So, you started your new diet, and you’re excited. You’ve bought the food. You’ve got the containers. You’re good to go.
Maybe you carry on for a week, a month, or an hour. Then something happens. Something that starts a tailspin downward.
That thing is a slip, and today–we’re going to talk about managing slips. Because, let’s be honest, they happen.
And thankfully, it’s not the slip that matters as much as our reaction to it.
DEFINING A DIET SLIP
Let’s start out by defining what a slip is. Now, it can look different for everyone. For one individual, it could be something as small as eating a second protein bar. Eating more than they wanted feels like a massive failure to them and they are discouraged.
For someone else, it could be ordering two mondo meals at McDonald’s.
What it is…it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the way that it hits our hearts.
When we slip, there’s disappointment and frustration. Disappointment and frustration are signs that we have unmet expectations of ourselves.
You thought one thing was going to happen, but instead something different happened (ugh!). Now you’re frustrated and angry. And your eating shows it.
WHY A DIET SLIP FEELS SO BAD
As we start to address how we can manage those slips differently, I want to talk to you about why a slip feels so tragic.
Let’s all say a big “thank you” to diet side effects for making slips– little deviations off-plan– feel like the end of the world.
You see, diets give us the mentality of all or nothing eating. You’re either following your food plan perfectly, or you may as well just go to the buffet and clean it out.
But that’s not logical. In no world is eating a box of cookies better than eating one. A cookie that is eaten and forgotten just becomes a blip on the radar.
However, a cookie that is eaten and mulled over and stressed over becomes a dozen cookies. A dozen cookies will probably lead to more poor choices, and poor choices become “I gained weight, again.”
A slip feels so tragic because we read so much into it. We say, “this means it’s always going to be like it always has been. This is evidence that I can’t change.”
The truth is, no matter how hard you try, you will revert to old habits occasionally. You know what? It’s all right. Just as an inventor expects for things to fail in order to learn the proper way to move forward, these slips are teaching you something really valuable. I promise.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A DIET SLIP
What DOES it mean when you slip?
It means that things could be a little bit different.
Maybe your needs–physical, mental, or emotional–aren’t being met.
Maybe you didn’t prepare properly, or maybe something outside of your influence was causing the problem.
But, unless we encounter these slips and failures, there’s no way for us to course-correct. There’s nothing for us to mold and shape into a way of living that we can stick with for the long term.
What should we do after a slip?
We should recognize that it’s not really a big deal. Yes, there’s disappointment and you do want to validate that feeling. Yes, you wish things would have gone differently, but this does not indicate what your future looks like.
Your future is indicated by what you do after a slip.
Make THIS your focus and your new habit: “I’m going to bounce back and get better.” Then, you’re on your way to making some amazing progress.
When you fail, when you find yourself knee-deep in brownie batter, use it as data for how things can change. You’re not a failure. You’re just trying to do something really hard. If this weren’t hard, everyone would be walking free and above the pull of food.
You’re doing fine, my friend. It’s just a matter of reframing the challenges. Keep moving forward when things get hard.
I’m here for you. If you have any questions about managing those moments, leave a comment! I’ll be happy to help you through it.
Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Author, and Jesus Girl whose mission in life is to help women ditch the diet mentality and find peace with food and their bodies so that they are better equipped to do the great things God has called them to do.