It’s Monday, and as we hit the scales earlier this morning, many of us thought back on what we did to undo all that hard work we put into the last week (or, should I say, the lost week).
For those reading this and thinking to themselves (or saying aloud), Yep. I did that, rest easy knowing you’re not alone.
What’s this week’s focus again, Aj?
I know…this week is all about pre- and post-workout nutrition, but I really just want to take time to discuss what so many call the “Monday Morning Blues” (or, if you love acronyms as much as I do, the MMBs).
Why are we so prone to suffering the MMBs?
Well, I think a lot of it has to do with how one spent the previous weekend. If Friday through Sunday was spent doing quality activities in a positive, healthy environment fueled by healthy (or at least mostly healthy) foods, my own experience tells me that the following Monday will offer a sense of purpose or mission. But if just one night of the weekend was spent playing College Frat Party Smack Down (Aj ~ Copyright 2012) and subsequent recovery, then guess what…Monday is going to be a real downer. Why? Because the body hasn’t fully recovered.
Yeah? Well, I don’t drink. So you’re not telling me anything I can use.
Think again. It doesn’t just take an alcohol bender on Friday to destroy a Monday. Same goes for what you eat.
Here’s How to Ensure a Cruddy Monday:
Say you watched carefully what you ate from breakfast on Monday until lunch on Friday. After clocking out for the day around five o’clock, you go home for pizza, beer and a movie night with your significant other. Okay. So what? Those things are great not only for recovery, but also for morale. Until…
You flop into bed sometime after midnight and 5 slices of greasy ‘za washed down with a sixer of your favorite craft beer. Oh yeah…and you got “snacky” during your Dexter marathon and grazed on a bag of microwaved popcorn (made with real movie theater butter!).
Your last thought before drifting off for a fitful night of pizza- and Dexter-induced nightmares is, I wonder if I’ll be up to going for that run in the morning. Guess what…you won’t be. And if you force it (which would at least be something), it still won’t undo what you did the night before.
The next morning, as you tie your runners and ponder whether or not you should run with a food and beer hangover, your buddy texts you asking to join him at a pub that evening. You agree, but promise yourself not to drink. You make good on your promise (good for you!), but you compromise by scarfing down the free bar food during happy hour.
Sunday you go to the gym and sweat, sweat again, and sweat one more time. You kill it!
Monday morning you get up, warm up the shower, stand on the scale and realize you’ve gained 5 lbs since Friday morning.
“Not fair,” you cry. But it is fair. You lost the battle, and now you’re headed into work with a defeatist and defensive mindset. Yeah, man…Mondays stink!
Hold on a second. I told you I don’t drink!
Right. Take away the beers from that scenario and replace them with a vanilla shake or a couple of non-diet sodas. Same story, buddy. Sorry.
Why Is Life So Unfair and Difficult?
It’s all about perspective. Think of it this way:
You’ve just spent your Saturday picking the weeds out of your garden. You step back, stretch your aching muscles, and enjoy the pleasant return on your investments of time and energy.
Then you grab a handful of weeds and spread them around your garden a bit. A little here. A few there. A great big ol’ prickly one there… Yes. That ought to do it. What fun that was!
How should you expect your garden to look in the coming days and weeks? Filled with weeds, of course! Maybe even bigger and more numerous than before.
How to Make Mondays Awesome:
I’ve said it before and I say it again — Pay it forward! It’s okay to celebrate a little. Go ahead. Enjoy some pizza. Have a beer (or a shake…whatever). Just keep yourself in check. You didn’t allow those foods at all during the week. Remind yourself of that and take pride in it, and then take pleasure in each bite of pizza you take, knowing that it’s just a small reward for all your hard work. Be sure to do something physical over the weekend, too — Yard work, a day of swimming with the kids, a quick in-and-out visit to the gym. Just stay active, but rest when you can. Sleep in if it’s your turn to be a little selfish one morning. Your body needs it and you’ve earned it!
Walk into the future we all do. Walk into the past no one does.
Finally, don’t waste your time and energy worrying about what you did wrong last weekend or even the week before. Focus instead on what you can do today and tomorrow. Come Friday, picture the coming Monday morning. What do you want it to look like? Fixate on that image for a bit, and then act accordingly throughout the weekend.
P.S. That “walk into the future” bit…all mine, but I did say it in my head with Yoda’s voice.
Tomorrow: Pre-workout nutrition tips. Promise!