Friday, September 3, 2010

Holiday Binging - one day or four?

I don't know about you, but when a holiday is coming up and I'm in a relationship, I rarely stick to the idea that it's just a one-day celebration. Take this weekend, for instance. It's Labor Day this Monday... but we refer to it as "Labor Day Weekend." Most people I know are getting off work a little early today (Friday) and are planning on thoroughly enjoying themselves from Happy Hour tonight to when they collapse from BBQ overload on Monday evening. 

See if this scenario sounds familiar to you...

Wake up Friday morning to get ready for work.... but you may have stayed up a little late last night because you know that it will be an "easy" day because it's a holiday weekend. You may even treat yourself to a little frothy, mocha, latte, frapafataccino with whipped cream, caramel and fudge laced over the top.... because, hey, let's hang with the co-workers since it's bullsh*t that you're still in the office when you should have already gotten on the road to avoid holiday traffic. That coffee drink break is a both a little treat to start the celebration as well as a slightly rebellious symbol of freedom because "you're an adult and you can eat whatever you want, dammit!" And you're excited to get home and finally RELAX and enjoy your quality time with your sweetheart.

It's not even noon yet and a few bad habits are starting:
1. Not enough sleep makes you crave more calories (and caffeine) to compensate for being tired.
2. The celebration begins even though the "holiday" isn't until Monday.
3. You're using food as a reward and compensation instead of fuel... not a very healthy association that can backfire over weeks and months of "treating yourself".
4. You're setting up the context of the entire weekend with the first "meal" of the day... so you will be more inclined to say, "Screw it! I'm on vacation!" for the rest of the weekend.

Let me ask you... do you think you're MORE likely to indulge the rest of the weekend when you are hanging out with your partner? Are you MORE likely to sleep in and skip a morning workout when it's a holiday weekend and good lovin' is just a snuggle away and there's no alarm clock for three whole days? And do you have any EXTRA obligations that come with your partner's world? (Like HIS parents, siblings or friends so you can't just focus on the stuff you'd like to do?)

That's all I'm saying. It's not that love isn't FABULOUS. It's just that it's so much easier to push your healthy commitments aside when you want to celebrate. And I always feel like celebrating MORE when I'm in love... and there always seems to be more people to see and things to do when I'm in a relationship.

When I'm totally single, I can go to my brother's for the BBQ on Monday but the weekend can be spent sleeping in (and really SLEEPING!) and I can get in a leisurely workout or a hike and not be rushed. Plus, if I indulge on Friday morning with some kind of treat, I can get back on track easier when I only have to worry about MY meals and MY entertainment for rest of the weekend.

So, how do you fix it? For me, awareness is key. Notice when you decide to stay at home instead of go dancing. Notice when you skip healthy activities because you want to cuddle instead. Notice when you 'celebrate' on your own as well as WITH your partner. Splitting a dessert is a GREAT strategy when you're in love. Don't skip out on your workouts. Learn to cook a meal together with fresh veggies. And ladies, try a pole-dancing class... trust me.

Would love to hear if you AGREE or if you have found any other strategies that work for you.

Health & Happiness,


  1. I know exactly what you're talking about! Gearing up now for a family cookout on Monday. My b/f and I "used" to get comfy Friday after work. We would say, it's a long weekend and it's been a hard week. Next thing ya know, we're both pushing hot fudge sundaes! The gates are open let the gluttony continue right up and through the cookout. Then comes the repercussions of our loss of control, feeling sad and depressed because you lost control all weekend. It sucked....bad. Mind you, I have over 100# to lose and my b/f has at least 50. Now, when my b/f and I start "talking" food too much, we know it's a "sign" that we're getting ready to let go. Awareness has been HUGE for us. Once we know it's the mood that makes us eat, rather than actual hunger, it passes and we still have our fun.

  2. Amen. How sad is it that I'm happy DH is out of town this weekend? I mean, sure, I'll miss him, but I also miss fitting in my skinny jeans. (Hell, he probably misses me fitting into my skinny jeans.) If he was here, the vacay would start, uh, 5 minutes ago. Our favorite way to celebrate is with food, and with the whole weekend of gluttony ahead of us, we might as well get a head start. With him gone, I'll have plenty of time to work, rest... and then eat my heart out on Monday. And it's easier for me to recover from a crazy meal or even afternoon than it is to recover from 4 days of sugary goodness.

  3. Its so true!! I can never seem to just take the one day it always turns into the whole weekend 3-4 days...then the next week I'm cranky, bloated, tired and stressed. Some days I feel like I could just come home and have a light meal but, then I realize I have Shawn to think about he doesn't want a salad he wants food, heavy stick to you thighs food....I have got to learn a better way!!