OK, WE'RE DEEP into summer fun, and you probably abandoned your 2016 exercise and nutrition resolutions months ago, right?
If that's the case, here's a midyear resolution refresher to get your routine back on track.
First of all, go easy on yourself! Without a doubt, it is difficult to maintain perfect discipline.
We're only human, and being human means we're going to fail sometimes.
I say, no problem - in fact, I encourage you to become a cheater.
That's right, I said it. Forget the guilt trip and build cheating into your routine.
Long ago, I realized that if I eat sensibly 80 to 90 percent of the time, I can cheat 10 to 20 percent of the time without wrecking my entire plan.
Besides, by cheating, you won't get bored or frustrated, and you can have more freedom and flexibility.
I don't know about you, but to me, deprivation sucks!
If you want to reclaim your fitness/diet resolutions, here are six midyear strategies to help :
1. CREATE A CALORIE BUDGET : Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too, if it fits within your calorie budget. It's just like budgeting your money. Figure out how many calories you need to take in daily to maintain or lose weight. Use an online calorie calculator to figure out your daily needs. Knowing where you stand is half the battle.
2. WRITE IT DOWN : Well, you could write it down the old-school way in a notebook.
Or you can log your caloric data using one of the many calorie-counting apps, like the free My Fitness Pal.
Like an adding machine, My Fitness Pal totals your food deposits (and debits), and tells you where you stand every day.
This will help minimize guessing and prevent "overdrafts." You'll know more accurately how much you've consumed and burned.
3. BE NAUGHTY AND STILL LOOK NICE : Build monthly, weekly, even daily cheats into your budget.
For example, if ice cream is a must-have summer treat for you, don't buy a gallon of it and keep it in the freezer (it won't stay there long).
Instead, make getting ice cream an event: Go to an ice cream parlor and have just one scoop.
It will set you back about 200 calories, which your budget can accommodate.
If your daily caloric budget is 2,000 calories, that means you can splurge on 200 calories (10 percent) to 400 calories (20 percent) and still not blow your plan.
4. THINK IN PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION : You didn't make it to the gym this morning?
Go for a summer stroll after lunch, or, better yet, add an evening after-dinner stroll, too.
Remember to get your cardiovascular exercise in wherever you are.
If you're feeling up to a challenge, grab your jump rope and skip outdoors or on your front porch.
Remember, you can do something simple and still keep up the intensity. The only special equipment you need is a pair of good, supportive shoes.
5. IT'S SUMMER - GO OUTSIDE..!! : Summer is a great time for strength training outdoors.
Again, you don't need special equipment. Hit a few yoga poses on the Art Museum steps.
Get in some alternating lunges at the Azalea Garden on Kelly Drive.
Do some push-ups on the bench along the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. Options are abundant throughout our lovely Fairmount Park system, too.
6. NOTHING IS FORBIDDEN : othing is forbidden. Life is way too short to live with regrets or guilt. So go ahead, treat, delight, gratify, and indulge yourself this summer. Yes, you really can have anything your heart desires. Just manage your portions and keep on moving.
Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears on the first and third Wednesdays monthly.