Have you ever attended a friend’s party and snacked on a little too much bread and cheese or ate one too many celebratory cupcakes for dessert? Or have you ever gone to the movies and realized 10 minutes into the film that your entire bucket of popcorn and box of Junior Mints are already gone? Or maybe you went to happy hour with some girlfriends, which led to a late-night dinner stop at a fast-food drive-through window?
Trust me, it’s happened to all of us. The real question is, How do you snap back and realign with your health values and goals?
Five steps to snap back
First, forgive yourself. We are all human. We are doing the best we can each and every day. The above scenarios or something similar happen to all of us, and it is OK. It is how we come back from these moments that define our wellness trajectory. Be kind to yourself, and allow your self-talk to shift from negative to a space of acceptance and forgiveness.
Second, delete the phrases “good food,” “bad food” and “cheat day” from your vocabulary. When we categorize food as “good” or “bad,” we are essentially punishing and/or rewarding ourselves by associating emotions with food. This cycle can be vicious and difficult to stop. Do yourself a favor and keep it simple. Food is energy. We all need energy to get through our days. If you want to feel high-energy, you’ll want to feed yourself with nutrient-dense food. If you want to feel vibrant, make choices to support this feeling.
Third, observe your actions. In social settings, alone, at work or wherever, you find yourself overeating or making food choices that do not support your energy. As you observe, take all judgment off the table. Go back to Step One. You are human; you are doing the best you can. Simply observe and report. Once you have information about your decisions and observe certain patterns, you can take back control and can prepare yourself with positive steps for combating harmful behavior.
Fourth, declare your values. Who are you? How would your best friends describe you? What is your self-worth? When you are crystal clear on who you are, your values and your worth, the chances of you overeating, putting junk food into your body or mindlessly snacking are slim. The more you are in touch with who you are and what you want, the easier it is to overcome unnecessary or negative behavior patterns.
Fifth, start again. Tomorrow is a new day. Start again. Simply put: Allow yourself to move forward and stay positive in your self-talk.
Life happens. Poor food-choice moments happen. The quicker you are to forgive yourself, eliminate negative language, know your triggers, and know exactly who you are and what you want, the sooner you will develop a healthy relationship with food for years and years to come!
Photo credit: Gardie Design & Social Media Marketing, Unsplash