If you’re anything like me, you may have a tendency of putting 110 percent effort into anything you do. This trait can be a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I find it difficult to strike a balance between eating healthy, hitting the gym, and still wanting to go out and drink 10-too-many beers.

As I’ve gotten older, this has become more of a challenge. Hangovers are no joke these days and it seems like the only cure is to go eat a greasy burger and wash it down with a couple of potent Bloody Marys to get my equilibrium back. Needless to say, that burger and the aggressive amount of alcohol is not going to help my waistline or my deadlift max, but hey, you have to live life to the fullest and it is important to have a good time.

I read about these extremist diets: they seem to want to give you a cheat day once every six months and then still make you feel bad about it afterward. What also strikes me as almost comical is that these diets rarely mention implementing a workout routine. Spoiler alert: if you want to be healthy and fit, you have to eat right AND workout.

Green Berets training log carrying
1st Special Forces Group (1st SFG) Green Berets partaking in some extracurricular activities on the weekend. (DVIDS)

Here’s the deal: as much as we want to do things to the extreme, sometimes it’s better to find a good balance and figure out the right ratio. I’m currently on the 5/2 program: From Monday to Friday afternoon, I stay committed to the health agenda; I go to the gym every day of the “work” week and eat healthy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In my rule book, drinking alcohol is not allowed on the weekdays (of course there are exceptions), but come Friday night, just go ahead and pass me another beer. For all intents and purposes, I just keep this mindset flowing until Sunday. Will I hit the gym on the weekends? Yes, sometimes, but it’s not as much of a priority as long as I’ve had a healthy week.

Now, if a trainer or dietician read the above paragraph, they would most likely tear me apart and give me a hundred reasons why I’m wrong. My point is that normal people enjoy indulging in some alcoholic beverages and unhealthy food. To me, the workweek is a time for WORKING; this means being responsible to your job and also your health and fitness — it’s a package deal.

If you eat right and work out, your brain undoubtedly operates better. Weekends are a time for relaxation (I know many of us still work on the weekends), enjoying yourself, and hanging out with friends. It is a time to decompress. So, enjoy yourself, but be ready to hit it hard Monday morning.

To sum it up, find your healthy balance. Taking things to the extreme is not always the best approach. Do what you enjoy, but also hold yourself accountable and make sure you’re doing what’s best for your body and mind.

And no matter what you do, for God’s sake hydrate!