Weekly Repeating Cycle

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It was the most beautiful weather this past weekend. I spent two days in the yard raking leaves and burning them and just enjoying being outside. We have large oaks that don’t lose their dead leaves until spring so we end up having two raking seasons in our yard.

But I got up Monday in a depressed mood. Again. That’s right. I undid all the work of the week before. Again. Very poor food choices and way overeating. My pity party started Saturday when I realized I messed up again and well, it was a lost cause then (worse than usual). It was really hard Monday to let go of that pity party. I thought, what on earth can I write about today? There’s nothing good. I try to keep my blog positive and encouraging. Blah blah blah.

So here’s what I decided to do once I got over it all: think it through. The goal is to stop this cycle of bad weekends. Apparently I’m not alone. It seems, from a recent study, we all weigh the least on Fridays and the most on Sunday and Monday. If we’re at a healthy weight and maintaining it, then it doesn’t matter. But for weight loss, it won’t be very helpful to fall into this pattern unless the loss on Friday is more than the gain on Monday. Better yet would be to have no gain on Monday.

I first listed all the things I tell myself on Friday that might lead to overeating. Once I got going, thoughts kept flowing. I was surprised at how many things I came up with. I know I tell myself these things for the most part unconsciously. When I really think about them, they sound ridiculous. It was a little harder to come up with the right hand column of better things to say. Sometimes it’s not easy for me to be kind to myself. The thoughts on the right sound so much healthier. I guess the best way to go from here is to try to notice when I’m saying those faulty things to myself. Maybe I should print the list out and read it often to practice thinking of the alternatives. (I’m already thinking of more things to add to the left column.)

WHAT I TELL MYSELF: WHAT I COULD SAY INSTEAD:
This week was really hard and I did really well. I should treat myself. This week was hard, but not any harder than most weeks. I am proud of what I accomplished this week and want to continue my hard work because I like the results and this is how I will achieve my goal of being healthy and fit. I can give myself a non-food reward if I’ve made progress.
I’m tired of cooking. I need to explore more healthy recipes that are simple to make so that I don’t get tired of cooking. I can marinate or prepare foods early in the day so that I’m not doing it last minute under pressure. Freeze leftovers for another meal.
I’ll eat healthy if I eat out. I can’t trust myself to eat healthy at a restaurant. I will plan what to order ahead and tell my husband I need his support to stick to my plan. Don’t leave the house until I’ve done these things. If I continually fail at sticking to my plan, don’t eat out at all.
A little won’t hurt me. A little won’t hurt me, but I usually don’t stop with only a little. It’s not worth the risk that I will eat too much.
I want to have fun with my husband. We enjoy eating out so much. I want to have fun with my husband. What can we do that doesn’t involve food?
Eating out Friday fish fry is something we do every Friday. It’s a fun Wisconsin tradition. Friday fish fry always offers a baked or broiled cod. If we go out for fish fry, I will choose that option with a salad. But I can always order another healthy option or eat at home. Homemade fish almost always tastes better than a restaurant.
I’m tired of simple, bland food. I need to explore more healthy recipes that are simple to make. I have a cupboard full of seasonings. I love a variety of seasonings: Italian, Indian, Mexican, savory etc. Vegetables can always make meals interesting. In cooking I should also make use of onion and garlic and peppers and tomatoes/salsa.
I deserve a treat. I deserve to be healthy, fit and happy with tons of energy and self-respect. I can reward myself with non-food rewards when I make progress.
I miss an occasional sweet treat. I love fruit. I can eat fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth. I can eat fruit with yogurt if I want something creamy. I can blend fruit into a refreshing smoothie treat and I can add protein powder if I want something more filling.
It’s the weekend. A time to relax, enjoy and renew. It’s the weekend. A time to relax, enjoy and renew with activities that don’t involve food. Food is for physical nourishment.
If I treat myself, I will feel better (emotionally). I can feel better emotionally in so many ways other than eating. I can talk it out. I can meditate. I can go for a walk or run. I can listen to music. I can take a warm bath or shower. I can read a book. I can watch a movie.
If I treat myself, I won’t feel so tired. If I’m tired I need to make sure I get enough sleep and make sure I am exercising enough and eating healthy. A healthy snack is okay when appropriate. When I’m tired I can take a nap or try drinking some water.
If I treat myself, I won’t feel so lonely. If I’m lonely I will find some human contact. Talk to someone, call someone, write someone. Connect with myself by doing something I enjoy and find soothing.
If I treat myself, I will know that I care about myself. I will know that I care about myself when I treat myself with respect by eating healthy and exercising. Eating unhealthy foods is not a good way to care for myself.
This is too hard, I’ll just give in. Losing weight is hard, but so are many other things in life. Giving in will damage my self esteem. I can distract myself until the feeling of giving in goes away.
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