shop Lola

5 healthy habits: Sam Abzug, manager at Diageo North America

5 healthy habits: Sam Abzug, manager at Diageo North America

Being healthy isn’t a quick or easy endeavor — we get it! We certainly don’t have an unlimited budget for $15 green juices or enough hours in the day to spend two of them at the gym. In our “5 healthy habits” series we get inspired by tips & tricks from real women (no celebrity yoga gurus allowed!) and share the healthful practices they’ve incorporated into their daily lives.

I work for a major beverage alcohol company, so to me healthy means finding that delicate balance between restraint and indulgence. As you’d imagine, there are a lot of fringe benefits to my job, the most immediate one being the well-stocked bar in our office. In my line of work, it is important for us to get out and understand where and how our products are being consumed, so I’m usually out at events a couple times during the week. While my company is a strong advocate of drinking responsibly and I try not to drink too many additional calories, said events also tend to be accompanied by delicious and unhealthy food which makes it pretty difficult to stay on the straight and narrow. I am constantly recalibrating to find that balance, but these five steps help keep me on track.

1. I reserve Mondays for workouts. Even when I don’t have official work events, it is too easy to linger at the office bar and grab drinks with coworkers. Despite my best attempts, I am not an early morning workout person, and by later in the week my willpower has waned, so I strive to at least start the week on the right foot. My current favorite workout class is Bar Method, so I’m really just substituting one barre for the other.

2. I drink lots of water. I’ve never been a fan of sugary drinks like soda, so water has always been my non-alcoholic beverage of choice. I’m vigilant about sipping from my water bottle throughout the day, and when out with friends or coworkers, I alternate my drinks with water so that I stay properly hydrated and in tip top shape for work the next day.

3. I bring healthy snacks to the office. I get really hungry in the afternoon, so I find it helpful to keep nutritious, low-carb snacks at my desk, usually assorted nuts or fruit. When I started at Diageo, I definitely was a victim of the “office 15” thanks to all of the leftover cookies and desserts that magically appeared in our kitchen. Now, I preempt the 3pm scavenging by keeping a full stock of more filling and good for you alternatives handy. Plus, then I’m a little less likely to dig into some chicken fingers at happy hour.

4. I motivate myself with a little competition. This January, my family started our own Biggest Loser challenge to help us get on track after the holidays. A little spirited competition is always a great motivating factor to stick to good habits — and no force is more motivating than being shamed in front of your family. While I ended up being the biggest loser, and not in the winning way, it was great way to stay mindful of all my behaviors. With a lot of temptation always around, having the support of my loved ones helps keep me accountable.

5. I don’t beat myself up. I am fortunate to live my own life’s philosophy through my work because our products are a key part of bringing people together to celebrate good times. In the same spirit, I allow myself to indulge from time to time and give myself a break if I happen to eat some fried food or drink a sugary, but delicious cocktail. To me, moderation is key, and rather than dwelling on the little indulgences, I try to just be a little better the next day.