Confessions of a Fitness Junkie

Free Day!

Posted on: July 12, 2011

Remember free time in elementary school? That beloved, but rare time when the teacher needed to grade some papers, so the students were told they could read, talk with friends, go outside to the playground. Basically, just have some time to be a kid during the school day.

I don’t think we give ourselves enough “free time” as adults, specifically those of us working on our healthier lifestyles. And, I’m probably more guilty than most when it comes to taking a day off from working out, or letting myself have something I love but try not to partake of too often, like a slice of chocolate cake. While I bark to my friends, “It’s ok to have a cheat day!” I don’t necessarily follow that advice myself. Part of the problem, I think, is in my head. The word “cheat” has such a negative connotation to me. So, I’ve decided that my “cheat” days will henceforth be known as “free days.”

I had a mega-free day this past weekend. I threw a wedding shower for some friends and deemed it an ice cream social. We had some healthier items that guests could indulge in, like the usual veggie tray; some “okay for you” items, like tortilla chips and salsa; and some downright bad for you items, like potato chips and dip. And then there was the ice cream. And all the ice cream toppings.

Oh, the toppings. I had no idea you could find so many delicious ice cream toppings in your neighborhood grocery store. There were the usual suspects (chocolate chips, mini M&Ms), and the not-so-usual-but-oh-so-delicious (Andes crushed mints, anyone?). While I was “hostessing,” I did my best not to nosh too much, or if I did, to gravitate to the veggie tray. And I only had one scoop of ice cream with just a little bit of toppings. I thought I was being so good! What I didn’t take into account was how many times I took the little candy scoop and placed just a couple of mini M&Ms into my hand…when I thought about it, I really did end up noshing on those darn toppings more than anything!

Later that night, I decided to try to log my calories for the day. Boy, was that a mistake. I won’t even tell you how far over my daily “allowance” I went. But, you know what? I had a good time, hanging with my friends, and not worrying about what I was eating (for once). And, that’s ok. Because it was my free day.

How often do you give yourself a free day?

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