Chips, salsa, guac, pulled pork burrito with pineapple salsa.
That sure doesn’t sound like a meal on any dieter’s meal plan, huh? Well, it’s what I ate last night. It’s one of my favorite meals at a restaurant I enjoy with friends I love.
In the past, I would have “saved up” all day and gone to dinner starving, worrying about how I’d get all the chips I wanted and stuffing myself without even realizing it.
Or maybe you tell yourself since you’re out to eat it’s permission to eat whatever you want because you only get it there?
Or because your friends are eating whatever they want, you should too?
If you struggle around food, going out to eat can be a world altering event every time. Whether you white knuckle your way through miserable or you pig out only to leave with regret, it is rarely as fun as it can be. I get it. I’ve done both, many many times.
So when you go a little overboard, or eat “bad” food on a Saturday night, it’s ok. Really. It should be pleasurable. And it’s not like you do it every night. The best tip I can give you for when you’re out is to be present and aware. Are you eating what you really want or are you eating because it’s there? Is it tasting great or are you mindlessly eating guac because it’s there? Stop judging and eat what you choose will make you feel good. Know that sometimes, chips and guac and a margarita with friends is going to make you feel better than a salad with grilled chicken. That’s just a fact. I know you know what I mean. You just don’t allow that to be ok. But, it is.
Next issue. See if this sounds like you.
You wake up Sunday morning, maybe still full. Maybe a little bloated. Or maybe you actually feel fine physically, but mentally, you are beating yourself up. Yea, that last one. THAT is the killer.
So you wake up and plot your workout. Maybe your eating too. Maybe even your second workout. And possibly do the “Sunday Cupboard Clear Out” so that you will be “good” this week!? And since you blew it yesterday, you might as well finish the weekend out eating whatever else you want?
I get it. I did all those too. And I’m writing today about why I didn’t turn my pleasurable Saturday night into a Sunday morning punishment and how it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.
Sometimes, like an athlete, a short memory helps a lot.
Because when you aren’t regretting the past or worrying about the future, you can be in the moment. So when it comes to food and your body, you can choose what will feel best in that moment. That means it isn’t planned. It’s learned. And decided.
That means I didn’t make myself do 2 hours of cardio, or any cardio! I chose to go on my treadmill because I love to do that on cold Sunday mornings.
I choose a show to catch up on and I go. I didn’t tell myself i had to do an hour, though I ended up doing an hour.
Because my body felt good. Maybe it had good energy because of my Saturday night carbs!?!? Maybe because of my good sleep?
Maybe because I didn’t HAVE to but WANTED to.
I didn’t kill myself.
I did one of my favorite incline walks. Dave rode the bike next to me. We watched a show, broke a sweat, and carried on.
It has ZERO to do with what I ate last night. Because really, can you outwork your meal? Or your weekend?
Is that going to be enjoyable?
Guess what. It’s not. I used to do that.
And it’s misery.
Takes all the good feelings out of working out.
Ok, now maybe you work out maybe you don’t. But then you gotta eat. And if you struggle with food and body, it’s either strict egg whites because you did bad last night or maybe another crap meal because you’re stuck thinking you already suck.
So maybe you get a donut or 12. Idk. Whatever you call bad. For me it woulda been a box of cereal or French toast and pancakes.
But today, I had fruit and eggs. Whole eggs. Cooked with a pat of butter, a little salt, pepper and cheese. It was a balanced meal that sounded good and made me feel even better.
So, my biggest tip for the “morning after?” Again, be in the present moment. See how you physically feel. Not what you mentally think you “should” feel like. Eat what would feel good, physically. Not what you mentally think you “should” eat.
And then, carry on.
Learn from what you ate and how you feel, and remember it for next time.
You are no better or worse because of what you ate.
The worst thing you can do is keep judging and react accordingly.
You are not a judge. And trust me, your body won’t respond to punishment. But it will respond to self care. Nourishment. Knowledge. And compassion.
When you can treat it with those, then you will find your pleasure far exceeds your need to punish your body. And life just may get a little bit more enjoyable.
Interested in online coaching with me? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to see if we are a good fit to work together!