How to break the all-or-nothing lifestyle cycle.
Are you someone who eats in a reasonable way Monday morning through Friday afternoon? Or from breakfast through dinner?
But when that clock strikes 5 p.m. on Friday, or the kitchen closes down after dinner, you start to go She-Hulk?
You know the drill.
By the time the weekend or night is over, you’ve eaten (or drunk) way too much, often of the foods you wouldn’t normally choose.
You feel crappy. Guilty. Regretful. Ashamed. Bloated. Maybe angry at yourself.
Your workout the next day sucks. You’re retaining so much water you can almost hear yourself squishing when you walk.
You put on your loosest yoga pants and floppiest sweatshirt and try to hide.
And any progress you’ve made towards having the body you want was erased thanks to the brief spell of eating or boozing mayhem.
It might even seem like nighttime or weekend eating is so strong, it’s like a recurring disease.
Let’s call it: Weekenditis.
How to catch Weekenditis
Looking to get a nasty case of Weekenditis? Here’s how the virus spreads. (Remember all the points below are the symptoms for overeating you give yourself)
Have an eating routine that is “perfect”. Follow strict meal plans to the last teaspoon Monday morning through Friday afternoon, or breakfast through dinner.
Get so sick of the boring, bland, and restrictive eating that you can’t wait to actually eat food you enjoy, all weekend or all evening.
Always go 100%.
After you create your “perfect” meal plan or “diet rules”, start worrying about screwing them up.
Create a sense of future epic failure that justifies overeating.
“It’s Saturday, I’m out with my family, and I can’t have my regular pre-portioned perfect chicken salad like I usually do for lunch, so instead, I’ll just overeat a large double-cheese pizza.”
Don’t be reasonable about this. That’s for weaklings and quitters who like being mediocre.
Trade-off good behavior.
Just like being five years old, you get time off your bonuses, and freebies for being a good girl.
One “good deed” gives you license to “sin” elsewhere.
“Good” eating during the week gives you permission to be “bad” on the weekends. Or “good” eating during the day gives you permission to be “bad” at night.
Say “Screw it”.
You’ve gone out for drinks and appetizers with the girls. That means screw it, you’ve “blown your diet”, so you might as well keep eating before tomorrow morning.
Doesn’t matter if you’re full. Keep going until your esophagus clogs.
With the Screw It Effect, there are no half measures.
Have a “Cheat Day”.
Monday through Saturday is your food purgatory. But Sunday . . . oh, Sunday.
That’s Cheat Day. The happiest day of your week.
You wake up Cheat Day morning like a kid at Christmas. Go hog wild all day long, eating all the stuff you didn’t permit yourself during the week.
Then as evening nears, start to freak out. And eat (and maybe drink) even more.
Because tomorrow, it’s back to “the rules”. And strict compliance. And no fun.
Live out familiar scripts and stories.
Weekends and evenings are full of great dramatic scripts where you play the helpless victim.
It could be anything.
You were so busy. Or maybe you had nothing going on.
You were traveling. Or maybe you were at home.
You were at work. Or you had no work to do.
You had family/social meals. Or maybe you ate alone.
Anything, any story, will do.
Poor you! So powerless against the great forces of evil!
Avoid the void.
It’s late at night. Or maybe Sunday afternoon. Or you’re on the long drive home from work.
For a brief time, nobody’s demanding your attention. No boss, no kids, no aging parents. You’re blissfully alone. Exhausted, maybe, but relieved.
Now there’s a big empty space. What do you do with yourself?
You eat. (Or you drink.) That’s what.
We will talk about the cure for Weekenditis and how to fix these problems in our next blog next week.
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