Thank God it’s Friday?? Well, when I was in party mode; drinking, eating junk, and general carousing, I was psyched then the weekend hit! It was time for all kinds of fun and hanging out; parties, dinners, late “breakfasts”, etc. However, that was years ago and times have changed for me since then.
Now that I am living a healthy and fitness-minded lifestyle, I find weekends to be a CHALLENGE. It’s not so easy anymore to go out with friends, eat at restaurants, and attend parties when you have very specific nutrition goals, and you’re on a schedule for workouts and meals.
Over the summer, when I was in the Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle Transformation Challenge, I actually dreaded weekends. Since I was on such a strict diet with no room for error, I ended up usually eating before going out, bringing my own food, and just drinking water at bars (water with lemon if I was lucky!).
I can’t say it was fun times. But, it made me realize how differently you view “what’s enjoyble” when you have different goals than everyone around you. Things that are “fun” for me now include a walk around the neighborhood, the exhilaration I get after completing a tough workout, the sense of accomplishment I have after sticking to my eating plan all week and making great progress, or helping someone else get started on their fitness journey. These are now the rewarding activities I enjoy.
Going out to dinner and hanging at bars I view as setbacks and challenges. Can it be “fun” at the same time? Sure, it’s “fun”, but it’s difficult. In fact, in my daily planner, I go through my calendar and identify upcoming challenge-situations for myself so I can plan strategies in advance. I don’t like to be blindsided and be without a plan. When I know we’re gong out to dinner, I usually try to look up the restaurant menu on line and see what my options are. That way, I feel more prepared and can plan my day around my evening activities.
Do I occasionally have junk food? Of course I do. But it’s nice to be able to plan having a cheat meal and look forward to it. Then you can enjoy your cheat meal and not feel guilt. No big deal, right? The “difficult and challenging” aspects set in when your “weekend” starts on Thursday night Happy Hour, and then Friday night, of course, and goes into Saturday afternoon and before you know it, your’e eating pizza and drinking beer at a Sports Bar on Sunday while watching football. God forbid this continues into Monday night football which is a distinct possibility!
So, while it’s great that it’s once again the “weekend”, it’s important to decide when, where, and which days you will stick to your plan, and when you’ll have a cheat meal. If you don’t plan these things out in advance, your weekend can turn into over half the week, and now you’re no longer living the Fitness Lifestyle.
It’s definitely okay to enjoy some cocktails, spend time with friends, and eat some junk here and there… just make sure that it doesn’t become the “norm” and stays the “occasional” if you truly want to achieve your fitness goals!