All Things In Moderation

…….. and moderation in all things .

Free Days : Friend or Foe ?

Posted by Susan on April 4, 2009

Last June I did the Body for Life Program. The diet was very strict and specific. But at the end of each week you were allow a “free day”. The idea of it was that you could do anything for 6 days a week knowing that the 7th day was yours to eat what ever you like. The book said to eat ANYTHING for the entire day. The message boards were split on the subject of free days. Some people were all for it, some instituted free meals instead of the an entire day free, and others said no way….never take them.

I decided since the book’s author and creater of this plan said to take them, and enjoy an entire day of it, I was going to do just that !!! I mean he was the expert right? He knew what he was talking about ! The book also stated to do the entire program exactly as outined for optimal resuts…… who was I to mess with the program????

So I made my free day extravaganza for my workout rest day….Saturdays. I looked forward to it all Friday night. I would start the second my eyes opened. The frenzy would begin with anything I had in the house. Sometimes I would bake things the night before and I would be eating brownies with fudgie icing literally for breakfast ! I would eat anything and everything, even things I don’t normally care about much, just because I could. It would get to the point where I was sick by 5pm, but still trying to fit more food in !

Funny, at the time I never really saw any problem with this. I was doing “the program just as it was outlined in the book” wasn’t I? Never once did I make the correlation between “free day” and all out binge. I had a binge issue for years. I would be good all week Mon. thru Fri. and lose control on Sat. and Sun. I would wake up Monday morning promising myself never again, and repeat the pattern over and over .

Needless to say with every free day I undid most of the good I did the week before. By the end of the challenge I had lost a few inches , (probably because of the weight training and HIIT sessions), and very little real weight.

After that I began to rethink the whole free day scenerio and opted for a free meal on Friday nights, my husband and I always went out after work on Fridays, it was a sort of date night for us (until this blasted recession killed it). I would eat anything I wanted, and dessert too, hungry for it or not ! I ended up feeling over full, sick and bloated and hardly slept a wink every Friday night.

I came to the realization that I wasn’t a “free” anything girl. From years of this binge behavior I have developed horrible reflux and sometimes it is so bad , well, I’ll spare you the gory details, but trust me it is bad when I over stuff my body with fatty foods.

Now I just try to plan anything I want into my regular calorie alottment and keep the portions under control. I have to say that lately I am not feeling like I am missing out on anything because I eat it if I want it. Sometimes I try to find a healthier, lower fat alternative, but I still eat it. I find that the concept of “free day”ing it does not work for me. It makes me lose focus, it makes me sick and it is much too reminiscent of my past binge behavior for me.

Some folks who don’t have my food issues can have a free day and do absolutely no damage. I envy them ! They have so much more control than I do. For me, I think I will steer clear of a free anything and just keep myself where I am now. It is comfortable for me and I never have heartburn that keeps me awake all night !!

One Response to “Free Days : Friend or Foe ?”

  1. Nancy said

    I don’t think the idea of having a “free day” is good, either. It gives the impression that the rest of the week is bad, and it hardly encourages committment.

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