Ever since final exams became a part of my life, I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with them. My saying was always, “a semester’s worth of hard-work, ruined in an hour.” I would slave away all semester long, writing papers, solving problems, taking tests, completing projects, and working very hard to attain an “A,” even if it was seldom achieved. Then finals would roll around at the end of the semester and F my ish right up. In a flash and a bang I would watch all of my hard work flush right down the drain.
I see that same pattern now with many people when it comes to weekend eating. Without even knowing it, people striving to eat healthy all week, the weekends can then hit like your least favorite subject’s final exam.
At the beginning of the week, I am super enthusiastic about making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each meal perfectly balanced: 2 palm-size portions of protein, 2 fist-size portions of veggies, a thumb-size portion of fat, and 1.5 cupped hand portions of carbs. Add drinking a ton of water daily on top of that and I am on track for gains (gains /ɡānz/ additional lean muscle mass). But then Friday night hits and business is no longer booming. Here comes the booze. Here comes the pizza. Here comes more booze. Here come the burgers and fries. Here come the cookies. And so on, until I get back on track come Sunday night or Monday morning. So once again, just like finals, the weekends fuck up all of my weekly hard work. Straight sabotaging my shit. However, it doesn’t need to be this way. Just like finals it all comes down to two things: mindset and preparation.
During college I took it as an inevitable detail of life that finals were put on this earth solely to dismantle the establishment brick by brick (me being the establishment in that analogy). Little did I know that if I had just prepared a bit more for them, I could have topsy-turvied finals and had them working in my favor to help improve my grades. Instead of bringing that B+ down to a B-, I could have been bumping a B+ to an A. SMH FML. With the knowledge that I now have about finals, I can improve my hypothetical weekend grade. Instead of undoing all of the great work I accomplished during the week, I can enhance it by staying disciplined and not jumping straight off the deep end. Of course it is much easier to take the easy route, whether it’s avoiding studying or consuming whatever you want Friday night through Monday morning. Like most things in life however, the easy way usually isn’t the best way. It’s the hard choices, the things that take effort, that are the most worthwhile and effective for creating the kind of change that makes us a better, healthier individual. These are the kinds of choices that are going to help make you strong, but you’re going to have to use the power of your mind to get you there.
I am not telling you to study for finals and to eat well and not party on the weekends. But if good grades are what you are trying to attain and finals are in the way of you achieving those impressive grades then yes, studying is a must. And if your goal is to have a rocking hot body by the time summer is here, then yes, sacrifices must be made. Sticking to the plan of eating well and not boozing too heavily is necessary. Seven days a week. If you aren’t getting the results you want and you let your diet go haywire on weekends, like most of America, then try something different. As they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Don’t be insane.