You probably follow a person (or 10) on Instagram and Twitter who like to post bright images of veggie omelets and SoulCycle selfies, enthusiastically captioned “So easy to cook #healthy!” or “6AM and ready to roll! #Motivation.”
Reality check: The active and well-balanced lifestyle is not easy. In fact, the road to good health can cause complications and awkwardness that unhealthy choices might not. If you’ve ever been “that girl” who ordered a salad while everyone else got burgers, you know what I mean.
For instance, what do you do after a pre-office workout when you forget deodorant at home? And are you supposed to wash your hair after every workout?
Here we have the answers to some of your biggest fitness struggles. Did we miss anything? Let us know!
1. Problem: You had a great workout, but now your hair is a sweaty mess…and you have to go to the office.
Solution: The answer lies in handy products and creative styling. Invest in a can of dry shampoo and/or a small container of baby powder for your gym bag, and a small flatiron if your locks are typically straight.
Before you start sweating, spritz roots with dry shampoo to prevent them from getting completely soaked. Then, it’s time to think past the ponytail (they’re convenient, but they crease). Try twisting hair into a high or low bun, or dividing hair into two small sections and twisting each into a low knot. Twisted buns can be tousled into loose waves when they’re taken out. If knots aren’t your thing, a fishtail or French braid are other options that transition well from gym to office.
Post-workout, blast damp hair with a blow-dryer, concentrating on the hairline and nape of the neck. Smooth down flyaway with an anti-frizz serum afterwards, then blow-dry again for a few seconds and you’ll be good to go.
2. Problem: You forgot deodorant and now your smell is offending even you.
Solution: It’s a good idea to keep a mini deodorant in your gym bag or purse, but if you forgot it post-exercise or on a hot day, grab some hand sanitizer or a lemon to rub on your underarms for a quick fix. The alcohol from the sanitizer and lemon’s citric acid both kill the bacteria that makes sweat stink. Two warnings: first, it’ll sting a little, especially with freshly shaved underarms; and second, it’s not a reliable substitute for deodorant on a daily basis.
3. Problem: It’s 10 a.m. and you’re famished. When’s lunch?
Solution: The more you exercise, the hungrier you get. I like to keep healthy snacks like protein bars and nuts at my desk to ward off hunger pangs between meals. If you’re not a big snacker, but need a bite, pop down to the drugstore. Many pharmacies now stock healthy grab-and-go foods, like Greek yogurt, fruit, baggies of almonds and pistachios, hummus packets, side salads and string cheese.
4. Problem: You finally shed those last 10 pounds and now none of your old clothes fit.
Solution: Losing a significant amount of weight is a huge milestone, so congrats! Now, it’s more than likely that your old clothes don’t fit quite as well anymore.
While shopping for some new outfits, you might be inclined to reach for old sizes, fall into old habits (like hiding under baggy clothes) or browse your go-to stores. With a new shape comes a new mindset. Don’t feel like you need to buy a whole new wardrobe. Invest in some core staples like jeans, bras and a blazer, which can be dressed up or down with accessories.
5. Problem: In celebration of a birthday/wedding/new baby, there is an office party and treats are aplenty.
Solution: You’ve been eating right for weeks and you genuinely don’t want that slice of cake, but everyone has one and you feel rude. There are a few options for handling this. You could play the not-feeling-well card or use the effective “Oh, I’ll have some later”…and then never bother. My personal favorite option for festivities is offering to bring a few healthy treats like fruit salad or angel food cupcakes with Cool Whip and strawberries. All the celebration with none of the calorie overload.
6. Problem: It’s Friday and your girls are hitting the town, but you have a scheduled workout/exercise class/training run the next morning.
Solution: This was a huge frustration during marathon training. I wanted to see my friends, but nobody wants to do a 15-mile run after a night out. If you need to better balance fitness and friend time, I suggest asking pals if they’d like to join you for a run, bike ride, yoga class or trip to the gym. Working out is a great way to spend some time together and catch up. If your friends aren’t into exercise, you could also suggest a brunch meetup after your workout is over.
7. Problem: You have no idea how many times you should wash your hair
Solution: Washing your hair every day, even after a workout, leads to brittle strands and zaps your scalp and hair of the natural oils they need to stay healthy. Wash and condition every other day, and use dry shampoo in between. If your hair is naturally dry, use a leave-in conditioner on the days you don’t shampoo.