Here it is another Monday, another weekend full of calories and regrets.
You step on the scale and shame overcomes you as you see a higher number then normal.
What were you thinking? Was it really worth it? These are just a few of the negative thoughts that start rolling around in your head. You can push yourself to a place of defeat so easily, it moments like this you can feel like everything you have worked for is lost. That extra pound or two on the scale can seem like all the pounds you lost. You feel like your right back at square one.
Well, this was me this morning. As I stepped onto the scale with dread I was mentally preparing myself for a higher number then when I last weighed in on Friday morning, and sure enough, a higher number I got. I had a fun weekend indeed, but now the fun was over and I was left to face the consequences.
If you have never struggled with food/your weight or any other addiction, you may not understand this mental process one goes through when “falling of the wagon.” First is the bargaining I would say, right before you start your unhealthy eating you tell yourself its OK, you earned it, you have worked hard….and somehow that makes it OK. Then the next cheat meal comes, and you tell yourself, its alright you will just work harder at the gym this week, you will burn these extra calories off. And so on and so on, you get the picture.
But there is another side, yes as I mentioned before the shame and the guilt. After those ‘cheat’ meals the negative thoughts start rolling in.The thoughts that put you down and make you feel defeated. It is a vicious cycle, you feel regret and you know its not worth it, but there is this ability to just say whatever and shut that voice off and then talk yourself into the bad habit again.
I don’t know which part of this unhealthy process is worse. The fact that we feel we must convince ourselves that we can indulge here or there and call it “cheating”, the fact that we over indulge, or the fact that we punish and shame ourselves for being flawed?
I just want to end this way of thinking! I want to stop “cheating.” Perhaps the reason there is this unhealthy mindset with off days is because we have placed such a negative connotation with it. Perhaps because we have taught ourselves to feel guilt when we are simply enjoying a moment in time, we have created this bad cycle. Maybe because we feel we cheated our self control and will power gets thrown out because we feel like we are already defeated. Perhaps because of the negative and shameful thoughts that follow we are more prone to repeat these mistakes or even worse give up.
I think that we need to find a way to lose the term “cheating” and start thinking of new positive ways to incorporate enjoyable meals into our lives. Maybe if we stopped thinking of it as cheating, we would cheat less, because the emotions wouldn’t be there driving us.
I am trying to change my lifestyle, not just a week of eating. Therefore, if I am trying to change my life, why would I call a day with indulgent meals cheating? Cheating is for fads and week long diets, not for a long term lifestyle change.
I think for me and anyone who has struggled with their weight, overcoming this process of associating food with emotions has to end, the good ones and the bad ones. We have to stop letting food control us because the power that it has over our bodies, minds and spirits is ridiculous.
We have to STOP letting it consume us, whether that is with healthy or unhealthy eating. I have seen people who are just as consumed and addicted to/by healthy living as well as people consumed by gluttony. Both have created an idol in which they covet and put before all else. We have allowed food to hold the emotional strings in our lives for to long.
Now don’t get me twisted, indulging in unhealthy foods is not good for you all the time, and fueling your body with the proper nutrition you need is important, but we have to also have a healthy mental and emotional outlook on this journey as well.
So lets stop shaming ourselves when we “fall of the wagon” and instead lets forget about it, it was in the past, lets move on with a new day, with a new goal and with a fresh mindset. Lets fuel our bodies to live a long and healthy live, and lets indulge here and there without the negative mental cycles.
Guess what, today is a new day, as is tomorrow.
Lets leave all the negativity behind and enjoy the day.