4th of Jul-Why did I eat so much?!

Let’s call a spade a spade, today is Monday… and I need to start a diet. I ate and drank a little too much at America’s birthday party.  This year, like every Monday after the 4th of July weekend, I swear to make amends for the extra calories I consumed in anything and everything with blue and red sprinkles.

I heard a fun fact on the beach this weekend from my husband’s cousin’s boyfriends mom – she told me she read that people drink more on the 4th of July than any other holiday. When I dug a little deeper into this statistic (by deeper I mean a quick Google search), I found a Time Magazine article from 2011 that said it was the 7th drunkest holidays. Following, Thanksgiving Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and a few others. Sounds about right. Regardless, we all drank a lot this weekend and ate even more.

So here’s my questions on this particular Monday morning: Why do we swear we are going to eat healthy the week leading up to the weekend? Why do we swear this year will be different than the past? We truly DO start each holiday weekend with the best intentions, but the minute we arrive at our designated BBQs or beach house gatherings those intentions are lost at the sight of a giant pie with strawberries and blueberries in the shape of an American Flag? How do we go from zero to 100 in the matter of seconds and only come up for air on Monday morning? Why do we feel so crappy this morning when we had such a fun weekend? Why do we have such a god damn love/hate relationship with holidays!?

I’m feeling a little extra sorry for myself this Monday because the week leading up to the 4th of July I was on an annual family lake vacation with my husband’s family. I know, counterintuitive to feel sorry for myself on vacation, but it’s for the sake of how I feel this morning, I had a week of crappy eating that I’m crucifying myself for, as opposed to the long weekend most Americans are recovering from.

Disclaimer: Because of this lake vacation my post was extra short last Monday due to limited Wi-Fi. I apologize. My mother scolded me.

Any who, let’s get back to my lake vacation/me acting like Joey Chestnut on a 7 day eating binge. As each family and couple arrived to the lake house this year and picked rooms similar to the opening scene of MTV’s Real World, we all stopped to unload our contributions on to the counter and into the cabinets of the 9 bedroom Andirodack style home. In a matter of 5 minutes, I was feeling overstimulated and off track at the sight of Harvest Cheddar Sunchips, Golden Oreos, Doritos and Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies.

After dropping off my bags in my room of choice, I headed to the porch to greet the family members already there. There I reached for my first Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale and toasted to a week at the lake. From that moment on I ate and drank more than I ever would.

Traditionally, first day of our stay, a couple of the girls in the house usually do a large shopping trip to get food for the week. This trip is very structured. We have a list of what dinners we will eat each night, what we need to make that dinner and how much to feed the large crowd. I like to be part of the grocery shopping crew. In part, because I feel I can control what I eat if I am the one who is buying the food. To make a long story short, the fruit, veggies, hummus, yogurts and nut milks I planned to slip into the cart went out the window at the sight of a 1.9 pound bag of Sour Patch watermelons for $4.99 and a sign that read 10 for $10 Bud Light Lime-aritas.

We did get a little unlucky this year in that our saturday to saturday lake house rental came with rain the first 5 days. This increased the eating and the drinking but that’s no excuse. I packed 5 pairs of running capris and 5 running tanks and they are the only things in my bag I didn’t have to wash this morning.

How do things spiral out of control so quickly? How does one chip turn into a chip binge?

I wish I had the answers… let’s talk it out.

A. I was once told that the reason we eat more on holidays and weekends is because it’s the time we are surrounded by family and friends and as much as we love them, they stir up emotions. Emotions lead most of us to eat. I definitely think that plays a big big role. However, it also places the blame on them and I think I need to take a little responsibility for sitting on the beach yesterday, under my umbrella, with an entire bag of Barnum Animal Crackers under the false assumption that they are patriotic because the bag is red.

B. We put way too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We have a hard time shaking off the all or nothing mentality. But if you get one flat tire, do you flatten the other three? No.

C. We think, this is the only day I am going to be able to eat a donut with blue and red sprinkles so I may as well eat it today. But let’s be serious. That’s kind of not true. Tomorrow they’ll just add the pink, yellow and green back and it’s the same damn donut.

Often times when we find ourselves in the same place over and over, year after year, we begin to doubt our own strength.

But my friends, here’s the thing, I cannot remember a July 5th (or 6th or 7th) where I haven’t felt like crap. Honestly I can’t. So today, I am just going to own that on the 4th of July  I eat everything and anything I want. It’s part of what makes me special instead of what makes me weak. The same way I own the fact that I have purple hair, I want a pet pig and I tried to make cornbread out of extra corn on the cob this weekend.

Celebrate who you are today and embrace your flaws. It’s so much better than putting yourself down and regretting what you ate. There’s no place for regret today.

We may form our bad habits, but eventually they form us. And that, I believe, is a good thing.

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