Balancing Act: Going Out

Last night I went to PING for a friends birthday. PING is a bar/restaurant/ping pong hall in Earls Court and it’s a great place to go and eat, hang out with friends and practise your table tennis skills.

We were there to celebrate Nad’s 26th birthday!!
(sorry for the terrible photo quality, taken on my iphone in a very dark bar, must get a better quality camera for times like this!)

In these last two weeks before I go to New Zealand for Christmas, I am really trying to up the exercise and watch what I eat a little more. I find it quite easy to stick to make healthy choices when I am on my own or at work, but with my friends things are a little tougher. But I know that next year one of my goals is to clean up my life, but I don’t want to sacrifice my London social life. In order to do that I am going to have to get the balance right. I want to be able to enjoy myself, and indulge in treats like cocktails, cake, pizza, wine, cider, jaeger bombs, chocolate…the list could go on and on… but I also want to look and feel better. They don’t go hand in hand.

I practised getting the balance right last night. It was tough. We were at a pizza bar, with cocktails, and cake. Colin the Caterpillar cake to be precise. I LOVE Colin.

Firstly, due to a pretty bad headache I wasn’t feeling in the mood for cocktails, which made ordering Diet Coke, then water an easy choice. The cocktails looked so delicious, and I am a sucker for a Strawberry Bellinis, but I managed to resist.

Drinking I think will be the biggest challenge in trying to clean up my lifestyle. I know that I drink too much. Whenever a doctor asks how much I drink I say ‘as much as most people my age’, which is true, but even that should worry me. We are a nation of binge drinkers, with people drinking 10 units a night rather than a week! The future health risks, hangovers, cost and not to mention calories are reasons to cut down my alcohol consumption.

Now I enjoy drinking, so I am not going to cut out drinking. However I am going to try to limit myself to drinking 3 nights a week ie. Thursday, Friday, Saturday max. Additionally I am going to try a be a little more clever with my beverage of choice. I like gin and tonic, so how easy is it to swap to a ‘gin and slim’- only 56 calories, Champagne- 89 calories, white wine-130 calories. Bring on the gin! Plus by mixing in a couple of waters every few drinks should ease the hangovers as well cut down the number of drinks I consume in total.

Eating clean I hope will be less of a challenge when out with friends. I have been making a real effort recently to make healthy food choices, I feel better afterwards and it makes it easier to make a healthy choice the next time.

Even though this was a pizza place, they had a few salads on the menu. I chose a chicken salad with beetroot, new potatoes and spinach. I also managed to snag a small slice of a friends pizza…talk about best of both worlds! I actually found that just having a small slice satisfied all of my pizza cravings, and I was very satisfied with my salad choice.

Never too old for a Caterpillar Cake

But then we had cake. I find it really really difficult to say no to chocolate cake.

So I didn’t say no.

I managed to find a friend that would share a piece with me. Obviously it was quite a big piece, so worth it. One of my new mantras, ‘is this worth the calories’, if it is then I will enjoy every bite. If not, then I’m just not going to eat it.

I know that staying healthy whilst not sacrificing my social life is going to be really, really tough. But if it was easy, everyone would do it. Isn’t that what they say, right?

How do you balance staying healthy and enjoying an active social life when going out with friends?

4 Comments

  1. 6th December 2012 / 8:42 pm

    Hey! just found your blog 🙂
    Going to New Zealand, how cool is that! I hope you have a great time!

    • 7th December 2012 / 11:29 am

      Thanks, I’ll be blogging from New Zealand so keep reading to hear all about it!!

  2. 8th December 2012 / 9:37 pm

    Balancing is so hard!! I’m 24 in New York City, and while I can’t drink much (stomach issues), I still want to go out with friends and not “miss out.” It’s such a delicate balance, but it’s true, you have to figure out what’s worth it and what isn’t.

    Love that cake!!

    • 9th December 2012 / 8:06 pm

      I know, how cute is the cake! Do you have any tips that work for you? Would love to go to NYC now that I’m over 21!