The common denominator is falling off the wagon…and how to stop it from totally derailing your efforts.
I’m a victim of the 5 pound tango…I do really good for a stretch, lose 5 to 10 pounds, then in one bad long weekend, gain it all back (sometimes plus some).
Let me ask you a seemingly random question; how many times per day would you say you drop your cell phone? I, myself, probably drop my phone at least once, if not 2 or 3 times a day. When I drop my phone, do I pick it up and say…damn, it’s got a scratch on the back, might as well throw the stupid thing away!? Hell no! That thing is like $400 to replace without re-signing a contract, you’re damn straight I put it back in my pocket and deal with those minor cosmetic defects that I’ve caused!
My point is this: if you find yourself falling off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up! It’s just one meal, just one dessert, sometimes even a whole day, but it does not define you as a person! We are all human, and we all have our imperfections. I’m a binge eater, and when I open a new container of (insert favorite fatty food here…) I have a really hard time stopping at just one serving. 9 times out of 10, if I eat right out of the container I finish the whole damn thing. Now if I use the cell phone mentality, I should pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back to eating healthy and counting my calories like a good girl. But most of us don’t go there…we use that slip up, that tiny pebble in our journey, as the cause and effect of an entire AVALANCHE of bad eating. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’m trying to break that habit.
There’s no magic pill or right way of doing this thing, but all you can do is remind yourself that this is NOT a diet, this is a LIFESTYLE. Diets restrict and prohibit foods and calories to the point of weight loss. Lifestyle changes incorporate healthy eating on a regular basis, and still allow for fun foods too. This is how I’m getting myself back on track; my meal plan this week has included an after-dinner snack, every single night, for a 200 calorie “treat” of dark chocolate, frozen yogurt, or popcorn. In the past, those things would be off limits to me, so if I had some chocolate, I would think, “what the hell, my diet is blown for the day anyway, might as well finish the bag!”. This week I’m trying a new approach, and so far I’m happy with the results. I didn’t feel guilty when I had chocolate last night. And I made myself stop at the 200 calorie mark because that was part of my plan. It may not be the right answer for you, but that just means you have to look for your own version. Find what it is you need to keep going. Find a sustainable way of incorporating these things into your daily routine so that it’s not inconceivable to do it FOREVER.
Because this is forever. This is your life, your body, and sometimes we just need reminders that our minor defects are not so daunting that we should give up on a healthier, happier, fitter version of the flawed person we are today. You can do this. WE can do this. And we will. One day at a time, because healthy habits lead to positive changes.