Enjoying the WEAK-end

October 12, 2009 at 3:22 pm 4 comments

calendarI’m going to enlighten you on my eating patterns, and I want you to tell me if this sounds familiar to you:

Monday – Friday, I have a very balanced diet. I eat every few hours. I prepare vegetables and meals at home so I’m well stocked with nutritious food for the week.  I diligently keep a food journal and write down everything I eat, and I go to the gym often.  Then Friday night hits and it all goes downhill. I’m not on any kind of schedule, I neglect my food journal, and I end up snacking, a lot, in front of the refrigerator. I eat foods I normally would not during the week. I sit on the sofa, bulging belly, and curse myself for eating too much—again.  And then I vow that I’ll get back on track on Monday.

Does this sound like you, or someone you know? Hmm, yeah, thought so.

I was detailing the above scenario to my mother last night. On a side note, I’ll admit, I’ve been really frustrated lately. I’ve been studying my ass off for school,  holding down a full time day job, trying to maximize time with Matt, and oh, yeah, friends too(who have been so understanding), and taking care of myself (gym, etc). It’s a very difficult and delicate balancing act that I’m trying to work on here. And when I get stressed, or when I procrastinate, I eat. A lot. An often. Oh, and just for the record, my clothes are getting too tight.

 So, I was telling my mom that on the weekends lately it seems that all bets are off for me and my diet. Actually, let me back up first. If  I’m going to be really straight up with you, I called my mom crying, sobbing that I was out of control with my eating (I think I even used that nasty 3-letter “F” word), my pants don’t fit, and that I was miserable (In my world, this is known as a major pity-party—lucky you didn’t get an invitation!)  Anyway, I’ve been super stressed from the week and these feelings manifest themselves through my relationship with food. You’re stressed? Have another serving of food. Tired? Oh, poor baby, some more peanut butter will help. Don’t want to start studying that next chapter? Nothing says procrastination like crackers and hummus. Please, I experienced ALL of those just this past weekend. I’m an expert in making excuses why I should eat.

And my wise mother (who is a super-talented acupuncturist and holistic healer and deals with this all the time), told me: “Amanda, that’s why they call it the weak-end…W-E-A-K.”  Oh my goodness, is my mom the smartest or what? It makes so much sense, and so clever! Monday-Friday, we’re “good” with our diet.  We count our calories and don’t eat dessert. But come Saturday and Sunday we throw that out the window (I’m right there with you.)

So what can I/we do to turn our WEAK-ends back into plain ol’ WEEK-ends? My mom asked me for the techniques I use to keep me disciplined during the week. Keeping a food journal and drinking boat-loads of water are the top two. “Well,” she said, “You just have to get more diligent about writing everything down. You know your weaknesses. You need to make it a priority.” So simple, so wise, so true. Love you, Mom.

So, after a weekend of eating a lot (and a stuffed belly one too many times), I’m vowing that this coming weekend will NOT be a WEAK-end (And it’s Monday, so I have 5 days to mentally prepare myself). No! It will be an empowering WEEK-end! It will definitely be a challenge, since I’ll be home all weekend studying, so I really have to be hyper-aware of how I am using food during stressful times. It also comes down to choices. I have a CHOICE as to how I respond to my stressors. At the moment when I walk to the refrigerator when I’m not hungry, I have the CHOICE to stop myself and really ask: “Is this what you want?” I have no right to claim I’m a victim in this story, since it’s always been me making these choices.

Do you experience weak-ends? What kind of techniques do you use to keep you on track? Please share!!

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Abbs  |  October 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I’m the opposite. I eat really well during the weekend but during the week, I get suckered into eating the boatloads of garbage that people bring into work…candy, cookies, etc. I am trying to overcome this myself so I don’t have any useful tips..except this: it’s less abotu eating and more about the habit of going over to that candy drawer…that’s the problem.

    Reply
    • 2. Amanda  |  October 12, 2009 at 7:54 pm

      Abbs,
      You’re definitely in the minority on this one, but those candy bowls are SO tough to avoid! My tip: keep healthy snacks on hand in your office, or chew gum. I know how hard it is, but here’s the good thing about saying “NO”: The more you practice saying it (No, bad chocolate covered goodness!) the easier it will be to bypass the sweets. Our brains are hardwired to seek out and enjoy sweet, fattening things…and the more we flex our “NO” muscle, the easier it will be.

      Reply
  • 3. Sheri  |  October 12, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I am like Abbs. I can usually avoid the snacks people bring in and the vending machine. However, I have so much more stress M-F that I find my way to unhealthy foods. My meals are prety balanced but it’s the “extracurricular” eating that gets me in trouble. I usually buy the snacks or comfort food on my way home from work. I try to walk a different way to break my pattern. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

    On the weekends I have less stress therefore less random eating.

    Thanks for this post. It’s great to know that I am not alone in the madness!

    Reply
    • 4. Amanda  |  October 12, 2009 at 11:28 pm

      Hi Sheri,
      Thanks for your comments. David Kessler’s fabulous must-read book, “The end of Overeating,” details what you just mentioned…that a great trick for not indulging in snacks/comfort food is to change your route! By consciously walking a different way home, you’re telling your brain “Nope, uh-uh, no way jose” and hopefully it will just become easier.
      You are definitely NOT alone in the madness!!! And by the way, I love your blog….I couldn’t believe Nutella is touting itself as a healthy product. Seriously, do they think we’re that stupid (apparently, yes)

      Reply

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