Falling Off the Wagon

Terri’s View: You’ve been doing great and you’re in the zone. You’ve been eating well and exercising as much as your schedule will allow. You’ve lost a few and you feel like you could go on this way forever. But then, your kid gets in trouble at school, your transmission goes, or that time of month is quickly approaching and self-control is a thing of the past. I’ve discussed emotional or stress eating. It is very hard to expect yourself to eat perfect every day. This is not real life.

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Terri’s View: You’ve been doing great and you’re in the zone. You’ve been eating well and exercising as much as your schedule will allow. You’ve lost a few and you feel like you could go on this way forever. But then, your kid gets in trouble at school, your transmission goes, or that time of month is quickly approaching and self-control is a thing of the past. I’ve discussed emotional or stress eating. It is very hard to expect yourself to eat perfect every day. This is not real life.

But let’s say you totally overdid it, or maybe you are a binge eater. Maybe you went to a party and went for second or even third helping. When the desserts came out, you went to town and had a sugar party. You feel like you lost control or just wanted to indulge and went way overboard. This has happened to the best of us. Does it mean you are off the program and will toss in the towel? No! Of course not. Again, this is your life – not a diet.

You will feel like crap the next day and will be totally unmotivated to go to the gym or go about your normal routine. Sometimes a slip-up may cause you to have a “what the heck” attitude and you just figure the weekend is blown, anyway. I myself am guilty of this. If I go out on a Saturday night and eat too much, I may be more inclined to order Chinese food the next day just to round out the weekend – and I’ll tell myself that Monday I will start fresh. I know I should just chalk up the previous evening and start fresh the next day, but I do sometimes make this poor choice of spreading one indulgent meal into a weekend.

The point is that whether I cap it at the 1 social event, indulgence, or chalk up the weekend, it does not go beyond that. You can’t let overeating and old feelings of no control take over and snowball into a 10 or 15 pound gain.

I had a very busy weekend last weekend. It was my daughter’s 6th birthday party, where I had some pizza and then cake. I went next door for a BBQ, and ate too much. Then I had a house full of people over for a Mother’s Day party, which also happened to be my son’s birthday. My mother-in-law made eggplant parm, garlic bread, meatballs, and desserts –we had it all. It felt like I ate it all as well. I swear my outfit fit differently at the end of the evening.

When I got on the scale the next day (yes, I’m a masochist) I could understand why. I had gained 6 pounds in 2 days. Hard to believe, but it’s true. I know a lot of it was water weight, and after a week of eating properly again I was the same weight I was the Friday before. I didn’t let my weekend gluttony turn into a snowball and keep going. I got to the gym, shrugged it off and got back on the program of proper eating. You cannot expect to eat perfect every day, and you need to accept you are human and will make mistakes. How to choose to handle your slipups is how you judge your success.

Ed’s View: You went out for the night and caved in. You had a piece of cake, ice cream or whatever you may have flirted with on your night, day or weekend.

You woke up the next morning, feeling terrible – possibly in 2 ways. The first feeling is guilt that you lost control and can’t believe that you sabotaged your hard work by eating the wrong foods. The second feeling is that your stomach is a little upset; this is what Terri and I call a “food hangover.” Then to make matters worse, you step on the scale and this further makes you feel horrible.

You may have lost a battle, but you still have the war to win! You have to understand that you are a human and we are not perfect. If we were perfect, then we wouldn’t need a lifestyle change, exercise or anything else that perfection may bring.

What’s the next step? Easy! First, don’t beat yourself up. You did it; it’s in the past and now it’s time to get refocused. Secondly, after a night or in some cases, a weekend of over-eating, the scale should be off limits. By this time in your journey, you can feel differences in your body and you do not need to emphasize that you did put on weight from your cheating.

Get right back to the gym. It can and will put you in a better frame of mind. I find that after I fall off the wagon and I get back into the gym that I get a better workout, I enjoy it more and I just feel better.

It all comes down to the ability to get back on track. Understand that you made a mistake, or allowed yourself some fun. Get back to your healthy lifestyle and get back at your lifestyle change. Until next time, good luck.

Blog written by Ed and Terri Masak
Ed and Terri have been married for almost 20 years. Together, they made the commitment to get healthy for each other and their 2...