Throw away your tickets to the guilt trip
I know there are many times when I’m trying to make positive behaviour changes to my eating healthy and exercise habits, I’m constantly been tempted by your favourite ‘poor food’ or ‘treat’. One of my favourite foods are tim tams by the way.
Knowing you must stay on the ‘straight and narrow’ to reach your goals I tend to force myself not to eat these foods for days or even months. But then, something happens which always seems to make me lose control and I succumb to the temptation demons and eat a little bit…
This tends to make me feel so guilty that I decide I may as well have some more… I think to myself well ‘well I’ve already gone off the wagon so what’s the point?’ Then before you know it I feel like a failure for slipping up, and find myself tearing into mouthful after mouthful . Stricken with guilt, then I decide to hammer myself in the gym for hours… and then the cycle continues over the next week…
I have a feeling I’m not alone in completing this vicious cycle on a regular basis. Does this sound familiar to you?
When everything in our lives is going smoothly, it’s easier to stick to our nutrition plans and avoid temptation, but when the going gets tough and there’s different stresses and other priorities coming to the fore, we’re more likely to give into our sugar cravings. Stress, anxiety or unexpected events such as work, sick family members, emotional encounters or who knows, even things like traffic jams and stubbing your toe – can all contribute to a lapse in positive
behaviour changes. But the guilt you feel and the punishment you inflict on yourself from one small indulgence keeps you ‘trapped’ in this vicious cycle of not eating healthy. You end up feeling constantly miserable and deflated; it all feels like too much hard work and the cycle ultimately and unfortunately can cause you to give up on your goals.
This does not have to be the case: to break this cycle, you simply need to admit that it’s okay to indulge once in a while. Yes, that’s right, accept that from time to time, you will give into
your temptations – but instead of feeling guilty, enjoy it… enjoy every single millisecond and let go of the guilt!! Let yourself know that it’s okay to have the treat and get back to eating healthy. If you are constantly in a state of denial and restriction it will make the treat seem so much more desirable. Instead of saying ‘I can’t eat that’ or ‘I’m not allowed to eat it’, say to yourself ‘I choose not to eat this’. You are then in control.
Now I’m not saying you should allow yourself a ‘treat’ every single day just to feel happy and emotionally balanced; more so, you need to accept that making positive behaviour changes takes consistent effort over time. Since some habits may have been built up throughout your
entire life, there’s no denying there will be a few that will be difficult to control or eliminate completely, it just takes a bit of patience and will power.
The important thing to remember is that a lapse in positive behaviour is completely normal. However, once you’ve made a decision to change, don’t let your emotions or any lapses send you way off track. It’s okay if you encounter some speed bumps along the way, just don’t veer off the track.
When you can release yourself from the guilt you can potentially attach to these lapses in discipline and begin focusing more on your strengths, it will become easier to stop at the portion you’ve allowed yourself and without further ado get straight back into your balanced
eating and exercise habits.
This ‘No Guilt Zone’ allows you to get off the emotional rollercoaster that is denial and gorging and stay ‘put’ on the path to achieving your goals. Seeking the support of your family and friends will also help ensure that you don’t go over the designated portion size you
originally set for yourself.
By jumping straight back into your routine, your new behaviours will become more and more ingrained and soon you will be encountering less and less speed bumps. Simply acknowledge your craving and decide what you’re going to do about it. Remind yourself of your goals often and whatever you decide, ensure you take control of the situation and
don’t let your emotions control you.