Doughnuts with a side of hill sprints

  • Fitness instructor Cassandra Matcham advises letting go of the guilt of an unhealthy weekend and starting fresh on Monday

    Fitness instructor Cassandra Matcham advises letting go of the guilt of an unhealthy weekend and starting fresh on Monday

On Friday I found myself hovering over a tray of mac and cheese with a glass of champagne in one hand and chocolate mousse in the other. Is it just me, or do you find it tough to keep balanced over the weekends?

There is a standing joke in my house that my healthy eating starts on Monday. I am starting to think that self-control is a genetic trait I definitely didn’t inherit.

I train mean, Monday through Thursday, then the rest of the weekend descends into sugar mayhem. It seems impossible to keep a social life while sticking to a healthy lifestyle. The only way for me to stay “healthy” would be to hibernate all weekend, dreaming of all the La Trat pizza I am missing.

If I am dodging high tea invites to not be tempted by scones and jam, am I really being healthy? Where is the healthy balance?

If being healthy means associating food with guilt or fear then we are doing it wrong. It is OK to indulge sometimes. It is how you pick yourself up on Mondays that matters.

How to turn your weekend around:

1. On Mondays I always sign up for a HIIT class. I am a puddle of sweat when done. You won’t see me taking any cute gym selfies on Monday. If my weekend is full of indulgences then you won’t catch me skipping the gym during the week.

2. My Sunday ritual is to join the masses at the grocery store to meal prep for the rest of the week. It feels so wrong not having a healthy Monday lunch in the fridge on Sunday evening. Preparation is key. I am less likely to grab something unhealthy when I have a homemade lunch waiting.

3. I work out on the weekend. I know it sounds absolutely insane but if I am going for dinner and drinks Friday evening, I do hill sprints that afternoon. If my evening wasn’t too rowdy, I will attend a Saturday morning class. I do a little yoga self-practice Sunday evening while dinner is in the oven. When I train over the weekend, Monday doesn’t seem impossible.

4. Finally, I let go of the guilt. I know letting go of guilt is easier said than done. Sometimes my weekends are really productive and others I barely leave the couch. There is no use holding on to the guilt of an unhealthy weekend. Monday mornings can be rough but I always leave class with a smile on my face because I gave it my absolute all.

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean eating clean every meal. It is not about feeling guilty and beating yourself up for every bad food decision you make. It is about balance and not letting a weekend defeat you. Don’t let your slip-ups bring your whole fitness journey to a standstill.

Pick yourself back up and start fresh on Monday.

• Cassandra Matcham is a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga instructor, studio and group fitness manager at Alchemy Fitness. She specialises in accountability and goal-setting to help clients to reach their full potential. Follow Alchemy Fitness on Facebook:

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Published Oct 21, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 20, 2015 at 9:58 pm)

Doughnuts with a side of hill sprints

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