By Zerline Hughes
Every celebration, gathering of family and friends and announcement of sad or bad news, seems to be had surrounded by food and/or drink, wouldn’t you agree? No one ever says, it’s my birthday, let’s take a hike? Or after the wake, we’re going to Zumba class.
Reuniting with friends or family always happens with a napkin on my lap and a fork in my hand. My monthly check ins with one friend usually happen with a platter of Stan’s whole chicken wings and a really stiff drink – or two. And even when a few tears need to be shed or some of us need to talk something out, there’s some dipping sauce or cake involved to help drown our sorrows.
There’s nothing wrong with food. We need it. It’s required for living. And boy, is it good. And a good drink (my new go to is a margarita on the rocks) often makes things exciting, helps relax tensions, and gives our hands something to do in otherwise awkward situations. But I’m learning that there’s other options, too.
As a contractor, many meetings with clients and vendors take place over coffee, a bready pastry, or lunch – and I’m over it. I now see that it’s lending to my extra pounds, and it’s also becoming costly in the long run.
So, I’m closing reservations for the remainder of the month on meet ups that call for food or drink. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve already got some holiday parties on the calendar, in addition to some end of the year dinners and gatherings with friends, but aside from those pre-scheduled gatherings, no more. This will be a test to see if this is something I can do every month.
Does this mean I’m done with meeting up with friends and having business meetings? Of course not. The alternative to meeting in a restaurant or café will entail some sort of health and fitness effort. But I’ll need your help.
One of my friends is already on my calendar. She’ll be in the area once again, and unlike before where we’ve met at one of my fave places, The Commissary in Washington, D.C., she suggested we meet at FlyWheel. It’ll be my first time spinning there, and before and after we can talk shop and love and life. And feel great (and not full afterward). And the cost: since it’s my first time, I go for free and she gets credit for bringing in a visitor. Now that’s a win-win.
Last week, instead of a pre-Thanksgiving happy hour, I met up with two different friends at the gym. Instead of making my rounds at the homes of loved ones on Thanksgiving Day, I met one for a DIY 7 a.m. training session, and the other at an 11 a.m. Zumba class. Talk about feeling accomplished (and being able to still enjoy a Thanksgiving feast guilt free!).
Today (at a birthday brunch … yeah … ), I asked a friend how she knew the guest of honor. As part of her story, she said they reconnect with a monthly three-mile walk. To me, that sounded like rocket science. Woah! Walking, talking, burning calories AND getting something accomplished? Who’d have thunk it!?
Are you interested in reconnecting? Meeting up? Talking shop? Offer me a friend pass at your gym. Let’s walk and talk downtown or at Rock Creek Park. Or let’s go dancing – my favorite – and talk on the dance floor or at the bar. I’ll order H20 on the rocks.
What are your stay-fit alternatives and ideas?
Here’s a few alternatives to start with: