Here is the scene. I am at a birthday party and it's almost cake time. So far I have been staying strong avoiding all the junky food until someone passes me a piece of chocolate cake. In a split second I decide, "one little piece couldn't hurt."
The cruel self annihilation usually starts right when I begin eating the cake. I start telling myself how I have no will power, how I am a fraud (trainers don't eat cake), how if only I was stronger, better, smarter, more disciplined, less lazy, I would never eat the cake.
I start thinking thoughts like..."I KNEW there was going to be cake. It's a birthday party! If I had planned better I would have brought a healthy snack...another failure! This must be 800 calories, omg! I'll have to starve for the rest of the day to make up for this!"
This internal conversation goes on for a while and, if I don't get a handle on it, can quickly lead to the classic "Fuck it" scenario which is my excuse to over-indulge on anything and everything for the rest of the day. I think, "the day is already ruined so nothing matters now."
I wake up the next day feeling horrible inside and out, wondering what the hell happened? Have you ever done this? Crazy, right?
Well, I say NO MORE! and NEVER AGAIN! I have a new strategy. When I choose to eat a piece of cake or something else that is not healthy, I now enjoy it. Instead of beating myself up, I think about how yummy it is, and about who made it, and about the pretty frosting, and the texture.
Instead of stuffing self loathing right down my throat with the sugar, I use it as an opportunity for mindful eating. I view it as a chance to re-commit to my clean eating goals.
Why? The best analogy I can come up with is football...
What does Tom Brady do every time he throws an interception, or gets sacked, or fumbles? He gets RIGHT back in the game....mentally and physically. He knows that those mistakes do not DEFINE him. In fact, what defines him is his ability to bounce right back, re-focus and re-commit to the job at hand.
Every time we fall off the wagon, we have the opportunity to get better and faster at the BOUNCE BACK. We are building bounce back muscles! Which is kind of awesome.
Despite what the voice in your head might be telling you, you are not a failure, a loser, or a choker for eating a little bit of dessert. You are simply mastering your bounce back skills!
So re-adjust and get back in the game immediately! The day is NOT ruined! It's just a speed bump, not a major disaster. :-)
Have a great day taking radically good care of yourself.