When I was losing weight I thought I was in control, then I had a fatcident and I realized my control was all an illusion.
What’s a fatcident?
A fatcident is a weight loss accident. It’s when you plan to eat one slice of pizza at the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet and you eat 6. Then you eat 2 more slices of dessert pizza and it doesn’t stop there. You vow to eat nothing else until dinnertime tomorrow, and an hour later you’re smacking your lips and licking the glaze from a Krispy Kreme doughnut off of your fingers.
That’s my kind of fatcident. Yours may not be pizza and sweets, but it’s a loss of control over some kind of food that’s generally regarded as full of things like fat, sugar, and calories and practically devoid of things like nutrients. You might call it your “red-light foods.”
The fatcident is a fall. Getting back up after the fall can be the hard part.
“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
How do you avoid a fatcident? You can’t completely avoid them. Accept that no matter how much you try to steer clear of them, they’ll happen. Sometimes you’ll slip and fall. You can learn how to walk where it’s slippery and reduce your chances of falling.
How to avoid Fatcidents (Learning how to walk where it’s slippery)
- Avoid extreme hunger. Getting too hungry can make you eat too fast and too much.
- Indulge with care. If you’re going to put yourself in a slippery situation, have a plan. Making a plan with detailed steps can keep you upright and moving towards your happy weight. If your plan isn’t going the way you want it to go, use this simple 5-step backup plan: (1) Eat slowly! (2) Put your fork down between bites. (3) Chew every bite at least 10 times before swallowing. (4) Take a sip of water before taking your next bite. (5) Remind yourself why you want to lose weight.
- Give yourself some wiggle room. Keep in mind that when you’re walking on a slippery surface your progress is slowed. Your plan need not be 100% adherence to your food plan limits; use some flexible restraint. If you walk where it’s slippery often, you will need to be more mindful of exactly how much wiggle room you give yourself.
- Accept help. I resent people who appoint themselves as my “diet police” but I do appreciate help. Help is different depending on the circumstances. I would, for example, appreciate it if my dining companion offered to let me have a taste of her dessert. That would give me a little taste without the temptation to eat more than the bite.
When you do fall – not “if” when – you can learn how to get back up quickly and move past the fatcident with minimal damage to your progress.
How to get up and get going again after a Fatcident
- Use positive self-talk. “I’m okay, I’ll be fine.” Beating yourself up after a fall only intensifies your perceived damage. Usually the damage from the fall isn’t bad until we exaggerate the damage and go on to behave in ways to make the damage much worse. Keep the self-talk focused forward.
- Figure out what went wrong. What caused the fall? How might I avoid tripping over that again?
- Put the fall in the past. You fell, the episode is over. Your next move can’t change that you fell, but it can control further damage.