Happy Friday! The weekend is here. Whatever you do over the next two days is your choice. You can go for a walk or run. Do some mobility and corrective exercise, Pilates, Zumba or yoga. Hang out with your friends, go out for dinner, do something for fun.
This morning as I got back from my CrossFit WOD (workout of the day), I started to reflect on some of the poor decisions I made about my health and fitness last weekend.
Sometimes when the weekend comes, we forget that we are the boss of our lives. Last weekend, I gave myself permission to stop being the boss of my health.
When you fire yourself as the boss of your life, do you get caught in the trap of justifying the weekend? You know, let your standard down or get a little loose with your boundaries because you're with your friends or family and it's easy to justify your choices because it's Friday or Saturday night.
In my opinion, it's personal sabotage. Justifying "the weekend" is actually destructive behavior that keeps you from truly accomplishing your life goals.
At it's root, it's simply emotional eating, spending, drinking, or other negative pattern that has no foundation in real needs. Sadly if left unchecked, affects mind, body and spirit, and can escalate and spiral into a very destructive habit.
Justifying the weekend can erase all the hard work and progress you've accomplished during the week in just two days of short term gratification.
I did it this past weekend, and as a result paid dearly for my choices this week.
I don't do it as nearly as often anymore, but I used to do it ALL the time as a young adult. When I was younger, I could never figure out why I could never get ahead or on top of my weight, health or fitness goals. Duh! I was always sabotaging myself because it was "the weekend".
You see, I have a history of severe, debilitating allergies. You name it, I'm pretty much allergic to it. One thing in particular that I am most allergic to is wheat and yeast.
So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that eating breads, pastas and processed foods isn't a good health decision for me right?
Well, over the years I've slowly but surely completely eliminated all of my histimine inducing foods by following a Whole9 dietary practice.
Last weekend I slipped up. I chose to not be the boss of myself because it was "the weekend". You know what I mean. It's Saturday night... ooh, there's some yummy foccaccia bread on the counter. It's been such a long time. One can't hurt me right? WRONG!
It's like eating that foccaccia unleashed a demon. I took the bait, and now that stupid thought process "well you screwed up, so you may as well enjoy another one" reared it's ugly head. Seriously? I'm 44 years old. I know better. Sigh.
Okay, I had the bread, maybe I'll have some of those chips because I messed up with eating the bread and now the day is shot anyway. Except that the chips turns into a full out binge, and now you feel so crappy, you can't even bear the thought of going to the gym in the morning cause your head is foggy, tongue is fuzzy and you have a raging case of "over-carbsumption".
How many of you let the diet go and skip out on the exercise because it's the weekend? The worst is when you've started out with a new program and are in the middle of establishing a new health habit, only to undo all your hard work on Friday night.
Saturday rolls into Sunday, and it's less than 24 hours until I am sick for the first time in months. All of my allergy symptoms come raging back. The sore throat, itchy ears, sinus congestion. And since I've eaten so clean for so long, for the first time I can actually feel the histamine causing inflammation in the extremities of my fingers and toes. They feel like sausages!
So this is how the domino effect goes. Thankfully, I felt so sick I realized it isn't worth it. In my past, I would have extended my justification of "it's the weekend" because I had "let it go" and said well "I'll start again on Monday morning'.
And all the achievements I accomplished during the week are effecively wiped out in 48 small hours.
Now I don't want to be a hypocrite, and that's precisly why I'm sharing my experience. I am a realy human being on this course of change and progress.
Thankfully, because I engage in this behavior less often, I can actually evaluate the effects of my poor and emotion based dietary habits on my health and performance. In fact, it might just be a gift in a weird way, because it refines and refocuses me. Besides, life happens and it's gonna happen once in awhile.
I think the danger is when you allow yourself to do this repetitively weekend after weekend. Now it's a learned habit and behavior that's hard to change.
I'm proud to say that I rarely engage in this type of behavior. After last weekend, and getting so sick, it was easy to take a good hard look the consequences of my behavior.
Over the years I've learned how to identify the root cause of my sabotaging behavior (emotion) and have worked on changing. But more than just wanting change. I've actively implementied a support system and plan of action until my old habits passed and new ones became familiar.
I talk about this kind of stuff with my clients here at Pain Free Posture MN all the time. Getting out of idiopathic chronic muscle and joint pain isn't much different than eliminiating fatty foods and over-indulging. The first step to true change is with acknowledging the problem and being willing to be personally responsible for oneself.
I'd like to share some tips that I've used to help me on my path.
6 Steps to Help You Stick to Your Goals This Weekend
- Identify the root cause of the problem. Emotional eating, justifying the weekend, poor planning, peer pressure to eat, drink, etc.
- Treat the imbalances. Create a plan for success by finding alternative friends, activites and do something different that helps you progress and grow!
- Identify faulty thought patterns. One piece of bread won't hurt... for me, that is a lie. I need to replace that thought with, one piece of bread isn't worth it anymore!
- Take proactive steps to move the body away from the negative stimulus by providing the right function. Create a plan for better choices. Eat before you go out, have meals and snacks prepared and ready to go at home. Stop hanging around people who support your negative choices and find new ones who support you in your change.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat (step number 4 until)
- Your new new habit is established and it becomes your new normal
You know your new habit has taken effect when you really stop and think about your choices weighing them by what makes you feel better and more in control of your life! At a certain point, certain negative lifestyle and behavior choices are just no longer worth the cost.
And that's when you know you've truly changed!
So for these next two days, just remember, what you do today and tomorrow counts toward your long term hopes and dreams.Remember, you ALWAYS get to be the boss everyday, including this weekend. I'd love to know how your weekends usually end up, and what you might think about doing differently in the future.
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Head Photo Credit: Melissa Thome Photography
Author: Deb Preachuk is the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN. A CF-L1 Trainer, Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, Deb has over 25 years experience in the health and wellness field. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram pages.