Fit Food: Clean Eating “Mistakes”

clean eatingNo one is perfect. Living the clean eating lifestyle is not an all or nothing diet. I’m sure everyone can relate to this scenario. You’ve been sticking to your plan all day or even all week. Then you have a moment of weakness and grab a cookie from the break room or can’t turn down those homemade brownies your coworker brought in. Then, since you “screwed up” anyways, you eat whatever you want and say you will start again tomorrow or even worse, on Monday.

Now, think about this scenario. You are driving down the highway, it’s a beautiful day and the traffic is moving well. Someone cuts in front of you and you have to swerve to prevent an accident. Since you are already partially out of your lane do you continue to drive into the ditch and just say you will call the tow truck after you crash? Of course not! You steer back into your own lane, slow down a bit to make sure everything is safe and continue along your way!

You may think this example is a bit far-fetched, but so many people approach their health and fitness goals this way. To take it one step farther, if you got into a minor fender-bender would you throw your hands up in the air, berate yourself for being a terrible driver and never drive again? No! If the accident was your fault you would learn from it (hopefully!) and not make the same mistake again.

I hesitate to refer to poor diet choices as “mistakes” only because that has the potential to shift responsibility from ourselves for the choices we make. Everything we put in our mouths is ultimately our choice and we are the only ones who have to live with the consequences of our choices. As long as you are able to take responsibility for your own mistakes and learn from them I think the term has validity in this situation. Let’s discuss how to properly “make mistakes.”

Step 1 – Realize that your choices are entirely your own. Whether you have made a good choice or a bad one, it’s your choice.

Step 2 – Analyze your choice without judgement. Just because you made a bad choice doesn’t make you a bad person. You are trying to live a healthy lifestyle because you love yourself and you deserve to be healthy and fit. Figure out why you made the choice you did and then forgive yourself, but don’t forget! Learn from it.

Step 3 – Plan for the next time. This situation will likely arise again and now you are fruitsandveggiesbetter prepared to deal with it next time. Use what you have learned to come up with strategies for making a better choice.

And repeat!

This is a simple process and the goal is progress, not perfection. No one “wins” in the game of clean eating. It’s not about who gets there faster, nor are you being judge on how well you eat clean. Everyone is different and this process will help you find strategies that will enable you to make this lifestyle work for you. The good news is that the more you practice, the better you get. The better you get, the better your results will be!

Happy Lifting!

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5 comments for “Fit Food: Clean Eating “Mistakes”

  1. March 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

    How true! I heard a great saying once … don’t let a lapse become a RELAPSE! Good article Dara!

    • March 2, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Not shockingly I totally agree with Stacia. 🙂 Great advice Dara! You see this all the time, people who make one bad decision and then get totally off track.

      • March 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

        Thank you Stacia and Colin! It’s such a simple concept but so difficult for so many people, especially even myself in the past. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the good decisions and we are entirely too hard on ourselves for the bad ones.

  2. March 2, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Everyone, no matter who they are, falls off their eating plan sometimes. You’re absolutely correct that the best thing to do is get back on. It’s amazing how fast things can spiral out of control if you don’t…

    • March 2, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Momentum works both ways, so the quicker you can turns things around the easier it actually is!

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