Whenever I see someone do a horrible Monday workout, I wonder what they’re trying to make up for.

Too much pie, perhaps? Maybe a weekend bender with friends that ended with one too many beers, lots of nachos, and zero sleep. Or maybe something simpler: Netflix and pizza binge for the win!

Whatever the case, it always reminds me of this; you can’t out-work a bad diet.

But you can’t out-suffer a rough weekend, either. And it doesn’t do us any good trying. A weekend with too many calories, and not enough activity, is simply that. And it can’t be undone with any amount of Monday motivation. Thinking otherwise, eventually, makes fitness a job. And once getting healthy is more business than fun, we quit.

It’s surprising how many people don’t want to hear that. How many cling to the belief that extraordinarily long, absolutely horrendous workouts can somehow buy back the fitness and muscle definition we lost last weekend. And that we should mentally hate ourselves and physically suffer for our so-called screw-up.

Actually, it’s the opposite.

Not only do the punishingly long workouts do less for fitness than we hope, but the endless weekends of suspicious behavior adds up. There’s simply no turning back the clock and no making up for it. No matter how much we sweat. No matter how many calories we burn. No matter how many meals we skip. No matter how hard we workout on Monday.

It’s going into the weekend with that “I’ll make up for it Monday,” attitude that’s keeping us right where we’re at. That’s why we hate Monday’s. Not because they mean back to work, but because they signify getting back on the horse we just fell from, and suffering because of it.

We don’t want to talk about this. It’s unpopular, and by the time we make it to the weekend, we don’t care about last Monday or the next one. So it starts over. And it’s maddening. And for far too many, it’s life. And it’s on rewind.

But you can break the cycle. You can skip this scene because you’ve seen it before. And you’re tired of it.

Understand this; no amount of fitness, starvation, or suffering can reverse what’s already been done. The body just doesn’t work that way.

But, with a little preparation and a few good weekends under our belt, we can leap ahead. We can feel, look, and perform better than we ever have. And who knows. Maybe we can even enjoy Mondays.