Relapse? Relax: Reassess!!!


As you know I enjoy the weekends so much so that I always allow myself to over indulge (my very polite way of saying pigging out). The reason I do this is that I know my body very well and while I would not recommend this to just anyone I do inform my clients that they will do better in the long run if they allow themselves a cheat day. Now cheating is all relative of course. I am not suggesting that anyone run wild in your favorite fast food joint for the day but instead, allow yourself that extra piece of cake or slice of pizza and don’t feel guilty eating it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Taste it.

Now for the reality check. Can you really indulge in a controlled manner? Or does one trigger food turn into a full blown binge fest? That’s entirely up to you. For me I usually can indulge and enjoy and allow myself my treats as I refer to them in a very controlled manner of just eating, socializing relaxing. But I do however have my trigger food that always leads me down that wrong road of relapse.

I am going to dedicate this post entirely to the concept of “Justification”.

I think justification is really another way to just tell yourself it’s ok to do something you know is wrong. It’s that simple. You know you should not be doing something yet you justify that it’s ok . There are different levels of justification.

There’s the level of justification when you decide it’s ok to take office supplies from your employer because it will help you work more effectively from home and therefore be a better employee (I once witnessed an office manager sneaking a fax machine into his backpack based on this very reasoning).

Then there’s the level of justification when you talk yourself into eating the entire package of cookies because you already had one and therefore already blew your diet so why not just eat them all and start again tomorrow. This level is the most dangerous because it causes more damage than necessary and spirals into negative territory of procrastination and can sabotage your week.

I found myself justifying this way over the weekend. I found the peanut butter that I had purchased a few months ago for my:”just in case” collection. (I am one of those insane ladies that stocks up on non perishables “just in case” there’s a terror attack and we’re stuck without access to food or water – don’t ask- my Poland spring delivery guy hates me – and I have built up an arsenal of canned goods.) So there I was in the garage cleaning up some boxes and like a miner who struck gold I discovered 4 jars of peanut butter. OMG. I had no chance.

Now, the reason peanut butter is my trigger food is because unlike a cookie, which I ironically will allow myself to have one or two and be done, I will take one shnip (my favorite word for picking at) from the jar and just keep going back to it until its gone. I justify that its very healthy and loaded with protein and good fats. (all true but 2 spoonfuls will provide you those benefits.)

I refer to these “triggers” not as trigger “foods” but rather, as trigger “thoughts”.

See, the sabotage is done by what goes on in your head as you justify that you can finish the entire thing for whatever reason as per above.

The lesson here is that we all have our lapses but it is how we handle them that makes or breaks us.

If you know you have a trigger food that will lead to a trigger thought then try to avoid it altogether.

Now I am not suggesting you avoid an entire food group (you know who you are –those of you afraid of carbs is one example) but try to keep it balanced.

This is why I am a firm believer in indulging yourself on weekends so that you can have your cake and eat it too. Just don’t justify in your head that you need to finish the entire cake! Savor it. Enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty about it. Relax, and reassess your week. There’s still time to fix it.


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