It’s been a solid week, and you’re feeling good about yourself. Gaining control of your habits and tendencies is an incredible accomplishment, and you feel like you’re on top of the world. So what do you do? You ride your success—all the way to the dessert table. Or the finger foods. Whatever your kryptonite is, it calls to you like a siren. And you come running. It is the weekend, after all, and you deserve a treat. Besides, you’ve already mastered the tips and tricks of having just a little bit, so what’s the big deal?
And then that first bite hits your tongue, and all rationale falls out of your brain faster than a speeding ambulance. Every strategy and shred of self control is wiped clean. You don’t think—you don’t want to. You just act. And before you know it, you’re right back to square one, stomach bulging, hand still in the cookie jar.
It happens. And if it happens to you, you have one of two very important decisions to make:
#1 Fall Further
-You already ate three-and-a-half bites—so you might as well have that whole slice, right? And while you’re at it, that ice cream looks mighty tasty. Plus, if you’re breaking your rules, you might as well do it right and top it off with those chocolate covered pretzels, or back to the crackers and cheese. Take your pick—you know—just to make sure this cheating-spree isn’t wasted.
-With the forbidden fruit in hand, you should be ecstatic. But you’re not. You can’t even enjoy it properly. You’re jamming every bite into your mouth at triple speed, as if, if you eat fast enough, you won’t notice what you’re doing—you’ll escape the guilt. If only.
-You vaguely notice it’s getting harder to breathe; you’re that full. But you don’t stop. Your stomach has tapped out, but your tongue keeps going. It’s relentless, and you’re its slave.
#2 Get Up and Fight
-In the words of Three Days Grace: It’s not too late, it’s never too late. No matter whether you’ve had one donut or six, it’s always in your power to stop. And stopping late is always better than stopping later.
-Don’t lose hope. Yes, you may have messed up. But that’s in the past. The important thing now is to switch your focus to what’s next. Turn it into a positive. This disaster meal doesn’t have to turn into a disaster day or a disaster week. You can contain it. So do damage control. You may have lost the battle, but the war is still waging. And there’s no way in hell you’re giving up.
-Praise yourself for your efforts. It takes guts and courage to clean up a mess. So pat yourself on the back. You deserve it.
No matter which decision you make, remember, failing doesn’t make you a failure. What defines us is how we react to failure, how we turn it into a stepping stone to success. We all fall off the bandwagon sometimes, and though it hurts, it’s an opportunity we shouldn’t miss. So here’s a couple of things you can get out of the experience:
Make it a Teachable Moment
-Ask yourself, why did it happen? What can you do to react better next time? Did you run into a danger zone without a strategy? Were you over-confident in your just-a-little-bit skills? Did you forget (or refuse) to drink water?
-Don’t give up on yourself. Figure out what went wrong, then find ways to help yourself. Don’t make yourself feel worse. This is when you need your support the most.
Remember Why You’re Fighting
-Think Big Picture—a world where you never leave the dinner table feeling sluggish, beating yourself up for those two extra brownies you had after that slab of cheesecake and half a bowl of roasted cashews. A world where you feel positive about yourself and confident in yourself, where you’re not tied to your plate—you’re content and happy and free. Because food doesn’t control you any more.
-You can get there. But it all comes back to your decisions starting right now, tonight, at this very moment.
So no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, get back up onto that bandwagon and ride. Full speed ahead.