Anyone who has ever been on a diet will be able to relate to this story in some way. Even if the lead up is different, the end result is the same . . . .
Picture the scene, it’s a Saturday afternoon and you are feeling great. The reason is because you have a date tonight with a guy you’ve fancied for ages who finally asked you out. You really want to wear your brand new dress that you bought especially for the occasion; a figure hugging ‘little black dress’ that makes you feel like a million dollars! The only slight problem is that you’ve bought it in a size too small so you’ve needed to be extra strict on your diet to make sure it fits for the big night out. To this end, you have virtually starved yourself all week.
Just as you are preparing to get ready, the phone rings and it’s the guy, the object of your dreams. You hold your breath trying to contain the excitement that’s bubbling inside as you hear his smooth voice. The exhilaration is short lived however as you realise he’s cancelling you at the last minute. Your feelings plummet from 60 to zero and before you know it, you’re standing in front of the fridge. What happens next is predictable; you comfort eat, feeding yourself every treat that you can lay your hands on until you are left feeling like a beached whale that’s physically sick.
So, where do you go from here? What should you do in such a situation? After years of personal experience with this dilemma, I have compiled a list of suggestions that I hope will help you turn the situation around (as they did for me):
- Watch an uplifting film – The key word here is ‘uplifting’ because a sad film will only push you further into the abyss of inadequacy and feelings of failure. I remember many times when I made the mistake of watching a downbeat film, relating to the forlorn character and as the film ended, the heaviness of my heart increased usually resulting with me reaching for another snack.
- Listen to inspirational music – I’ve used the word inspirational not necessarily in a spiritual way but as an umbrella word for any type of music that puts you in a good or at least better mood. It really doesn’t matter if it’s pop, hip hop, dance, rock, classical or anything as long as it leaves you feeling more hopeful and not hopeless.
- Read affirmations out loud – If you’re anything like I used to be, I would laugh at this suggestion but after reading about them in numerous articles, books, blogs etc, I decided to give them a try. I cannot stress how powerful positive affirmations can be and would really urge you to experiment with them. A quick google search will equip you with literally hundreds you can try.
- Treat yourself – I’m not referring to an edible treat here! It could be a massage, a swim, a walk in the sunshine, talking to a friend etc! Anything really that can provide you with comfort and or support. At the very least it will give you a temporary distraction or at most strengthen your resolve to accept yourself exactly as you are at that very moment. Doing this, will free you from the burden of negative feelings and allow you to continue with your life with gratitude and appreciation.
- Resume your normal routine – If you can only do one thing on this list, do this one! Oftentimes, after I had binged, I felt that the entire day or week was ruined and so I gave up on my diet and continued binging. What I didn’t realise was that if I had stopped, even for an hour, my body would have had the chance to feel full and ‘recover’.
So, next time you find yourself in such a position, please refer to the list above. Believe that all is not lost, because it really isn’t. Feelings of self-loathing have a terrible habit of increasing after a binging episode, blowing the entire situation out of proportion. Know this in advance so that the next time it strikes you are armed with the tools to pull you out of the depths of despair. All is definitely NOT lost, you will be OK.
written by Sherry Taylor
Author of the Anti-Diet Lifestyle