Shit happens and we all cope with it in different ways depending on what options for relief are readily available. Sometimes we fall off the wagon and end our healthy eating streaks. As someone who’s done just that thousands and thousands of times, I’m here to tell you that it’s not the end of the world. Seriously. Shit happens. Don’t make it a federal case.
Unfortunately, in this era we like to make “healthy eating” or “eating too much” an issue of morality and that’s why we feel so terrible whenever we make these types of mistakes. First of all, you’re blowing it way out of proportion. One day of unhealthy eating IS NOT actually going to derail all the days of consecutive progress you’ve made toward your goals, so drop this manner of thinking. It’s false and mentally unhealthy.
The more you agonize, the more likely you will repeat the behavior
Accept that it happened and believe in your ability to move on and pick yourself back up again. Mistakes teach us a little more about ourselves and employ us with the information required to make different decisions in the future.
Even still, know that you’re human and you are never going to behave perfectly. I like to think of the times I fall off the “clean eating wagon” as a chance for me to reaffirm my dedication to healthy eating. After all, there were probably some stressful situations that lead up to your behavior anyway and you finally had the opportunity to release the stress, allowing you to realign your behaviors back toward a healthy eating trend.
Accept what happens when you’ve overused your “willpower muscles”
More likely than not to some degree you were using your willpower to avoid a certain kind of behavior. Think of your willpower as a muscle that can sometimes get overloaded and fail if you use it too much. Acknowledge these moments of “divergence” as your body telling you it’s time you embraced something new that you haven’t done in awhile in order to remind yourself of why you don’t need to indulge this behavior each and every day.
However, most importantly, do yourself a favor and forgive and forget. You’re still a perfectly valuable and acceptable person in spite of your perceived “mistakes.” Life is like that. You’re meant to live and be happy, not agonize and suffer. Trust your body and believe in and accept yourself.
Do not overcompensate through starvation and excessive exercise
Straying from your diet or healthy eating streak can be tricky as it can compel you to overcompensate in unhealthy ways. SHOW that your forgive yourself by not over-exercising to “make up” for your “mistake” or avoiding eating in the future if you’re hungry later. Doing so will only put you in a position to make the mistake over and over again because you reacted unnaturally to the mistake. If you truly forgive yourself and accept yourself, you will not feel the need to compensate in anyway.