Ahhh, Friday: otherwise known as my rest day. In truth, I also take off Sunday and Monday. If I do anything, its a walk (usually 3 miles or less). I look forward to my rest days and absolutely need them after a week of training or my long Saturday run. I take 3 rest days to avoid injury (after Saturday’s run), and to go grocery shopping on Monday. Fridays are filled with fun outings and I want little B to be out of the stroller and out playing.
This week, I wanted Kelly to answer a few questions about rest days and cheat days. I first heard about cheat days when I noticed people affectionately posting Instagrams pre-indulgence of delicious looking foods with the hashtag #cheatday and a big wink emoji. If we’re being honest, nursing really makes me ravenous…I’ve never eaten this much in my entire life…so you probably shouldn’t take any diet tips from me until after I’ve stopped nursing. People used to tell me that nursing helps you lose weight. I have no idea how this is even possible. I’m pretty sure I’ve doubled my caloric intake. Okay…maybe not that dramatic…but close. I am ALWAYS HUNGRY.
In this spirit of honesty, the last four Fridays have been like little rest days for me on the blog. Sometimes, it gets wearing trying to figure out five weekly topics or trying to walk the fine line of personal and too personal. Writing has consumed much of my thoughts lately (have I written enough…have I written myself into a corner…how can I continue these projects…am I being too cheesy….am I adding enough layers to my stories…) and writing on the blog can be a distraction from manuscript writing. Most of the time I enjoy blog writing because these words seem to come so freely from my fingertips. Manuscript words have to be much more carefully chosen. It is much, much more challenging than I thought. Not to mention, it may be years before I see my first paycheck from the work I’ve done. That’s ok. I have to remind myself why I am doing what I am doing.
Just as I’ve needed some rest from the blog, you may need some rest from your workout routine to avoid burnout. This is our last week with Kelly of Chaselife and your last chance to enter the giveaway. Be sure not to miss out!
1. So, I’m working out seven days a week and I can’t take it anymore. Should I take a day off?
If you are working out seven days a week, yes, you should take a day off, or not go as hard. Perhaps one day simply go for a walk, or only do ½ mile jog. Just a little exercise to keep your heart energized.
2. How important are rest days in seeing results?
The reason rest days are important is because when you’re working out, you’re actually putting tears in your muscles, thus, rest days allow for the muscles to repair themselves.
3. What is a diet “cheat” day? Should I indulge?
Having the knowledge of proper nutrition like I do, it is certainly a pet peeve of mine when I hear someone say “cheat day!” while they attack a bacon cheeseburger, fully loaded sugary cupcakes, or pizza. A true “cheat day” should still involve foods made of healthy ingredients yet you should still use portion control as the food may be high in calories, or a food that will ultimately turn to fat. But at least you will be ingesting foods made of healthy, natural ingredients, versus ingredients you have no clue about, let alone cannot even pronounce them.
You can find a healthy “cheat day” food on my website www.chaselifewithkelly.com, or directly here.
4. Should I still eat cupcakes if I’m trying to get healthier?
Your goal, while trying to become healthier, is to avoid foods that are known to make you ill. If you can consume cupcakes which are made with natural ingredients, then yes, I feel you can indulge in cupcakes. When I say “made with natural ingredients”, I am referring to the best of the best ingredients. Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and sugar-free, perhaps vegan cupcakes are what I mean by “best ingredients”. Buying store-bought cupcakes from general supermarkets are not healthy. They are not made with healthy ingredients either. So unless you are disciplined enough to read ingredients labels, and choose only sweets made with healthy ingredients; or can make your own, stay away from cupcakes.
5. Can rest days/cheat days help me avoid falling off my healthy lifestyle for good?
If you take too many rest days, you are at risk of putting your workouts or clean eating off until “tomorrow”. If you aren’t disciplined, and continue having “cheat days” especially when consuming non-nutritious foods, your body will have cravings for those foods making it harder to consume nutritious foods. However, if you are disciplined and stay committed, then a cheat day or rest day here and there is not going to affect your healthy lifestyle.
Being human and living in America, I have certainly eaten a not-so-healthy meal, told myself “back at it tomorrow” and then when tomorrow came, I found myself indulging in donuts, pasta, or Mexican food. Hah! “One more meal can’t hurt.” Yes It Can! Be disciplined, stay committed, and you will achieve your health goals. Stay clear of unhealthy foods, which make you have cravings, and you will reduce the risk to continue a poor habit of unhealthy eating.
A special thanks to Bekah for asking me to be a part of her blog for the month of October. We are getting into holiday season; but remember, stay disciplined & committed. Start today. Become a better You! And if you need support doing so, I look forward to hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org