Getting Back On Course After An Eating ‘Mishap’

The longer you eat healthy and exercise, the easier it becomes.

I promise.

That being said, sometimes you just want to fall off the healthy wagon, lay in the middle of the road, and bask in a huge bowl of ice cream topped off with a gooey brownie and a heaping spoonful of peanut butter.

Until you actually do it.

If you are currently armpit deep in a diet, you may be feeling frustrated. Learning how to eat healthy and losing weight is not easy, nor for the faint of heart. If you are like me, I spent years, literally decades eating wrong and sitting on the coach, watching the healthy people go by.

Most people wish for things but they aren’t willing to do the work.

Less talk, more walk.

Sticking to the ‘healthy eating plan’  can be challenging because you have events to attend, people trying to feed you things they’ve made, you haven’t eaten cake in….well let’s not talk about that, and you’re possibly wondering if you’re ever going to ‘get there‘.

The worst part of going ‘off plan‘ isn’t what happens in your body, rather what happens in your heart and mind. You doubt your ability to do what you said you are doing and somehow the choices that you made left you feeling more out of control than in control when you were aiming for control. Deep disappointment and regret fills your heart and you wonder if you are capable to do what you set out to do.

At least in my experience.

struggle and identity

Photo Credit

If I am honest with myself, I am more experienced in ‘going off plan‘ than I like to admit to the average person. In fact, over the course of the last 10 years of learning what it means to be healthy and fit, I have earned a PhD in rolling with the punches.

One of the most interesting things I have learned is that we give ourselves a lot of the punches, not life.

How to recover after throwing your healthy eating plan out the window.

  • Honesty is the best policy. Be brutally honest about what happened and own it. Then throw the shame and self inflected guilt out your car window, back over it a few times, and get on with your fabulous life.
  • Be curious. Ask yourself questions like, ‘What did I hope to gain by eating this? Did it work?‘ You may be surprised by the answers.
  • Look for triggers that cause you to eat off plan. Emotional events, tiredness, going out with friends until late, etc. Set up structures to keep you from cheating on yourself. For instance, I eat late at night when I am tired if I am not careful. I am actually not hungry, just really tired. My body needs energy to keep going, so it’s food or sleep. I have learned to choose sleep…most days!
  • Journal. Write out all the feelings associated with the ‘food adventure‘ and then leave it there.
  • Redefine yourself. Choose to define who you are not by the outside (your body, adherence to the diet, muscles, clothes, etc) and choose to define who you are by what’s on the inside. You are fabulous; eating this or that is not going to change who you are.
  • Encourage someone else. Get your mind off yourself for awhile and help someone else. Something fabulous happens when you just stop thinking about it or worrying about it. Go share your amazingness with someone else and see what happens. I have found that life gets better when you share what you have with others. Something magical happens; you have more love to give and you can give that love to yourself.
  • Create accountability. Get an accountability partner or friend. Maybe you need someone to email to let them know how you did for a few weeks as you come out of the overeating or under eating. Life isn’t meant to be done alone, create your own team.

It is not always easy, but you are worth it.

Now go be fabulous!

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  1. Great post… very good ideas here. I am a huge fan of journalling, and reflection to be prepared for the next time.

  2. I couldn’t have read this before the pizza & chocolate bar???? Today’s mentality – “I ran a 1/2 marathon this morning, I earned it”.

    Indeed, I “earned” this upset & bloated stomach.

    • HAH! Your body was screaming for food. 😀 It was hungry after the epic run, no worries. What you fuel it with matters, but somehow I think you’ll remember the ‘pizzolate’ bloat and choose healthier next time. 😛

  3. fantastic post.
    nary a word to add 🙂

  4. Melissa Pettit says

    Thank you for posting this today! I soooo needed to read and re-read this posting! I have a horrible habit of beating myself up every time I fall “off the diet wagon”. I always manage to find a way to tell myself that since I am off the diet, I might as well keep on eating! Once I’m done, I feel horrible about my choices and i beat myself up over it. This posting shows me I am not the only one who does this and that it’s ok to fall off as long as I get back on and keep going… making a “bad” food choice is a speed bump not a road block! Thanks for the posting!

    • Yup, just a speed bump in the road of life. Pretty soon you’ll be able to see them coming and avoid them completely, or at least mostly. 🙂 I used to trip over every speed bump and lay next to it wondering how it got so big. Once you stand up, dust yourself off, and look at what you tripped over; you realize its not so big. Onwards!!

  5. I’m currently working with an accountability friend and it’s working out great.

  6. Another fabulous blog Donloree & my, my, does it ever hit home! All excellent suggestions – especially the part about being able to let go of the mistakes! Keep em’ coming – the inspiration is always appreciated!

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