Darin St. George: Say hello to the 'Monday You'

Darin St. George

I really love my job. It fits me like a glove, and I know that there is no way I could ever do anything but be a personal fitness coach.

Last week, I was carrying two dumbbells up a set of stairs and I thought to myself, "This is just like carrying all those bricks for my father all those years ago!" And then it hit me: That work was preparing me to be a trainer. Now, I'm the one yelling at people to move the bricks. Sweet justice!

I have been programmed to get up early and work my tail off all day long. Unfortunately, because of this, I don't sit still, rarely stopping my frantic movement for a moment. I cannot really empathize with people who don't exercise. I don't "take a week off" nor do I even have "trouble getting back into my program."

The person I am concerned with today is you. You are the one who is going back on your diet after a weekend of being anywhere from "pretty good" (read: all bad) to "you really don't want to know how bad I was this weekend!"

The "Monday You" is raring to go and take on the world, and the "Friday You" is some weirdo that is five days removed from appearing and really not anything to worry about. But thinking that is the biggest mistake you'll make all week.

Fitness isn't something that you "do" in the gym when it's convenient or when the mood hits you. Fitness is with you all day long; when you leave your home in the morning (do you have your gym bag packed and do you have all your meals planned out?), when there's a big luncheon planned at work (can you have a protein shake before you go?) or when you have to drive kids around to different practices all over town (will you bring a full bottle of water and stay hydrated?).

That "Monday You" that is ready to take the week and stare it into submission has to be constantly vigilant against the "I Deserve Ice Cream You" and the aforementioned "Friday (through Sunday Night, usually!) You."

So this week, let's just see if you work hard and eat right all week long and plow through the urge to throw all your hard work down the drain when the weekend comes. You think you deserve a break but when you break through the weekend and are still the "Monday You," you'll deserve a high-five from Trainer X.

Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at www.TrainerX.com.