I find that the most common phrase used in the dieting world is “I cheated”, followed closely by “I fell off the bandwagon”.
This perspective is dominant in many fad diets and has carried over into other lifestyle choices. I believe this is psychologically damaging to your journey. In yesterday’s blog we discussed making lifestyle changes. The changes that we make must be rooted in choices that we can make consistently for a lifetime.
What happens when you make a choice that wasn’t in line with this new lifestyle?
So many times, I hear the comments “I cheated…” “I failed…” “I binged…” etc…
My question is… “Who did you cheat?”
I just want to reiterate that eating this way is a decision. It’s part of your life. Are you saying “I cheated life?” “I failed life?”
Have you ever heard someone who isn’t dieting say “I got busy and forgot to eat, I cheated my life”?
How ridiculous does that sound?
If you are Intermittent Fasting, then YOU decided to fast. Let’s use me as an example this time. I try to fast a minimum of 20 hours each day. I am at 19 hours fasted according to my fast tracker. If I ate right now… who is cheated? A better question may be, “Who decided to fast?” and “Who is deciding to eat early today?”
Both answers are my choice: It is my choice to consume, and it is my choice not to. I simply made a different decision today. Depending on the situation, these days of breaking early and/or treating ourselves, can have positive effects on our journey mentally if we allow. In order to experience the positive, we must first release the guilt.
Yes… Guilt… That is why you feel like you cheated, you feel guilty for letting someone down.
Accept and own this decision as your own without feeling guilty over your choice. If you eat too much and you feel bloated tomorrow, then make a better choice next time you encounter a similar scenario. Perhaps this means you stop eating after the 3rdtrip to the buffet. Or you only have a handful of cookies instead of the entire package.
Stop making yourself feel guilty. Every day you decide, multiple times that day you may have to decide again. But if you make a decision and you feel it wasn’t the best decision for you, then make a different decision the next day! No reason to wallow in whether you like the decision. It’s done, for better or worse it’s time to look at the next decision.
That’s not just for eating either…
My recommendation on eating and absolving the guilt:
You have to make the right decisions more often than you make the wrong ones. I believe that our body will respond to the stimuli we experience most frequently.
I use a 90% rule: I want to make the right choices 90% of the time. The other 10%, I refuse to feel guilty about!
Last thing on this topic for now.
Not eating what you planned, is not a reason to punish your body. This goes back to the psychologically damaging aspect of guilt. I see people often who have a binge and then attempt to not eat for the next 48 hours. I am a big fan of longer fasts, when they have a positive purpose, they are healing. I am not a supporter of using a fast as a punishment for anything you consumed. If you didn’t have an Extended Fast planned for Monday, then nothing you eat this weekend should cause you to want to schedule one.
Daily consistent habits will change your life!
I hope everyone is having a great day. Make good decisions and then own them!