Dear Georgie, Help! I have had a bad 5 or 6 days. There have been croissants, gigantic proportions, and loads of Easter candy!! The frustrating thing is I did better on vacation than I did last week. Almost like I was making up for not being as bad while we were traveling. -toomanyjellybeans
I think you’ve been tripped up a bit by thinking about your eating behaviors ethically, “being good” vs “being bad”. The trouble with that dichotomy is that if you feel like you’ve “been good” it has an undercurrent of wanting to be a little bad, or feeling like you’ve “earned” it or “deserve” it. (Which also enhances the desirability of the junk food, because you’re saying eating unhealthy things is something desirable that you have to earn.)
If you said “I have to work really hard this week and obey the rules and then I’ll earn the right to wear my purple shirt!” you’re implying that your purple shirt is somehow better than your other shirts, when really, you can wear whatever color you want any day.
I recommend thinking in terms of outcomes and habits instead of ethics. If you eat less calories you lose weight. If you eat more calories you gain weight. No matter what you did the day or week before, today’s intake brings you closer to your goals, or it doesn’t. Instead of telling yourself “I missed out on the junk food on vacation so gigantic portions today are okay,” how about trying, “The more I practice making healthy decisions and choosing moderate portions, the easier it gets to keep doing that.” ?
If you just thought about your food choices it as practicing habits, and kept in mind that the more you practice them the easier and more automatic they get, it may work better for you. What do you think?
Ps – THIS DAY is good practice too. Right now you are practicing steering your mindset to regroup after a slip. Great job!
(Fabulous artwork by Dodolog)
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