If you live in the US, you probably just finished up with a long weekend.
I’m going to guess you went to the beach, or sat by a pool, probably stayed up too late, ate way too much BBQ, and probably drank your fair share of Bud Lights. You woke up this morning feeling like crap and maybe even a little guilty for not strictly following your diet and going to the gym.
You’re still alive right? Did you have fun? In my opinion, memories and experiences are what make life worth living. You won’t remember the night you ate a spinach salad and went to bed early, but you’ll certainly remember the night you stayed up with your best friends until four in the morning drinking beers and telling stories about college. Exercise and diet are meant to enhance your standard of living, not completely overtake it so that you don’t have any fun.
My roommate had five friends come into town, and I spent most of the weekend watching college football with them (and had an awesome doing so). I ate probably a dozen burgers, drank plenty of beer, didn’t sleep much, and spent far too much time playing Excite-Bots, a ridiculously illogical game for the Wii that makes no sense and yet has me completely addicted. At 12:30 last night I finally got an S ranking (which is for some reason better than A) on all courses on all difficulties, so now I can finally reclaim my life and get back to business.
This should be your course of action for today: realize you had a great weekend and pick up right where you left off. Unless you made the decision to start doing hardcore drugs or kill a hooker, you can’t do too much damage to yourself in just a few days. Didn’t sleep enough? Go to sleep early tonight. Skipped exercising? Hit up the gym today. Ate too much? Go back to eating in moderation right now. Most importantly, don’t let a long weekend cause you to get derailed. To quote Billy Madison, one of the finest films of our generation:
Whoa whoa whoa, Miss Lippy. The part of the story I don’t like is that the little boy gave up looking for Happy after an hour. He didn’t put posters up or anything, he just sat on the porch like a goon and waited. That little boy’s gotta think ‘You got a pet. You got a responsibility.’ If your dog gets lost you don’t look for an hour then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that f***ing dog.
Let’s put this in context. So you lost your way a little bit this weekend; don’t let it destroy all of the progress you’ve made. If you had a (fun) lapse and ate three bags of sun chips and fourteen hot dogs, don’t sit there like a goon and beat yourself up over it. You simply get your ass out there, and you lift some f***ing weights! Or run a f***ing mile! Or climb a f***ing mountain! Whatever it is you do to stay active, f***ing do it!
For future long weekends, it’s okay indulge a little; just don’t let it send you off the deep end. Take your kids out to get ice cream. Go to a bar and watch football and drink beer. Eat a whole bag of chips. In fact, some studies have shown that giving yourself a day of extra calories causes your efficient metabolism to work extra hard to burn them, which actually carries over to the next few days when you return to eating healthy, which will cause you to lose MORE weight (read about Tim Ferriss’s support of this practice here). I don’t know if this is true or not, but hey, it might make you feel a little better about drinking beers and playing Halo every once and a while.
Live a little. This is the only chance we get. Now get back on that f***ing horse!
Speaking of Billy Madison, here is my favorite scene. It starts about halfway into the clip.