We’ve all done it; we’re rocking our healthy lifestyle, sticking to a healthy eating plan, losing the fat and feeling very proud of ourselves – when bang! All of our hard work is put in jeopardy by one bad decision (or sometimes several bad decisions).
Maybe you ate a 12,000 calorie hamburger, or you talked yourself out of going to the gym while your in-laws were in town for the past 2 weeks, or perhaps you’ve been eating everything in sight because you’re sick and tired of forcing down those tasteless leaves and carrots.
Whatever the reason, it’s not too late to get back on track. That being said, this “dietary hiccup” has a lesson that needs to be learned and if you don’t learn the lesson then you will damn yourself to repeat the mistake…
There is a reason why you stopped following your program in the first place, it’s a good idea to take a day to evaluate what’s really going on…
Start by asking yourself these questions:
“How did I mess up?”
You probably know how you messed up, but get clear on exactly what you did and how things went wrong. Don’t judge yourself, just describe what you did in an objective fashion. For example, “Ok Ray, you went to a party and ate everything in site even after you were already full!”
“Why did I do that?”
This question is a little bit harder because sometimes you truly may not be aware of the reason(s) why. Do your best to figure it out because you’ll be more apt to do it again if you don’t know the real reason why. Remember, this isn’t about blame; this is about responsibility – the ability to respond!
Knowing “why” helps you to develop a strategy that will help in the long run. For example, you may decide that you ate everything in site because you were uncomfortable in the strange crowd and had nobody to talk to. In other words, when you go to a party of strangers you just eat…
“What was the payoff?”
Next, you want to take the “why” a bit deeper. Ask yourself, “what was the payoff?” Obviously, you felt that you would gain something by going off of your program. What was it? And why was it more important than sticking to your plan? For example, during the party, eating may make you feel like you’re doing something rather than just standing around looking awkward!
“Is the diet plan the problem, or am I the problem?”
This is an important question because you may realize that your current lifestyle plan has gaps that may not fit your personality. In that case, a plan that works better for you might be just what you need to get and stay on track. If you decide that you are the problem, move on to the next question. If you can’t figure out a “Reason” for the hiccup, then perhaps you’re sabotaging yourself…trust me, it happens more often than you think!
“Why did I sabotage my efforts?”
If this is something you do often, change the question to “Why do I always sabotage my efforts?” Asking this question can provide a lot of great insight to help you work through unresolved issues and finally make progress on your weight loss.
“What will I do now?”
After answering all of the other questions, it’s time to make a fresh start. Something must change about your current plan, you can’t continue without some “tweak” to the plan that accounts for the reason why you feel that you messed up your diet. Make one change to the program, a “tweak” that you can test in the field that is your life!
Dr. Ray Hinish is a nutritional pharmacist, certified personal trainer, & certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach. He currently practices in Baltimore, MD, where he owns and operates a wellness center and natural foods restaurant. His mission is to help folks to live their health potential so that they can pursue their passions with confidence and endless supplies of energy!