Put Your Mind To It, Go For It

Weekends: Wonderful but Challenging

Posted on: May 6, 2010

Yesterday a friend of mine gave me a fantastic quote:

If you are not On Program from Friday afternoon to Monday Morning you are actually Off Program for almost 5 months a year.

That is SCARY!

I think it is natural to have difficulty sticking to a diet plan or make healthy choices on the weekends. For me, the challenge comes from losing my Monday-Friday routine. Even on a weekend where I have nothing specific that I need to do, just being at home, being able to sleep in, being “free,” makes me more tempted to make bad food choices. And then there are those weekend when I have food-focused social events to attend. Now those are daunting…

But, if I allowed every weekend to become an excuse to fall into bad habits I’d spend 5 months out of my year sabotaging my new lifestyle and my Monday-Friday efforts. How can we combat the weekend mindset? Practice, plan, and be mindful!

In all likelihood, weekends will always be a struggle for me to stay in complete food control. But, it is important to remind myself that it can be done.

Some tips…

1. One strategy that Weight Watchers talks about is “Mental Rehearsing.” I laughed at this technique when I first heard about it, but after years on the program, I finally gave in and gave it a try. Before a particularly challenging weekend, make a list (either on paper or mentally) about what the challenges are and how to handle them. Think through the foods that will be available and the people that might be food-pushers. Consider how you will respond to the food choices and to the people offering that food to you. If you are going out to eat, check the menu ahead of time. Mentally rehearse how you will order your food. It may sound silly but if you know ahead of time that you want to make some edits to the menu and you have thought through that order, you will have a much easier time sticking to that plan when it comes time.

2. Plan when you can. Many events that come up over the weekends will be out of your hands but is it unlikely that on a given weekend you won’t have some time that you control. Plan the meals that you have control over ahead of time. Plan in some time for exercise to combat weekend calories. Another quote: failing to plan is planning to fail!

3. Remind  yourself what the social events are really about: being social! Going to a wedding isn’t about hors d’ oeuvres, cake, and mixed drinks. It’s about spending time with friends and family, dancing, and chatting. If you can shift your focus away from the food and instead adjust to enjoying the company you’re keeping, you will have more fun and do less damage on the scale.

My attitude on Mondays is consistent with how I treat my body over the weekend. If I fuel myself with healthy choices and exercise, I am a much more pleasant person on Monday. On the weekends that I choose to go off program, I am something of a troll on Monday. If I were a cast member from Office Space I would certainly have a “case of the Mondays.”

My weekend choices affect my work week attitude and making the best choices makes me like myself a lot more come Monday.

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1 Response to "Weekends: Wonderful but Challenging"

Love the Office Space reference! You’re totally right, the weekends are challenging, but they’re also manageable. I’ve used the tips you mentioned before and I have to say that they do work. Thanks for the reminder and the tips!

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Hot Sundae

Fictional girl singing group, Hot Sundae, sang "Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat!"

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