As a 24 year old continuing to attempt adulthood, I’ve discovered a new, three – pronged fork in the road of life. There are three aspects of being 24 that just don’t seem to add up. How does one keep a hot bod, keep up a social life of eating out and drinking, and still maintain their sanity when looking for a stress relief after work?
Lets start with fitness. Instagram models have been the downfall of our generation. Yes, if you can commit all of your free time (aka the few hours you have before or after work) to sweating your face off in a gym, then maybe you can have one of those tight asses you obsess over in your explorer page. Lord knows keeping your back side in a square chair for 8 hours straight can’t be good for it’s shape. I know a guy who eats, breathes, and lives gym time – refusing to do anything else during the week. And I have to admit, he looks great because of it. However, if you’re anything like me, you’d rather get another 30 minutes of sleep or go out for a drink to socialize after a hellish 8-9 hours of work than drag your unwilling self to a stuffy gym.
Being in your early twenties in a city, there’s always pressure to utilize all free time to explore the trendiest new restaurants, hit up a popular concert on a Thursday night, or even just get shit faced at Tuesday Trivia. When I started my current job, my 27 and 28 year old co-workers would ask what I was doing after work on random Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s. I’d tell them I was going home.. like a normal person. They’d laugh and laugh and call me a grandma saying, “You’re young! Your hangovers are way less worse than ours. Why are you wasting your youth by only going out on weekends?” So I started to go out during the week, mostly with them, but then setting up dinners and drinks with my other 24 year old friends. I’ve found that not only does this affect your wallet dramatically, but it completely deteriorates any hope you had at maintaining that hot bod. Gourmet pizza’s, pasta’s, beer, wine, you name it. It’s hard to remember that $13 cocktails aren’t any less in calories. Before you know it, you’ll look back a week and realize you drank and ate terribly 4 out of 5 nights. That’s not a great feeling heading into a weekend filled with more eating and drinking for another 48 hours straight. This lifestyle is so fun! But you’ll soon see, as did I, that slowly the bod, the wallet, and the sanity will all go.
Which brings me to my next point, how does one maintain sanity during the work week? Sanity can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes one thing fixes it, another time it doesn’t. As you can clearly tell, I think work sucks. Not just my work, but any work you have to get up and go to relentlessly day, after day, after day. Coming home after a long, terrible day of nonstop meetings and stress to just sitting on my couch and staring at my phone really doesn’t do it for me. I prefer to go out and socialize. In particular, I prefer alcohol as my way to destress. I have some friends who reach for ice cream after a long day, a sister who craves hot yoga as a way to wind down, but my pick of poison is red wine. What often happens is that I’ll set up these fun activities to do night after night through the week, but then I look around on Thursday or Friday morning and the apartment is bombed, the kitchen’s a mess, the shower hasn’t been cleaned in weeks and the laundry’s pilled up to the ceiling. There’s no balance to maintain my sanity. When I don’t have a release after work, my life turns into this awful routine. I get up, work out, go to work, come home, cook/clean, go to bed, start over the next day. The fun is sucked out of life when you don’t allow yourself to have a few glasses of wine over dinner with a friend. But if you constantly go out during the week, your life becomes hell, always trying to play catch up with keeping house and home. And if you’re too busy out drinking and trying to keep up with your life, then you might as well throw working out out the window.
As many will tell you, life is all about balance. You must go out 1-2 times during the week, work out 3-4 times during the week, and alternate your stress-relief at the end of the day to maintain your sanity. But in reality, if you really want to be fit, who cares if you give up the other things. You’ll look ripped and hopefully feel happy. If you really think your social life needs to be lived out while you’re young, then screw the house cleaning and banging bod. You can work out when your 30. And lastly, if you need to tell everyone else to get bent so you can have a night of cleaning and restoration, then do it. The whole point of balance is to make sure you can continue living in the best way possible. The whole point of this blog post is to tell you that whatever you think is the best way, is your best way, because there’s no true “best way’. It’s all respective.