for success in the morning on your way to work and at work. But what happens after work? There’s many options that may present themselves to yourself. Whether is be work functions that require attendance, getting in that workout that you missed earlier or a friends’ get together. There many activities that you may want to participate in but have concerns about doing so, because they may derail you from manning your primal way of living. What solutions can we find for these activities to help you maintain your habits?
Let’s start with after work functions. These types of functions may or may not be mandatory. They can be fun and engaging, say the launch of a new product or a celebration of tenure, or slightly dry, say pleasantries with people you are not familiar with. Often time food is involved because sharing a meal (I mean eating at the same time), provides an opportunity to get together and break the ice buy having something to discuss, namely the food itself, or topics around the food. Of course, if the after work gathering has a specific focus as in the case of the launch of a new product, the conversation would be likely geared towards that. In events such as those, canapé style food may be served, which is something to chat about, but is often provided in a way to keep the guests sustained through an extended period of work. And these types of events can be enjoyable, even if you are concerned about your diet.
Eat before the event to satiate your hunger. Whether it be a canapé event or a sit down meal, eating a primal meal you prepared or purchased before attending the event will help you decline or not order some of the SAD (standard American diet) type foods that can cause a negative reaction to your digestion. Allow yourself to enjoy the aromas of the food instead of trying to deny their existence. Especially if you are in a bakery type setting, the aromas can be quite lovely and can help to stimulate hunger, but since you already ate, you hunger has been fulfilled.
Eat light at dinner or only have a few canapés at the event. If there is no way around it, the less SAD food you consume the easier it will be on the digestion.
Talk to the workplace manger who is organizing the event. Explain you have dietary restrictions, it is very common these days. Organizers are normally happy to please. They would rather have the attendees enjoy the event and be able to participate, ie: eat and have fun, then have to hide in the back corner or duck out early. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing this with your manager, contact the restaurant or caterer ahead of time. Worried about having to miss out on desert? Fruit or sorbet can be acceptable. They may be high in natural sugars, but if you’ve been consistent with your diet, a small jolt to your insulin levels won’t do much harm.
If you are questioned about your diet, or food choices, be confident to say that you’ve changed your diet. Your the mental focus you’ve be working on to find the courage to talk about your life choices. Letting other people know about he choices your making and the reasons why is not the same as imposing your beliefs on them. Instead of telling other people how to live their lives, let people know how you live your life and the benefits you experienced from that. If you have been following a consistent fitness routine, it will show as well. Often times when people will comment on food choices, and you let them know about your diet changes, they’ll also notices the physical benefits for your body, also.
After work fitness routines are a great way to destress from the day. Being able to leave work and focus on something completely different (unless you work in the fitness industry, of course), can have positive benefits to rest the mind. If you have been stuck on a problem at work and concerned about leavening without solving it, this after work exercise may provide the mental rest and stimulation (this is not a contradiction), that your mind needed to solve the issue at hand.
Some people are not morning fitness enthusiasts or perhaps you are unable to get a group together for a lunch run or do not have enough time to fit in that workout midday. So going to the gym after work may be optimal. Going directly after work scheduling it as part of your work day can increase your chance of success, as sometimes going home or directly to another event may disrupt your focus on taking care of your strength and mobility training needs.
You may be lucky enough to find a group of people who want to form an extracurricular after work sports team. This can always be a positive way to support each other through bonding as a team and add in that play aspect primal enthusiast recommend. Its great to keep the body fit and the training can be fun. But to actually take your body out of the gym fitness routine and apply it in different ways, whether it be the sports team, or an obstacle course like jog through the park on the way home, can add a level of enjoyment and excitement to finish off your day.
If you’re heading directly to a party or some kind of friend engagement, the potential for bowing out form the primal life-style can be alluring, if they’re not following the same kind of routines as you. Different from work colleague, friends know you on another level. They may know you before you started your primal lifestyle. Perhaps they don’t understand and feel you’ve become restricted. Not understanding the freedom you gained from proper digestion, a fit body and a clear mind. Perhaps you’ve been though a lot together and they find it hard to believe you could actually change from a life of partying and drinking all night long. There could be some jealousy or resentment that you were able to change your life and they have not been able to accomplish that.
Set yourself up for success just as mentioned earlier. Eat before attending the event. If there are drug or alcohol concerns, perhaps it may be best not to attend at all. Do a workout before going. If that makes you late, so be it. Focusing on yourself first is not being selfish. It is being self positive. If they are your friends, they will understand and accept you for who you are truly are: which is the primal action person. Your lifestyle was clouded before, and you’ve been able to clean that up.
Being primal may not be for everyone. Some people may be able to still have a party like lifestyle and function perfectly well. It’s not your job to impose your life on anyone. If the crew is demeaning or bullying, you always have the option to leave. Use your mental focus to remain true to yourself. Concerned about not having friends? Gyms, yoga studios, primal groups (online or in the community), or just attending events that align with the way that you want to live your life, will provide you with the opportunity to meet like minded people and friendships may develop from that. It takes time though. Be patient, which is another aspect of being primally focused.