Falling off the wagon time and time again.
You want to eat better, eat healthier, and stop falling off the wagon but sometimes don't want to, right? Do you ever feel like you can start this new food program in the morning, but by the afternoon you feel your resolve fading? I get it! I feel like that too sometimes. There are those days when I just want to give up and do whatever I want. So, why don't I?
I want to feel amazing. I want to feel amazing as much as I can. I want to have energy, and be positive. I want to enjoy wearing my clothes. For me, this all happens when my behavior aligns with my goals. That's a lofty way of saying I like to walk my talk and feel good while I am walking!
But what about those days when something is off and I don't want to do all that? When I either have an event, or a trip or even a bad day? How do I stay focused? It took me years to figure out why I needed to eat this way and even more years after that to figure out what I needed to do to accomplish that.
I want to share my hacks with you. I want to layout the quirky, things I do in the hopes that someone else can see that nothing has to be perfect to be successful, and when it isn't perfect, what I do to still employ self-care. It's not that I think these things will be right for everyone, they won't be. But, use these ideas as a starting point to come up with your own tricks to keep yourself strong and out of disappointment.
What is Your Body Saying?
Rather than focus on my weight, I focus on the symptoms. That means I pay attention to the signals my body gives. For example, when I eat anything that is off my plan, my body reacts. The reaction can be big or small, depending on what the “derailment” food is.
If it is pizza, my stomach gets bloated. If it is chocolate, I will feel lethargic. Cheese gives me bags under the eyes. Refined sugar will create pimples and dark circles under my eyes. Get the pretty picture?
The point of listing these appetizing reactions is to explain that they are way more compelling than thinking about weight loss. Nothing can make me put that fried piece of dough down faster then focusing on the rounded belly I will have the next morning. Get the picture?
I have done a video on this and you can watch it HERE.
What’s more, if I focus on weight loss, all my old mental games will come into play. I am sure anyone who has been on a diet has these rules… I can skip breakfast and make up for the calories, or maybe eat grapefruit for three days or have a few gallons of water… Any of these sound familiar?
So, thinking about how my skin will age about 10 years overnight if I eat that pizza helps me to remain strong and NOT eat the pizza. Thinking I will gain .75 lbs if I ate it leaves me a ton of wiggle room.
And, just know... this is not only about "the outside."
"Self-care can come in many different forms. It can range from making sure you get eight hours of sleep each night to putting together a cute outfit in the morning for your Zoom calls. Regardless of what form it takes for you, knowing that you are treating yourself well makes all the difference in your level of self-esteem. Self-esteem can be thought of as the bedrock for mood and productivity. When you have confidence, you not only feel better, but you often look better and perform better too."
Dr. Jordana Jacobs
Live a Little
Enjoy Life! There are times when you just need to do it. If I'm going to go off plan I don’t beat myself up. My sister and I have a saying “EAT THE DONUT.” Life is short! Enjoy life! Sometimes, you do need to go for it and eat that donut. The trick here is twofold… that it did not become an everyday thing and that you do not beat yourself up about it.
Self Flagellation Sucks
I am going to encapsulate that event, eat it and enjoy it! Then just bless it and let it go. Beating yourself up does no good at all. In fact, it will always have an adverse reaction.
All those negative feelings can kind of crystalize in your mind and be used as a battering ram in the future. We don’t want that. We want to love ourselves, love our bodies, and be kind with our judgments.
Slingshot Method! My slingshot method is also used when I go off plan. I use that slingshot to motivate myself into a really crazy amazing week.
You see, rather than use it to beat myself up, what I do is I really take care of myself the next week. I hit the gym hard, I drink a ton of water and I eat a ton of greens. I make sure I always have food with me. I cushion myself around hunger.
Fruit is a great way to get back on track, so I make sure that I have plenty of ripe, juicy fruit around. All of these cushions help me feel better so I don’t need another donut to recover. I will not beat myself up again. I get myself back on plan with this even bigger motivation. I don’t go down a shame spiral with all of this.
Staying positive like this helps build consistency the second I go into negative and start beating myself up all bets are off.
The “cushion method.” On those days that I think I'm going to go off plan, or there's the possibility of going off-plan, I do this. I get an intense workout in.
I will hit the gym (or these days, my basement) super super hard. That does a few things for me all at once. I think the biggest part is that there is focus on the positive. When I root my behavior in positive habits, rather than negative ones, I already am mentally reframing my day. It just feels better to be “ in the positive” rather than using future events to beat myself up now.
Going to the gym and getting a hard workout in also reduces my appetite. The combination of my metabolism revving up and the extra water I take in gets me super hydrated. That hydration goes far to reduce my appetite and increase my energy. I just feel better. That means I go into that situation with “armor” on. Does that mean I don’t eat the food that is off-plan? Maybe… maybe not. Really, it doesn’t matter. My mindset is what matters the most.
After a heavy workout, I am less likely to eat those cheat foods and if I do, I eat less of it. The damage is less impactful. Inside, I have stayed true to myself.
Dress Sexy! Let’s say I have had an off day. Let’s say I got into some food that isn’t ideal for me. The next day, I will get up and put something fun on. I resist the urge to “muu-muu” it. In the past, when I did this, I would go out in big baggy ridiculous clothes. In essence I was punishing myself and hiding my body. What good did that do? It only made me feel even worse when I caught myself in a mirror! The horror of it all!!
Whatever I eat, I am worthy. I do not need to beat myself up because I ate a donut, a pizza or anything else. When I drape myself with cloth, after the fact, I am in essence hiding. And, who am I hiding from? What am I hiding from? Those questions would take an hour to answer!!
You get my point though, right? Why don’t I deserve to feel and look my best, most sexiest, most amazing self no matter what I eat? Hiding my body is a form of punishment against myself, and in the end, only sent me further into a feeling of shame.
Whatever you did yesterday, just bless it, learn from it without judgment and let it go. Get up the next morning, have a yerba with your breakfast and get dressed in an outfit that makes you feel the most vibrant and alive.
Wearing clothing that makes you feel good isn’t necessarily about fashion or being superficial. It is a form of self care. It is a form of self love. And, that my friends, is what this is aaaaaaalllll about.
I invite you to bless your body no matter what has happened. I invite you to show up as your best self today and live into all of your possibilities. Go out into the world fully present, fully aligned, and in reverence of your journey. Live in your integrity by having enough self-compassion to love all aspects of your body, your so-called mistakes, your behavior, and your growth.
Don't forget to make Yerba Mate a part of your process. Get some here!