Often I find myself dragging in the gym on Monday’s because of the hole that I worked so hard to dig during the weekend from the overindulgence of delectable foods and drink. I mention this issue because I have the feeling that I’m not the only one who has this experience. My work week is filled with routine and I am usually pretty dialed in to making healthy food choices to support my workouts. However, when Friday’s roll around I tend towards the desire to cut the chains of my wellness restrictions and delve into…well….whatever is in front of me. I’ve found that this cycle of transitioning between discipline, inordinate pleasure seeking and back to discipline causes havoc on my body and it is usually Wednesday by the time I feel like things are humming again.
I wanted to address this issue with some ideas to consider. I’m not suggesting that we just scrap all of our weekend joy, but rather I’d like to provide options so that we can maintain a visual on our mission, which is to gain self-mastery through fitness and nutrition in order that we experience the freedom to be open to an encounter with Christ.
Be Directed Toward the Other
Weekends are usually filled with celebrations amongst friends and family for various occasions and activities that we personally enjoy like watching football. We also find ourselves diving into projects at home or other hobbies. I recommend that if you are going to enjoy a drink or snack, like something filled with sugar, that you consider limiting these occasions on the weekend to times where you are with others. Whether that be a family get together to celebrate a birthday or accomplishment or just time spent with your wife, be intentional about when you choose to indulge on the finer things in life so that you can enjoy them with others. This will help us to avoid downing a 12 pack of beer while we work in the shop by ourselves or during a football watching bender. It will help us keep in mind the purpose for feasting…relationship, communion, and encountering the other.
Remember Your Mission
While we often fall into this trap and listen to the script in our heads which whispers that we ought to be able to toss off the shackles of our oppressive wellness plan, and enjoy life a little, this outlook can obscure the view of our mission…freedom. By indulging inordinately in food and drink on the weekends, we are not unchaining ourselves from undue restrictions, but rather run right into the trap and wrap ourselves in the chains of addiction which can result in the loss of freedom that we battle each week to acquire. While feasting at appropriate times is good and healthy, we must remember that our goal is to gain the freedom that God designed us for, and if we can’t say “no”, then our “yes” means nothing.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If you find that each Monday you are kicking yourself for the choices you made which makes your path to wellness and freedom an uphill battle, don’t beat yourself up. It’s very easy to fall into despair that we continuously repeat the same mistakes over and over. There is a reason that we seek out the great tasting food and drink that we indulge in on the weekends….they’re good! Rather than beating yourself up about your choices, or worse resigning to the idea that you can’t do anything about it, find a battle buddy to help you and don’t consider it a failure, but an opportunity to grow and learn about yourself. This person can be your wife or a friend who you can be vulnerable with. Set realistic goals with them before the weekend begins and check in during and after to report how you did.
These are just a few ways that you can actively change the trajectory of your wellness plan and create better Monday’s. While your bodily wellness is important, the larger battle that is taking place is the one you can’t see…the fight for your soul. It’s imperative to realize that the more we exteriorly look like warriors, we develop at the same time the self-discipline needed to be warriors for Christ.