This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday and I kicked Weekend's Butt.

I am super tired this morning and I'm not sure why. I really didn't want to get up today. But, here I am at work and hard at it. Ha ha. As I catch up on blogs and comments and such.

The weekend ended nicely and I am still amazed at how differently I eat now. Yesterday I made steak, salad and baked potato for dinner. I measured out about 4 oz of steak. It was juicy and tasty. But, I ate about half and felt like I might explode. I ate 1/2 the potato. And I ate a good portion of salad. The salad was lovely with mixed greens, sweet orange and red bell peppers, yellow tomatoes, red onion, pear and cranberry goat cheese.  Last night we fed our family of 5 on 2 good sized rib eye steaks. A year ago, I could have eaten a whole one by myself. Last night I ate about 2-2.5 ounces of meat and woke up this morning still full.

The weekend and potential pitfalls did not get me off track. I have to say I have gotten this weekend thing figured out. I'm going to give you the secret now. Please pay attention. If you want to know how to lose weight over the weekend like I did this week (a whole pound), this is how you do it. Ready? Are you ready for the secret? Here it is:


There you go. I've figured it out. I went to 2 different socials this weekend. Both of them offered opportunity for extreme eating. Hot dogs, cupcakes, cotton candy, popcorn, cakes, brownie, cookies, ice cream, alcohol.  All of it was available. All of it was FREE. And I ate none. Well...I confess I ate 1/2 of a chocolate chip cookie and 1 Mikes Hard Lemonade Light. 

Here's the deal. Stop lying to yourself. You can have fun without food. You can be social without food or alcohol. You can relax without a bag of chips in your lap. You can laugh and yell at the TV when the big game is on without the hot wings. You have to realize that your body burns the same amount of calories Monday-Friday as it does on the weekend. Why do we fool ourselves into believing that "a little splurge" is no big deal?  The truth is my BIG FAT FAT LIFE, is one "little splurge" after another. 

I was never one of those fat people that ate that badly. I love veggies and salads and fruits. They've always been a part of my life. But, I am an emotional eater. That means that I reward myself for making it through the week with eating Pizza, Hamburgers, Desserts, Snacks and whatever the hell else happened to be handy on the weekends. I am also a closet eater at times. I didn't want people at work see me eating that crap. So I would "be good" all week only to allow myself to "splurge a little" when I had. And how did that work out for me? GREAT if my goal was to maintain. I stayed around the same weight for the last 15 years. 240-260 pounds.

The truth is that being healthy cannot be the punishment and those weekend splurges the reward for living healthy through the week. It just doesn't work. You have to either eat right or not. Realize that these splurges are doing your brain no favors. They train your brain to crave them. They train your brain to expect them. They make getting through the days you plan to be "good" harder. They just do.

Now, it doesn't mean that there aren't times I plan to eat a little more. I might plan to eat something special for a SPECIAL occasion. But, that is a rare thing. The weekends are not special enough to me to risk my progress. The truth is I have to ask myself, "Is this splurge worth my life?"  Is having a piece of cake at my kids birthday party important enough to risk putting me off my track to healthy? Wouldn't my kid rather have a healthy Mommy around to see them grow up MORE than eating a piece of their cake? Wouldn't I rather have weight loss and health than that pizza? 

When I first started down this road, I was not doing great on the weekends. I was eating whatever. What I figured out from tracking my food and weighing is that I would lose weight all week, gain over the weekend and spend the next week losing those same 1-2 pounds. I was getting no where. If you are letting yourself splurge 1-2 days a week, that is most likely what is happening to you. I also figured out that I began to expect to eat crap on the weekends. I fell back into my mindless eating where I see food, shove it in my mouth before I thought about if I was hungry and before I thought about how many calories I'd had already that day. And pretty soon, those weekend splurges started Friday evening. So I was really splurging 3 days out of 7.

And now that I've come to this realization, I know that there is no reason why I can't get through ANY occassion, ANY stress ANY holiday and still eat well. Name me one reason OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT I DON'T WANT TO, that I can't.  There is ALWAYS a choice. At Halloween, I can say no to candy. I can eat an apple with fat free caramel for a treat instead. At Thanksgiving there is turkey and veggies. What's healthier than that?  Plus I can make my sugar free fruit pie that has only 175 calories a slice. At Christmas, I can SKIP making the candy. I can eat the ham and make sweet potatoes baked with a little Splenda brown sugar and cinamon instead of the sugary creamy mess we usualy make.

The only thing that keeps me from making healthy choices is ME. It is me choosing that I don't want to eat healthy at that minute. That is fine if I'm OK with gaining a little weight and dealing with the consequences of craving bad foods again for a time after. Fact is I'm to the point that none of that is OK with me. I realize that the attitude of "I don't care right now. I'm going to eat what I want and enjoy it" has stood in my way for sooo long. The fact is that I HAVE to care and I HAVE to find a way to eat healthy AND enjoy it. Doing that is the key to long term success.

What about you? How are you handling your weekends?  Are you still caught up in the cycle of  lose, splurge, lose, splurge and cycling those same 2 pounds on and off every week?  There are a LOT of occasions coming.  Have you decided if they are worth a setback in your weight? Do you really want to start this year with yet another resolution to lose those 10-15 pounds you gained over the holiday? Is JUST maintaining OK with you for the Holidays?

Because it damn sure isn't for me. I am determined to start this next year at a lower weight than ever before.  I am going to be free to think about something other than weight at resolution time this year because I know I'm already on track and losing. I am determined to get through this holiday madness knowing I've LOST weight and prove to myself that I AM NEVER GOING BACK to my old ways.

I am going to finally stop rewarding myself with food. Living a healthy life IS THE REWARD. I think I have finally got it.  Have you???


  1. Bravo, Doc! I was a weekday dieter for awhile, then figured it out about the weekends. Now I make healthy choices and plan ahead. It has become habit for me, and it's so easy. If I eat a piece of pizza, it's taken into consideration with my daily calorie count. Live and learn.

  2. Exactly right. There's ALWAYS going to be a special occasion. So there's no reason to eat something shitty for it.
    Way to kick ass this weekend.

  3. That's a great insight -- it's easy to fall into the trap of giving oneself little treats because it's the weekend, it's a party, it's free. But that's what ends up getting us obese. Nice post!

  4. Weekends have been my downfall lately for the same reasons you list in your post. I do good all week then let it go on the weekend.
    I'm changing my attitude today and getting my shit together once and for all. My choices have not been to my benefit lately and I AM going to do something about it!

  5. It's dangerously easy to use all those excuses as a crutch. I catch myself doing it all the time. "If I wasn't so BUSY, I'd be doing much better!" Life is always busy. Get over it. Love, love this post!

  6. Amen! Well said. I'm afraid I'm convicted by the evidence of my little green & pink charts. You'll notice that the pink parts are ALL on Friday's or Saturdays--meaning I've overindulged on the weekends. The good news is that there hasn't been a pink peak for the past few weeks. Yay. maybe I'm learning.

  7. Thanks for the post today Doc! It comes at an apportune time for me as i have been going from strength to strength since the start of my "lifestyle adjustment" 57 days ago, but this weekend i faltered....not in too major a way but it was definitely a falter, and it was brought on by me drinking a few glasses of vino instead of the One i usually limit myself to at the weekend.

    The points you raise are bang on the money and i am also NEVER going back to my old ways so i have picked up today as if nothing out-of-the-ordinary happened at the weekend because, as you say, I have a CHOICE and i am choosing to fight the flab and this is infinitely more important that a bag of crisps, or a piece of chocolate.

    Good post.

  8. Couldn't agree with you more!
    Today is day 1 of my weekend (i work weekends) and the hubs and i are biking to a pizza bowling party we've been invited to. No pizza for me just throw me the water bottles!
    I know when i get home i've got homemade chili in the crockpot and a glass of wine that i've counted into my daily calorie count! I'm looking forward to it.

  9. Agree completely. My thing is portion control. I strive to make it a 7-day-a-week and every meal thing. It's got to be the rule, not the exception. All.The.Time.

  10. You are so right!! I am going to do alright with the holidays though. I haven't gained weight through the holidays since I stopped working at a hospital. I loved this post!!!

  11. Bravo! I really love this post. It totally touches on everything that I think everyone needs to believe in, in order to succeed and I agree with almost every word. I say almost because I was speed reading and I'm not sure if I missed a word or two that I didn't agree with, lol.

    My weekends are ok. They're not that great, but they are getting much better. I have realized that I can't always count calories when I go to birthday parties and family gatherings, but I can still eat healthy and not ruin anything for myself! Just because I can't count calories doesn't mean I should eat a piece of cake that I clearly wouldn't touch if I knew I had a set amount of calories left.


  12. So true, and YES, you can socialize without it being all about the food (even when food is present)! I only recently started rewarding my long runs with food, which is probably not a good thing, but around mile 8 it sure helps get me through! One of these days I'll have to change that. :)

  13. Awesome post! It's what I've been saying all along that we are all trying to train ourselves to do - make good mindful choices about food. And we all get there our own way. Some people get really mad when you don't restrict certain foods or call your lifestyle a "diet" but it's all the same in the end. you always inspire me! Thanks again!

  14. This is just what I've been doing for months - losing and gaining the same few pounds. And I'm tired of it! I could have written some of this post, and it's good to know that not only am I not so different but that actually there IS a way to overcome the negative cycle. Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Awesome post. I left an award for you on my blog. Thanks for the word of encourgement.

  16. Did you make a deal with the devil to get the Rangers in the Series??? First Oklahoma goes down, now Romo gets crunched. That Cowboys performance was pathetic in so many ways! But I liked the guy with the "Cliff Lee for QB" sign! At least you have that going for you on Wednesday.

  17. Great post as usual Doc. I have been pretty dang good on the weekends. Probably the only challenge I face is that during the week, I have a strict regimen based on I am at work, school, then home, so there is structure. On the weekends, my structure is there for the morning as I get up, internet for a bit then walk, fix breakfast. But after that I have a bit of a free wheeling period. what saves me is the fact that I still eat at my prescribed times that I do during the week. Snack at 9, lunch around 11ish, snack at 2 and dinner around 6ish. That has kept me pretty much in line for the weekends.


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