Lately, I’ve been following an eating pattern that has slowed down my progress significantly. I would commit to an eating and training plan during the work week, do really well and have success, and then I would overeat on the weekends. I was able to rationalize this behavior by telling myself that I was revving up my metabolism, and that I could reverse course and lose fat by my next weigh in on Friday. This worked for a few weeks back in February, but then my progress stalled.
By making this 30 day commitment back on March 9th, I eliminated the excuses that allowed my weekend excesses, and in just a week I can see a difference in the mirror, and feel a difference in my thinking. The change of mind is probably the biggest benefit I have found from eliminating my trigger foods and behaviors. I feel calmer, happier, and rather proud of myself. It is so refreshing to be free of the self recrimination that always followed my weekend indulgences.
Something very encouraging happened while I was making dinner yesterday. As I started getting food out of the fridge this voice in my head began to encourage me to nibble, snack, and indulge during my preparations. The voice wanted me to get into the cheese I had bought for my husband to cook with. I was a little shocked by the rationalizations I heard going through my mind:
“It’s Friday, and you don’t weigh in for another week.”
“Bump up your calories, It’ll be good for your metabolism.”
“Cheese is low carb and high fat, and you used to eat it all the time.”
I took a deep breath, and I reminded myself of this commitment to myself, and to my students. The people I work with don’t need to be told what to eat. My students want tools that will help them stick to their commitments. They need the internal strategies that can head off the urge to eat mindlessly. So I thought about my readers and clients, and I chose to remain faithful to my 30 plan. I did not want to face the choice between dishonesty, writing that I couldn’t follow my plan, or just keeping quiet for a week or two and blowing this experiment off.
So in this specific instance, I chose the behavior (making the meal I had committed to, and not snacking) that would fend off negative consequences. Typically, I like to direct my behavior toward positive outcomes, but sometimes the stick works better than the carrot.
Now I get to enjoy this lovely Saturday morning feeling empowered and healthy- both in mind and body. The sun is rising, and I’m eager to get into the kitchen and make breakfast before heading out to the yard with my weeding tools. Time to make room for more flowers.