When you’re struggling with food or battling your weight, it’s easy to self-sabotage. With constant self-criticism, berating our bodies, and punishing ourselves for things we did/didn’t do, we often become our own worst enemies. But the things we are telling ourselves (subconsciously or consciously) can do us more harm than good.
Here are the three things never to say to yourself around food:
1. “I blew it”
I used to say this all the time. I would have a plan for the day of what I “should” eat, and then if I deviated from it slightly (i.e., I had a cookie after lunch), I would say “shoot, I blew it, so I may as well eat 9240823 other cookies”.
This way of thinking only sets you up for failure. When you have the mindset that you’ve “blown it,” it sets the stage for eating everything you can get your hands on (that’s not on your diet) for the rest of the day/week/month.
2. “I can’t have XY or Z food”
When you tell yourself you can’t have a piece of cake at your friend’s birthday fiesta, what do you end up thinking about the entire time? The cake, of course.
You fantasize about the cake, imagine just how tasty a smidgen of icing would be, and daydream about the smooth sugary bite on your tongue. But you immediately refuse to let yourself indulge because you aren’t allowed to eat desserts during the work week! When you’re entirely in your head, going back and forth about eating the cake vs. not eating the cake, you are not really even there with your friends or enjoying the meal; you’re having internal battles about how much you want to eat a piece but told yourself you couldn’t.
3. “I’m gonna start over tomorrow”
This is a tricky one. Because, after all of these years of feeling “normal” around food, I still hear myself saying this sometimes! I’ll have a weekend of going out to eat, eating more desserts than normal, being lazy and not working out, feeling “eh” about my body, and then Sunday night rolls around.
If you don’t have strict rules and a rigid way of eating, then you won’t need to begin again after you ate too much one day. You’ll know it will naturally even out, you’ll trust your body to regulate itself, and you’ll believe that one day or a few days of unhealthy eating isn’t the end of the world.