Humans are quite adept at constantly enriching their arsenal of excuses. Excuses for being late, for missing a beat, for delaying everything ‘till Monday, for postponing Monday indefinitely. The problem is that we keep surrounding ourselves with comfort and every sort of instant gratification imaginable. Everything is available at the touch of a button, stored in our fridges, and dotted across the avenues we walk. Today, over one-third of Americans are considered obese, and this disease of affluence is taking no prisoners. Yet, just like its nickname suggests, obesity can easily be prevented. All it takes is a Monday.
Cheat no.1 – Snacking
How often do you catch yourself with an (insert name of favourite candy bar here) in hand? And when you do, you always manage to convince yourself that one (same sugary product) will never kill you.
A few hours later, you might be gulping down a can of fizz. In the evening, you go out with a bunch of friends, and munching on a late night burger once in awhile is also not something you berate yourself for.
However, the truth is that one snack once in a blue moon will truly do no harm. But if you imagine blue moons shining down on you on a daily basis, you are indeed cheating yourself. I am not advocating quitting snacks cold turkey – but a whole bunch of your little cheats have a nasty way of snowballing into one big one. Swap your chocolate bars for a handful of nuts, your ice cream for a fresh smoothie, and your fizzy drinks for a piece of fruit, and see how your newfound snacktime impacts your health.
Cheat no.2 – Skipping meals
If you do have the habit of indulging in snacks, you might also find that skipping a meal here and there will do no harm. Sort of balancing things out, isn’t it? You tend to do this either in the evening, or worse still, right after getting up, when you convince yourself there is no time to eat breakfast, and you switch a bowl of oatmeal for a large cup of coffee to go. Well, my friend, skipping meals is not the same as cutting corners to a fitter you – there are no corners to cut, in fact.
When you stop eating regularly and move on to skipping meals often, your body has no clue where the next nourishment is coming from, and it will cling to every calorie you feed it. Your body is made to survive – it will slow your metabolism down just to stay safe, and you will see no improvement.
If you have convinced yourself breakfast is the enemy, you will start off with no fuel to begin with, and everything afterwards will just be your body trying to catch up.
Cheat no.3 – No sleep
If you think that you are young enough not to sleep, and keep telling yourself you’ll sleep when you retire and believe your body is your temple which will pull you through yet another night on Netflix – I’d give you a nice kick if I were your temple.
Yes, you can go a night or two without sleep, and you can do it more often when young – but if you keep accumulating a sleep debt you can’t repay, you will soon be in a lot of trouble. Even when you miss a single night of rest, your motor functions become impaired, and your mental capacities start to plummet.
Of course, you can go out on weekends and stay up late for the latest Game of Thrones premiere. 6-8 hours a night is what your adult body needs to recover from all the strain you have put it through during the day. You’ll notice that sleeping much more than that will also have a diverse effect on your functioning.
Cheat no.4 – The monster that is Monday
We’ve already talked about the menace of Monday. Monday is questionably the worst day ever. Nonetheless, it’s quite easy to make it your best friend, only if you stop playing the Monday card every other day of the week.
The reason you hate the big M is because you have spent six other days of the week promising yourself you’ll do everything you need to do starting – you’ve guessed it. If you only start doing everything that needs to be done when it needs to be done, like exercising, finishing up your projects, going to the market, etc. – you will no longer face the Monday blues.
Cheat no.5 – Shooting for the stars
Finally, you most likely believe you can turn yourself into a cover star in about a week. You watch others set bad examples and advocate faulty lifestyles, and you expect the world in a heartbeat. Like we’ve said – there is no shortcut to success. You’ll need to invest more than just a few short hours to achieve whatever it is you have in mind.
Greatness comes at a cost, which is a fact you are well familiar with, but for some reason keep expecting you’ll be the first person ever to get there without the effort. The key is in moderation: you can drink as much as you like, eat what you want, smoke what you want, and get away with it all, in case you are not doing it every day of your life. Too much of a good thing can easily be the pitfall you choose to jump into.
We all cheat – a bit, sometimes, on and off. We try not to, but there it is. No harm was done, as long as your bad habits are turned into a once-in-awhile cheat, and not a way of life. Eating, sleeping and exercising properly eighty percent of the time is all you need – which still leaves you the other twenty percent to play with.