Ugh...it's happened again. You've completely pigged out and now you feel awful. Can you recover? Or is this one binge (or weeks of overdoing it) going to undo all your hard work? Is it possible to pull it together without sliding down that slippery slope of overeating, weight gain and general self-loathing that so often accompanies overindulgence?
Of course you can! You can always rebound from any overindulgence.
First of all, you need to forgive yourself. Turns out, we're human. We make mistakes, loads of them. And it's ok, we're also very adaptable beings. Having one hedonistic meal (or several) does not need to derail you from your healthy lifestyle. So tell yourself it's ok to slip every once in awhile and today, right now, is a great opportunity to start making better choices. Don't wait until Monday or the first of the month or some other arbitrary beginning, do it now. Make your next choice a good one.
To start, make the choice to drink a big glass of water. Now, drink another. Continue to drink plenty of water. The water will help your body cleanse itself as well as clear your taste buds for healthier fare.
Fill your kitchen, and your body, with fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Stick to a diet of foods only found in nature; that means nothing processed or engineered, refined or otherwise modified for two weeks. After this time you can slowly add back in more refined foods if you want. You may find that after eating nature's finest for an extended period, that bag of artificially flavored and colored sour cream and onion chips doesn't sound so appealing.
Next, get moving. If it's been awhile since you've worked out the very idea of exercising may be exhausting. But it doesn't have to be. You don't have to go from couch potato to marathoner overnight. It's important not to get sucked into the all or nothing mentality. Instead, remind yourself that small steps (literally and figuratively) are what your body needs. Start off slow: 10 minutes of movement a day and then slowly increase the time and intensity of your workouts.
Most importantly, learn from your overindulgence. Don't punish yourself, but instead take a step back and try to decipher what was the trigger. Did you let a holiday weekend turn into a "holiday month"? Stress at work? Did you let yourself get too hungry? Try keeping a food journal. By consciously eating and tracking your eating, you may see a pattern. Perhaps every Friday you go out with friends after work and after a couple of drinks you overeat. Or, maybe you get so stressed during the day that you mindlessly eat and the next thing you know you've totally over done it.
Understanding your eating habits will give you the knowledge and power to stay in control. But when you do slip up, and it will happen again, forgive yourself and know that you can and will rebound from overindulgence.
Author: Sue Ridgeway