TGIF: Setbacks, Perceived Failures, and When We just Expect TOO Much

Last Friday Night Katy Perry

One of my newest obsession songs is Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”. Of course when I hear it I think of an awesome core class or a great cycling warm up, but to each his own. It also makes me think about the expectations and let down we have in the fitness world. Think of this:

You’ve kept your diet tight Monday through Friday night (maybe early afternoon) and you’ve made all of your workouts for the week, even adding a little extra weight to your squat and 1 more pushup. Sweet right? You bet! So Friday night you have plans for a Christmas party with friends. you end up drinking an unplanned cocktail and overdoing the crab cakes (I don’t blame you). So, Saturday morning you drag out of bed determined to punish your body into submission when you remember a shopping date with your bestie. You run out and pounds miles at the mall, carrying all your bags and talking up a storm. You both decide to grab lunch and as soon as you sit down you realize you are beyond starving, so you order an appetizer, eat the bread, and polish off all but 2 bites of you meal, feeling overstuffed and under successful at this point. You head home for a much needed nap before date night and buttery popcorn with the hubby. I mean, why not? By Sunday, you’re face down in a Cinnabon feeling like you have nothing to show for all the hard work you attempted the following week. You vow that next Friday will NOT suffer the same consequences.

Sound all to familiar? OK, back up a minute. First of all, let’s not discount ourselves for all the hard work we put into our health and fitness (not to mention tight booties and flat bellies!). In these situations the weekend syndrome and social conundrum take over. Think of it this way: Do you do the same thing Friday-Sunday that you do Monday-Friday (evening)? Not likely. This time of year our social calendar gets full and our energy can barely keep up. So, first of all, give yourself the props your deserve for keeping it tight during the week.

Now, there are loads of tricks that we in the health and fitness industry use to keep ourselves out of trouble. The best one I can give you is to NOT get all emotional about setbacks. Now, I don’t your crying in your ice cream, but we do tend to have an emotional reaction to perceived failure which triggers a chain reaction during our weekend festivities. Planning ahead is another way we keep ourselves on track. For me, it’s not about the scale, it’s about how I feel. I know when I eat too much junk or drink too much (not now, of course!) I don’t feel my best and I can’t function at my highest capacity for my weekend and all the social energy it takes. It’s a matter of health for me and that puts my decisions in a new light.

So, as you approach another weekend, plan ahead but remember to relax a bit. Nobody is perfect all the time and you shouldn’t expect it from yourself. Each day is a new day and you can avoid the snowball of guilt that can sometimes accompany weekends. Remember to make the most of your weekly workouts, focusing on calorie burning cardio (cycling, roller blading, running, kickboxing) and work those large muscle groups (glutes, quads, hams, chest, and back) to get the most metabolism boost. Keep you menu quality protein heavy. Think eggs, chicken breasts, bison, tuna and whitefish. Recent studies have shown that by keeping your diet heavier on the protein (1 gram per pound of body weight per day) your metabolism is naturally higher. Also, remember when treating that it is important to stay within a healthy portion. This will ensure you don’t crash hard later. Let me know how your healthy holidays are going with a comment below!

Merry Christmas!




Leave a Reply