Most of us are going to slip on our diets.
It’s human, it’s normal, it’s almost unavoidable. The slips don’t matter; they won’t destroy us, make it impossible to reach or get back to our goal, or leave us permanently fat. The slips are insignificant. What matters is what we learn from our slips.
Slips can be fixed. Here’s how!
Waste no time beating yourself up for a slip.
It’s not productive. If you can’t let go, write the slip on a sheet of toilet paper and flush it.
If you’re going through a lot of toilet paper writing your slips and flushing them it’s time to look beyond the slip to the behavior chain that leads to the slips. It’s possible that your slips are the result of several weak links in your behavior chain. Find and fix the links and the slips will be avoided.
To figure out the behavior chain think about the slip and what happened leading up to it. How did it happen? What were the mitigating factors? What similar behaviors can you identify in other slips?
This shows a pattern of very black and white, or all good/all bad behavior. It appears that things went wrong when she went to her friends house for dinner, but her pattern in the days preceding that event were setting her up for a slip. The friend’s dinner looks to be the problem but all it really did was be the “tipping point” event. The weak link in the behavior chain occurred much earlier in the week.
It started at the birthday party. She chose to avoid the birthday cake and felt proud and strong. The satisfaction she got wasn’t real. Not eating cake wasn’t the show of power she thought it was.
The next day she skipped the doughnuts and avoided another opportunity to see how strong she could be by eating a doughnut on plan.
Then she went on to skip pizza and beer (didn’t even feel safe around those foods so she didn’t go with her friends which was part of her normal social activities) and the next day, skipped lunch because she didn’t trust herself to make a good choice in the cafeteria.
Still thinking she was in control and strong she went to her friend’s house for dinner.
She didn’t see she was neither in control nor strong!
She avoided the foods she feared rather than learn how to eat them in balance, moderation and most of all with confidence. She arrived at the dinner party in a position of weakness, from deprivation and avoidance, not strength.
Imagine if she:
- Had a slice of birthday cake on Sunday and included it in her program. She ate just the one small slice, enjoyed it and didn’t exceed her program limits.
- On Monday she looked over the doughnuts and decided they didn’t look that great – not worth having one and possibly having to give up something she’d prefer to have later in the week.
- On Wednesday she joined her friends for a glass of light beer and one slice of pizza. She more than earned all of those calories during the basketball game.
- On Thursday when she forgot her lunch she went to McDonald’s and ordered a regular hamburger, a side salad, on which she drizzled a little ranch dressing, and low-fat milk to drink. It was fewer calories than the lunch she normally packed.
- By Friday, she really had a reason to feel proud. She met challenges head on and aced every one! When she got to her friend’s home she was able to have a little bit of everything without overindulging. She was still fully on plan!
The events that happened after the dinner wouldn’t happen because she didn’t feel fat, worthless, and unable to control her eating!
Little slips happen. It’s no big deal. You just forget about them and go on. When big slips happen, or too many little slips are getting in the way of progress, take an objective and close look at what lead up to them. You will likely discover one or more things that lead to the unwanted slip(s). With that information you can make little changes so that those slips are things or the past or at least less frequent so their influence on your progress is negligible.