One Step at a Time: avoiding the Monday diet

Fitness columnist Abbie Wenthe on making time

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I was starting the Insanity workout program with some of my sorority sisters. Remember us covered in glitter and sweat, outside for all of Greek Town to see? Don’t worry, we’ve moved inside and aren’t quite as much of an uncoordinated embarrassment now. We have been at it for about three weeks now and are getting better, but we’re still not up to where Shaun T would want us to be.

At the beginning of the week, we do really well and follow the schedule and do what we’re supposed to. Then, Thursday, Friday and the rest of the weekend come around, and it’s a completely different story. Extenuating circumstances, such as Labor Day, have come up and those cause us to miss some days when we’re all in different locations for the weekend. However, there are some weeks where we missed three or four days, and none of us can really seem to remember why.

This has caused me to wonder why it is so hard for our society to stay committed to an exercise program. How many Americans have bought a set of workout DVDs from a late-night infomercial, stuck to it for a week and half, then gave up? The answer is way too many. This also goes along with all the promises to eat healthy and swear off unhealthy food altogether. The “diet” starts on Monday but then that chocolate cake is too tempting on Tuesday and the diet is over until next Monday. Sound familiar?

Homework and having meetings and events galore going on are always typical excuses to get out of a workout as well, and it has been used too many times. According to a recent survey performed by Wenthe Inc., the classic “I’m just way too stressed out” or “I have a test tomorrow” excuses are used by college students more than Adderall during finals week. Okay, so this survey may or may not actually exist, but we all can attest to the truth it holds by our own personal uses of the excuse.

Although I do acknowledge that homework and tests are valid and legitimate reasons to miss a workout, it is such a weak excuse. If there is time for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and whatever else people waste time on, there is time to workout. Of course, this is much easier said than done, but it is worth a try.

Carving out a specific block of time each day to workout is the best way to make sure those excuses are never used again. Think of working out as a class (that you can't skipped) and fully commit to it. Work out at the same time every night and when that time comes around, know that it’s time to hit the gym or press play on a workout video. Since time is carved out each day as “gym time,” studying, meetings and other commitments should never conflict and get in the way of the date with the rec.

Of course, conflicts will arise that will change up the schedule a little bit. Roommates asking to go out, sorority sisters asking to craft and that group project coffee meeting are circumstances that can’t be controlled. I mean, crafting is pretty darn important. A little bit of give and take is the best way to manage life and keep from falling into the “Monday diet” slump.

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