For many of us, waking up today is hard, not only because our three-day weekend is over and it’s back to the real world, but also because many of us are waking up suffering from a food hangover accompanied with severe eating regret.
On days like today, our alarm goes off, it takes us a split second to orient ourselves. Then questions of, where are we, what day is it, why is our alarm going off at this time all run through our sleepy minds. And then if you’re like me, thoughts of remorse immediately set in. Before I can even readjust my blanket and pillow to settle in for another 8 minute snooze I physically feel the food I ate yesterday.
The feelings of eating regret can be overwhelming. It’s that inner voice that beats us up after we overeat, especially after we swore up and down that we wouldn’t. This voice is woven so deeply in our makeup that it has become a natural response. To get rid of these feeling quickly we tend to make an overly aggressive action plan to compensate for any damage done over the holiday weekend.You may even be reading this right now with the intent of only eating 6 grapes today to “make up” for what you ate yesterday.
Here’s one thing I am trying to teach myself…it’s that days like today, the days after we overeat, that are more important than the day of eating itself. It’s because days like today, are the days that we truly can begin to free ourselves from the chains of chronic dieting. When we remove the destructive behaviors of extreme dieting the days following extreme eating we stop giving ourselves an excuse to overeat.
How many times have we been at the crossroads of giving in to temptation and not giving in and given in simply with the “plans” to overcompensate the next day. We think, “it’s ok for me to eat anything I want today, I’ll just make up for it tomorrow.” Or we think, I’ll make today the last day I ever eat anything bad ever again and start my diet tomorrow.”
My point is, that by forgiving ourselves for what we may have done yesterday, or the whole weekend and eating like a normal healthy person today, will actually bring us one step closer to a happy, healthy relationship with food. It’s not days like holidays we have to focus on, it’s the days after when we battle with those inner demons.
So today, right now, if you feel like crap, if you feel bloated, if you feel angry at yourself and mostly importantly, if you’ve committed to punishing yourself today with words or an extreme juice cleanse, think again.
Grab a cup of coffee, a healthy breakfast, and leave the past in the past. Not just the past of yesterday and what you ate, but the past of years of extreme eating and extreme restriction. And I hope that just by lifting those expectations we set for ourselves, we feel lighter, the day becomes a little more bright and life feels a little easier.
Happy 5th of July:)!