4 Ways To Survive Labor Day

family at dinner table with woman laughing

In the late 1880’s it wasn’t exactly in fashion for workers to campaign for rights, recognition, and all of the other trappings that typically come with wanting to be treated like a normal person by their employer.

There’s no doubting that there had been quite a few improvements in working conditions when comparing the 1880’s to the early days of the Industrial Revolution, or especially compared to pre-Industrial Revolution time. But it’s safe to say that there were still plenty of people working in factories and manual labor trades like carpentry that worked long and hard hours. And it’s even more safe to say that a lot of those people who did work that I can barely even fathom today felt like they deserved a little appreciation for that work.

Understandable, right? If you’re going through back-breaking labor, it’s probably fair to want to be appreciated a little bit. That’s exactly how Matthew Maguire felt, and he was just the guy to be able to do something about it.

In 1882, Maguire was the secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York. For years Maguire had already been someone that had organized strikes on behalf of factory workers who dealt with unfair labor conditions. But in 1882, Maguire took it one step further.

Thanks to his position at the Central Labor Union, Maguire played a major role in organizing the first official Labor Day Parade on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882 in New York City, based off of the Labor Day plans drawn up by the Central Labor Union and Maguire himself. That parade was a big deal in helping not only champion the rights of workers, a theme that has continued well into our present day, but also played a major role in showing other industrial centers around the country that their workers needed to be appreciated.

The very next year, the parade was even bigger. By 1885 most industrial cities in the United States were having Labor Day celebrations. And in 1894, President Grover Cleveland officially signed legislation making Labor Day a federal holiday.

It’s safe to say we live in a world that’s a bit different than in 1894.

We have iPhones and can travel by plane, but we still celebrate, albeit a bit differently.

Nowadays Labor Day is more like the last hoorah of summer. It’s the last day that we can wear white (though I’ve seriously never gotten that rule), and it’s probably one of the last times that many of us will get to hang out by the pool, grill out, and really enjoy the last little bit of relaxation that summer has to offer.

Which also means that for many of us, Labor Day tends to be a bit of a party. With it being the last real day of summer for so many, it’s totally understandable to want to enjoy it while you can, right? That means that people aren’t afraid to pull out all the stops. I don’t think it’s crazy to say that some people think of all summer as one gigantic practice to make sure that Labor Day is as awesome and decadent as humanly possible.

That also means that it’s probably understandable to wonder a bit about how you can manage Labor Day, right?

After all, we’re all here because we care about our health and our wellness. We probably want to feel like we can enjoy ourselves without completely blowing our diet. Again, all totally understandable. Nobody likes feeling stressed about the fact that they’re not sure they can actually chill out at the cookout because they’re worried about their diet.

I want to make sure you get to have the best day possible – here are 4 ways to make the best out of your Labor Day.

1. Have your own personal plan in place.

One of the things I push my clients hard on is for them to recognize that they’re the ones who are always in control of their decision making. I love it when someone comes to me asking for help in navigating something like Labor Day, but ultimately how they go about their day is a decision that they need to be comfortable with, and the very same goes to you.

We aren’t going to sit here and tell you that you need to be 100% spot on today, nor are we going to tell you that you should let loose with reckless abandon. Instead, what I will tell you is this:

You decide what you want this day to be. For some of you, that might mean exercising discipline and saying no to a few things you really want to say yes to. And you might do that because you know that sacrificing right now is important, because of the long-term goals you’ve set for yourself.

There are others of you who are more okay knowing that if you loosen up the reins a little bit today, that’s okay. You’re aware it might slow down progress a little bit, but you also know that being able to enjoy a day like today is a big part of what sustainability means for you.

I don’t know which one of those routes you should take, because ultimately that’s a choice that is up to you. And that’s exactly how it should be.

2. Prioritize your protein early on.


Any time you know you’re going to be at something like a cookout, you tend to know that protein won’t be too hard to come by. After all, about 90% of what you’re going to grill is meat, so it’s reasonable to think that you don’t need to worry too much about getting your protein in early in the day.

But it’s important to remember that most of the times, cookouts aren’t going to highlight lean cuts of protein. The protein that most of us are going to eat in the forms of hot dogs, hamburgers, brats, steaks, etc. is definitely going to have more fat than what most of us probably eat the majority of the time. Which also means those foods are going to probably have more calories, as well.

So an easy way to help make sure you get the most out of Labor Day, guilt-free, is to prioritize your protein early in the day before you ever start celebrating. By getting a solid portion of protein in early on, you’re likely to stay a bit more full, which means you can make smarter choices when it comes to avoiding overeating.

3. Don’t make the veggies feel lonely.


Sure, Brussels sprouts aren’t the same as a cookie. They never have been and they never will be. I’m not saying that you should avoid all the delicious sweets that might show up at your Labor Day party, but what I am saying is that just because it’s a party doesn’t mean you have to act like you and veggies aren’t friends anymore.

Like prioritizing protein early on, veggies are an easy way to help ensure that you make a choice that helps you out right now, but also helps you out later on. We all know that veggies are extremely high volume foods, which means they take up a lot of room in our stomach for not much of a caloric hit. That makes veggies the perfect addition to your plate to help you stay satisfied, increasing your chances of making good decisions later on with foods that are notoriously easy to overeat.

4. Remember, it’s just one day.


I totally get it. It’s so normal to go through a holiday on a diet and wind up feeling like you’ve done something wrong. Even if you made the cookies and those two beers fit into your numbers, it’s normal to feel like you’ve done something you shouldn’t have. So it’s especially normal to feel like you’ve really screwed things up if you went way off the rails. Even if you thought about it and knew that’s how you wanted to spend your day.

But here’s something to remember: the average person is going to eat about 730,000 calories this year, assuming they eat 2,000 calories a day. That means that even if you went completely insane and ate 5,000 calories today, that’s not even enough to cause an actual blip on the radar.

Will it slow down some progress? Yeah, the scale might move a bit more slowly for a bit. But one day won’t make or break a diet. Instead, it’s your ability to get right back on the horse and start right back where you left off the very next day.

Dieting is already hard enough as is. Don’t go making it harder on yourself by beating yourself up for no reason. This is just one day, and all we want is for you to feel like you can have a good time while also knowing that it doesn’t mean you have to give up on all of your health and weight loss goals.

And finally, speaking of health and weight loss goals, I just wanted to take a moment and remind everyone that we’re currently in the middle of our biggest sale of the year. All Stronger U sessions are currently on sale, both for returning AND new members. Something we’ve never ever done before. If you want to learn a bit more about the sale, or you’d like to take advantage of it, then click here.


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