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How to Get Back On Track When You Fall Off

by Elise Museles

It happens to all of us: A vacation here, an office holiday party there, a girls’ night out with a few too many glasses of wine, and poof! Before you know it, you’ve returned to your old ways and feel totally stuck and demoralized.

But don’t panic! A healthy, sustainable lifestyle isn’t black or white; it’s about recognizing the “uh-oh” moments when they pop up and addressing them with love. Adopting healthier habits and a healthier mindset is a lifelong journey with many twists and turns, and sometimes we all fall down.

Here’s the tricky part: when we do get off track, it can lead to guilt and even feeling bad about ourselves. So to remind you this journey is a practice, not a perfect, I’ve created something a little different from my usual blog posts – because sometimes, all the tips and tricks in the world won’t help you when you’re in the moment, dealing with an unwanted health and eating challenge.

Ready to find out more?

INTRODUCING…Nobody’s Perfect: Scripts for Working with Cravings, Emotional Eating, and an All-Or-Nothing Mindset.

Think of these exercises as your salvation in those difficult times when you encounter tough cravings, emotional eating triggers, or an attack of that “all-or-nothing” mentality.

Click on the links to get your downloadable worksheets.

UNDERSTAND YOUR CRAVINGS
Salted caramels? Crunchy chocolate chip cookies? Creamy fettuccine alfredo? Consider these cravings message carriers for your body, instead of something to control, conquer, ignore, or even feel bad about. When a strong urge for sugar, salt, carbs, or caffeine strikes, it’s your chance to tune in and pay attention to what your body is trying to say. The key is to set aside any judgment and adopt a lens of authentic interest.

Follow this roadmap to discover what your cravings might be telling you.

IDENTIFY EMOTIONAL EATING TRIGGERS
Everyone has hard days. There’s too much on your plate; demands are coming from all sides; you just don’t feel as fabulous as you know you should. Suddenly, your thoughts fly straight to the foods that make you feel good.

You deserve to feel whole, happy, and satisfied. But you won’t find any of that in a plate of dark chocolate brownies or a bag of BBQ chips. Ask yourself these simple questions, so that you can compassionately shift the tendency to use food instead of really experiencing what you’re truly feeling.

DITCH THE ALL OR NOTHING APPROACH
At the beginning of any new plan or attempt to “get healthy,” it’s so easy to fall into black and white thinking:
“I swear I’ll be in the gym 5 AM every morning, no questions asked.”
or
“No more caffeine for me! I’m tossing out my espresso machine, and going pure green juice, baby!”

The problem with the all or nothing mindset? It backfires. It’s rigid, restrictive and loaded with unrealistic expectations. Instead of starting over every Monday, this exercise will help you acknowledge the baby steps and look at the bigger picture.

Choose whichever worksheet speaks to you in the moment, and keep the others handy to refer back to when and if you need them. Use the exercises to spring you into action and give you a starting place for moving forward and through it.

Remember: you’re in this for the long haul, and that means you’ll inevitably hit some bumps along the way. Don’t stress! Just remind yourself that there is no greater act of self-love than getting back on track with kindness and compassion… for yourself.

Now it’s your turn: What are some of the ways you gently start over again when you slip up?

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