Wasting the Weekends

FitSugar put out a question: What is your biggest weekend vice?

The options were:

  • eating out too much,
  • drinks,
  • not exercising,
  • not getting enough sleep,
  • eating junk food or desserts,
  • social smoking.

Sadly, I couldn’t pick just one – I am guilty of so many of these vices!

I don’t drink or smoke, but I frequently eat out on the weekend (though not necessarily bad in itself, why does it so often include hot chips (french fries)?), I don’t get any exercise in, I stay up way too late, and eat too many treats, and eat too much in general.

It’s not that my weekends are really wasted, in fact I get plenty done. I get some rest and recuperation, spend time with Mat, I do housework, yard work, we work on the renovations, I catch up on reading, socializing, blogging, do a lot of laundry, buy groceries, often cook meals and bake bread. It’s not all wasted.

But at the same time, there are some major opportunities lost.

I know some people are really great at doing their big workouts on the weekends, and really pack them full of productivity.

But for me, with a free weekend, I tend to have plenty of down-time, and down-time can often lead to mindless eating and grazing and I seriously don’t need the extra kilojoules. And even though I have early morning runs and training sessions planned, I often sleep in instead, have a long and leisurely breakfast, and then get distracted by different tasks and put off the exercise until two days have passed and it somehow hasn’t happened at all.

Perhaps this can be looked at in one of two ways:

  1. I have more time available and should be using it to further my goals, get in a great workout or two for the weekend, and that I should work harder to stick to my schedule and routine.
  2. Many of the other things that I choose to do aren’t wastes of time, they are still good choices and are important and move me towards goals, even if unrelated to fitness goals, so maybe I should reconsider what my expectations are for my weekends.

FitSugar had a few solutions to the ‘Lazy Day problem‘ and I was surprised that they didn’t say “get out there and exercise anyway” but just to keep your eye on some basic healthy practices to ensure you don’t get totally derailed.

Make drinking water a habit […] Get into the habit of having a water bottle close by whether you are running errands or relaxing on the couch.

Food needs some thought: On your free days, don’t throw your diet plans out of the window. Keep with your normal routine[…]

Set a limit to your vegging: You deserve a rest, especially if you’ve had a long week. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours and hours on the couch. Since it can be hard to motivate yourself to get moving if you are sitting comfy, schedule something fun that you know you have to get to — dinner or a leisurely walk with a friend, or a movie date. […]

I particularly like the last comment. It’s the vegging part of the day that I probably can do better with.

I think having a leisurely breakfast with Mat is a good thing for us! And housework is obviously a must, though I probably don’t have to spread it out over two days and be super slow about it. And although I enjoy reading, blogging, and spending time online, I think that’s one area where I can really improve by setting a time limit. And by setting up some sort of fun appointment with a friend to motivate me to get out and do something active!

So, to feel better about my weekends I think I need to:

  • reset some of my expectations about the amount of exercise I am planning to do
  • set an appointment with a friend to do something fun
  • drink water, and stick to a reasonable eating plan – enjoy indulgences, but don’t go overboard
  • set a limit on my couch time

Are you a weekend warrior – doing more exercise than you would in the balance of the week? Do you go completely off the rails and use them as a time of complete indulgence? Or do you strike a nice balance between the two? What are your strategies?


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