Happy Motivation Monday! It’s been a while since my last post (my client roster is full, and I’m loving every moment of the busy-ness!), but I thought you might need a little pep in your step today!
Do you succumb to the “all-or-nothing” or “black-or-white” mentality when it comes to healthy eating? So many people think “I ‘messed up’ this morning by getting the donuts instead of the eggs, so I might as well just eat the double bacon cheeseburger tonight … with fries … and start my healthy diet tomorrow.”
That mentality only sets you up for failure, though. First, the concept of a “messing up” implies that you have to be “perfect,” so when you inevitably stray from “perfection,” you tend to go crazy (like this “cheat day” image). Second, the judgment of being “good” or “bad” with food implies that you are “good” or “bad,” which is not true! Eating donuts does not make you a bad person any more than eating sautéed vegetables makes you a good person. Eating a few donuts does not even make you an unhealthy person (nor does eating a few sautéed vegetables make you a healthy person).
What you do 90% of the time matters most, so give yourself the opportunity to reset frequently, and do not beat yourself up for whatever has happened in the past. I like to remind my clients that “every week, every day, every meal, every bite is a new opportunity.” Here’s what I mean:
- Every week. It’s Monday … the perfect time to commit to making this a great week! Write down your workouts in your calendar (in pen! they’re important!), plan out your healthy meals for the week, and commit to one thing you can do every day to make this week amazing.
- Every day. If you start beating yourself up because you took an unplanned rest day from exercise yesterday, or you woke up feeling less than your best because of some food choices you made yesterday, stop! It truly doesn’t matter what happened yesterday. You can’t change it now, and there’s no use making yourself feel bad about it. Start fresh today!
- Every meal. We all have meals now and then that may not fit into someone else’s definition of perfect health. Fine! Life isn’t about perfection. But just because you splurged this morning does not mean that the day is “ruined” and you should go ahead and continue eating unhealthily. Give your body the nutrients it needs on your next meal!
- Every bite. So you ordered the double-decker cheese fries. OK, fine. You take a few bites, and they’re delicious, and then you realize you’re satisfied. You do not have to keep eating just to finish the dish and knock yourself into a “food coma.” Just because the first 10 bites were good does not mean the next 10 bites will be better! So enjoy your treat without guilt, then feel comfortable stopping when you are full.
Now it’s your turn … What can you do to give yourself a fresh start today?
I often get into an all or nothing thinking. It can be good or bad right?
You’re so right, Deborah!
That picture was gross…..
Thanks for the reminder, because I live an all or nothing mentality and need this reminder often.
Sorry to gross you out :). Remember the “every bite” rule now that you’re home!
Great post – and I think at one point or other we’ve all fallen into that trap.
You know what I have done for the past several days after dinner? My wife made chocolate chip cookies last Wednesday, and I had leftover frosting from her birthday cake the week before … so I take two cookies, a tablespoon of frosting, and make a cookie sandwich. Awesome … and no shame/guilt.
I always talk about ‘intentional eating’ – OWN what you put in your face, but also know what you are doing and pay attention.
One great habit my wife picked up from Weight Watchers (losing the ‘baby weight about 15 years ago) was when going out to cut your burger/steak/fish/lasagna/etc in half. Typically the portions are huge so after eating half, sit for a few minutes and generally you’ll realize that was enough.
Oh – forgot two important details on that cookie thing:
– she made a double batch, and we sent half to our son at NYU, meaning we’ve had a single batch of cookies around for 6 days and they’re not gone … portion control!
– what I have might seem indulgent, yet it is also strictly portion controlled – I make it in the kitchen and put everything away. Portion control, mindfulness and intentional eating are all important.
OK, response just a month and a half later :). LOVE that you have no shame / guilt over your cookie sandwich. That’s what it’s all about … if you’re going to treat yourself, enjoy it! Guilt doesn’t help anything. Definitely agree about standard portions being too big for most people, and glad that you’re watching your portions so effectively. Way to go!!