It’s part of life. And who’s to say there even is a “right track.” Sometimes it’s easier to eat more nutritious foods and exercise and sometimes the amount of added effort isn’t worth it. Sometimes you want nutritious foods and other times you want to eat out most days of the week. Nobody is perfect and perfect isn’t healthy either (it can easily escalate into disordered eating).
This past week was a tough week for me. I was tired from working the previous weekend and I was trying to pack and plan for going away the next weekend. I missed workouts and didn’t eat that great. I then had a weekend full of pizza, cheese, cake, alcohol, etc. Originally I felt all the feels: guilt, frustration, failure, etc. How could I get so far with 80 DayObsession and miss a few workouts? How could I eat pizza three nights in a row and when was the last time I got my 5-8 fruit and veggies in? How could I?! I’m a dietitian!
But honestly, I’m here to tell you that these moments are really just learning opportunities, not a time to judge or criticize. And I’m still learning this, so we can move forward on this journey together. For example, I woke up this morning (I’m writing this on Monday) feeling embarrassed and gross for sitting at a table alone eating copious amounts of cheese and crackers at the wedding reception. I had to reach out to a friend who set my thinking straight. Especially in situations where your decision making capacity is inhibited (ahem, I’m talking to you, alcohol) you need to cut yourself some slack. And so here I am leaving you with some wisdom if you find yourself in similar situations.
- It’s a never ending journey. Just because 80 DayObsession ends doesn’t mean I’ll stop exercising. This is why finding workouts that fit with your lifestyle and you enjoy is so important. It’s also why restrictive diets don’t work (like Whole 30).
- Breathe. Nobody cares or notices how many slices of cake you ate (2 slices) or how many drinks you had (too many) except you. But also make sure you’re focusing on the people and the experience and not just the food.
- There’s a difference between eating a lot and binge eating. Sometimes you eat a lot because the food is so gosh darn good. Other times you may get caught up in the moment with friends or family. And sometimes you may just want that snack because. Just because!
- Forgive yourself. My immediate thought after this weekend was, wow I clogged my arteries with cheese and my liver won’t last long like that. But honestly I don’t drink that much rose all the time. And pizza and cheese are not always that abundant in my diet. Sure maybe last week because I made eggplant Parmesan and then pizza made up the majority of my diet. BUT most of the time you can catch me at the salad bar and snacking on fruit. Ebb and flow my friends, ebb and flow.
- Don’t skip meals after. Just because I ate a lot of cheese and crackers at said wedding doesn’t mean I skipped meals the next day, but it does mean I ate more fruit and vegetables! My body craved nutrient dense foods.
And those are some of my tips, things I am constantly reminding myself. You are not alone. This is normal. What’s even more normal is paying attention to how you feel so maybe you make a different choice next time. But even if you make the same choice make sure you move on without judgement or shame. Food shouldn’t be shameful.