I often find myself at the crossroads between continuing on the “healthy eating/diet road” I’m currently on or choosing the road filled with temptation/giving in/ (re) starting my diet at a later time.”
I’m at that crossroad usually 1 to 2 to 3 times a week. I’d say on average I can go 4 days straight of eating well and then I come to that fork in the road. Here’s the problem when I find myself in that place, it’s never “have a little of what I want and find my way quickly back to the road of healthy.” It’s always, veer off course and live in the “I’ll start again at another time window.”
That’s the small window of time before a diet stats or restarts. It is usually a last ditch effort to savor every ounce of sugar, salt and fat that we assume we will never eat for the rest of our lives. After all, this will be the diet that ends all diets. For some of us that window is every Sunday night. For some of us that window is a couple times a year. The mentality is if we’ve been eating crappy, why not pick it up a notch knowing we’re starting a diet a some point in the near future.
A “eat everything in sight before a diet start binge” usually goes something like this for me…it starts with a deep desire to graze. A twizzler here, a cookie there, maybe a solid ten minutes of chips, dip and ½ an episode of 2 Broke Girls. Then it usually progresses to a meal, the most elaborately thought out “cheat meal” in the world. For me, probably, Penne Vodka or an order of General Tsos with an extra egg roll. I’ll probably have some cookie dough ice cream later that I picked up while grocery shopping for my healthy new diet starting tomorrow. Then the night will end most likely with a sleeve of ritz crackers, a jar of peanut butter and somehow candy leftover from Halloween. After all, I really don’t plan on ever eating any of this ever again so I must eat it all before the clock strikes midnight.
Whenever we do that, instead of not losing the weight, we tend to eat more, we give ourselves permission to eat. If we’re constantly giving ourselves a new starting line, we’re going to constantly give ourselves an excuse to have one last hurrah, whether that be a day, a week, or a month.
I have been realizing that that mentality is exhausting. It’s a constant running dialogue in my head. It’s a constant state of planning and plotting and not just living.
Everyday we’re trying to free ourselves from the chains of the all or nothing eating mentality. We’re trying to free ourselves from the constant need to start an extreme diet with no plan, no end, no structure in an attempt to undo recent damage.
It often feels like we’re on a treadmill, a constant Loop of high intensity interval training, sprint, walk, sprint, walk. Yet all this running, but no progress. The frustrating thing, this all happens in our head. The decision to take the “I’ll start again tomorrow” road, it’s an impulse. It’s a decision made alone.
My goal is to try to get off the treadmill and try to take a long walk instead. A long calm walk. It’s something I’m going to have to train for. And I know my goal won’t get easier, but I do hope I get stronger.