So…it’s Sunday night…after a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips. You think: ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow’.

You spent another weekend consisting of too many treats, drinks, and “who cares”.

Friday was going well until you busted out of the office to start blowing up all the hard work you put in during the week. Now here you are, depressed and frustrated you couldn’t stick it out through the weekend.

So what the heck happened?

We call it ‘Weekenditis’.

It’s viral, highly contagious, and here’s how it spreads:

1. Be perfect. You follow everything to the teaspoon or ounce throughout the week from Monday morning to Friday afternoon. Your sick of the boring, bland, and restrictive eating so you can’t wait to actually enjoy food all weekend long.

2. Always go 100%. After you create a “perfect” template or “diet rules” you start worrying about screwing them up. Create an epic scenario that justifies overeating:

  • “It’s just a cheat meal.”
  • “I’m out with my family, shouldn’t I enjoy it?”
  • “My friend is just in town for the weekend.”

3. Trade off good behavior. Just like being a 5-year old, you get freebies for being a good boy or girl. Good deeds in one area give you halo. Now you’re allowed to sin.

4. Say “screw it”. Also known as the “what the hell effect”. When you eat something “wrong” or “bad” you don’t stop. You say “what the hell” and keep eating more. And more.

5. Have a “cheat day”. Spend the week in food purgatory and let Sunday be your “happy” day. Break the rules, because tomorrow it’s back to the rules. And strict compliance. And no fun.

6. Rationalize. You were traveling. Busy. At a game. Working. Doing it for the kids. Pick something anything and make yourself the victim of circumstance!

7. Avoid the Sunday blahs. It’s Sunday funday. That means you get to enjoy yourself. And that means eating. Eating whatever you want and how much you want!

How we challenge ‘Weekenditis’:

1. Be “good enough”. Perfectionism is self-destructive and not the same thing as excellence. Be a little better than the day before.

2. Operate along a spectrum of possible options. All-or-nothing thinking paints a false black and white scenario. What are “better” or “not so bad” options for you?

3. Come back to your grown up values. Trading good for bad is for little kids. As an adult, come back to your values and principles are when you sit down to eat.

4. Learn your own hunger and fullness cues. Notice when, where, and how likely you are to say “what the hell”. Strict rules and prohibited foods always lead to overeating unhealthy choices.

5. Cultivate an abundance mindset. Some clients enjoy the down time to relax and to enjoy meals not on the plan. If that’s you, go for it. We find most think of this as a moment you’re waiting for all week and everything else is food purgatory. Like “cheat foods” are scarce. Scarcity creates greed, anxiety, and neediness. Abundance allows us to feel calm, satisfied, and fulfilled.

6. Notice (and challenge) the stories you’re telling yourself. Rationalizing your decisions is a handy way to make sense of your erratic behavior. They take away your freedom of choice and make you a victim of circumstance. Investigate what you are feeling and what you are telling yourself about a particular situation. This doesn’t get you off the hook or make them go away, but you can have an adult conversation with yourself about it.

7. Get out of your head and into your life. Sunday blahs are the result of lacking connection or contentment after a week of busyness. Add meaningful activity to your weekend rather than filling the void with a snack.

Please let us know how we can help you develop the skills and habits to win over the weekend and cure Weekenditis!

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