Weddings, Birthdays, Christmas, Easter – Holidays and social festivities are part of life and we celebrate with much joy, family, and food. A lot of food. Delicious food. And I’m sure many of you go into any holiday with the best of intentions. You weren’t going to overeat. You were only going to have one glass of wine. You mentally prepared yourself for all the temptations and had a plan.
And then before you know it, you’d had two bottles of wine and you’d eaten cake and fried cheese. (No judgment!)
The truth is, even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry. But the good news is, there IS a way to recover! You don’t have to let one small backslide take you all the way back down the mountain.
The first thing you need to do is to kill the guilt. Stop self-flagellating. Stop asking, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I control myself? What happened?” Just kill the guilt. It’s water under the bridge. Let it go. It’s in the past. It’s over. Release it to the universe.
The second step to recovery – now that you’ve released the guilt, decide what is it that you need to stop doing. So often when we overindulge, it’s so tempting to just keep going because, hey, we’ve already messed up! “Oh, well. There goes the diet. Might as well have another bottle of wine and start fresh on Monday!” Identifying the behavior you need to change is key. Name it. Recognize it. Own it.
And once you’ve identified the behavior, stop that action NOW. Cake, cookies, whatever …stop and get them out of the house. Do not wait until X day. Put them in the trash so you won’t be tempted. Don’t say, “I’ll take them to the break room at work on Monday” because they’ll still be there, tempting you, until Monday! So into the trash. Make a clean break.
Finally, the last step in recovering from a backslide is executing. Getting back on track on track simply means deciding, “Okay, I’m not going to eat or drink the wine. I’m going to go back to drinking my water and staying hydrated because water is good for me” – and then DO IT. Don’t just talk about it. It may be not just stopping a bad behavior but also getting back to a good one. Had a hiatus from the gym? Put on your workout clothes and just go. Just do it!
- Kill the guilt. Let it go.
- Stop the action. Don’t let one bad day become three, or a week, or a year.
- Identify what you need to do or what good habits you need to adopt to get back on track.
- Execute. Just do it.
So I hope those four things will help you get back on track. And again, it’s okay for you to fall down, mess up quickly, get up, dust yourself off, and keep it moving. It happens! And you can recover and get back on track. You can do this!