Food for Thought on a Tuesday

Most of us are waking up this morning after enjoying a 3 or 4- day weekend. These long weekends are the times we all look forward to. In fact, many of us live from one long week to next long weekend. The glimpse of a long weekend in the horizon is what gives us the energy to push through the harder, longer days.

My long weekend was jam packed, or at least it felt jam packed. I started the weekend celebrating my third wedding anniversary with my husband. We went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on the Jersey Shore.  The weekend continued, involving BBQs, beach time,  family fun and an excellent wedding. And of course with fun and social interactions comes food. My little brother and I joked that we actually think we ate our weight in red, white and blue peanut M&Ms this weekend. And those M&Ms are what I like to call “unintended calories.” Unintended calories are the foods that we eat that we never plan to. Sure we all planned to eat and drink more than usual, its a holiday weekend but its things like a big bowl of M&Ms sitting around the house on a rainy day that get us. It’s the, “i’m completely full from dinner but someone suggested going out for ice cream calories”. It’s the “register calories,” I’m ordering a coffee why not grab a cookie at checkout. Or the conversation is so interesting we sit at the table for another hour picking at the crumb cake calories. All unintended calories.

For me, by 1 pm Monday, I was starting to feel exhausted. In fact, when I went to put my daughter down for her nap, I ended up falling asleep also. I found myself longing for the weekend to end so I could get back to my routine, our routine. A routine that involves eating like a normal person.

That’s because much of my exhaustion came from the fact that I ate poorly and overindulged. Not only did the actual food zap my energy but the emotions of eating the food zapped my energy.  Because my unintended calories bring emotions with them. After I eat them, I have all the feels. Regret, anger and frustration with myself for once again being in the place I said I wouldn’t be. I’m sure you can relate. We feel sluggish, bloated, we want to only wear sweatpants and sleep. We get to a point where we start craving healthy food for both our bodies and our minds.

We’ve all heard of the term, “sunday scaries, or “sunday anxiety.”  Many of us suffer from it, me included. And when it hits and we’re away from home we immediately want to rush home. Many times rushing home to get absolutely nothing done because the anxiety feel paralyzing.

We’ve always assumed that sunday anxiety is due to thinking about all we have to do for the upcoming week. We panic that our time with no responsibilities is coming to an end and it’s time to get back to the real world. But think about this…What if the sunday scaries are more about wanting the weekend to end vs. not wanting the week to start?  What if our sunday anxiety is actually the energy of longing to get back to our routine? The anxiety is actually the sad reality that we have to undo the damage from a weekend of bad eating. We have to now add “lose weight” to your to-do list.

So that got me thinking ahead to next weekend.  I don’t want the weekends to be cut short mid day sunday by the anxiety of what I did and what I have to do. It sounds counterintuitive that we’d wait all week for the freedom of the weekend and then crave the structure of our week and routine but it’s a reality for me. Overeating and drinking take a toll on us. As much as we HATE the thought of eating healthy, it’s healthy for our mind. Talk about “FOOD FOR THOUGHT.” And the motivation you may need.

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