For many, Monday morning arrives with a healthy dose of food guilt.
An assessment of all the “bad” food and alcohol consumed over the course of the weekend is quickly followed by the inevitable feeling of guilt and a firm promise to put a stop to this behaviour the very next weekend.
The Broken Promises And Food Guilt
I’ve been in this situation many times. I’d swear to myself that I wouldn’t buy wine on Friday evening (and I most definitely wouldn’t buy crisps and chocolate). Furthermore, I will make a healthy meal on Saturday night (sure, I have all the time in the world on Saturdays). No takeaways for me. Also, I absolutely will NOT get the FULL IRISH on Sunday morning…NO WAY – I’m turning over a new leaf.
I’d go hard out – Monday to Friday – eating healthily, doing my exercise and drinking my water.
Then Friday 5.30PM rolls around. It’s like my motivation shut down in tandem with my computer. All my good intentions and early Monday morning promises go out the window….
So what changed?
Well, not a whole lot to be honest.
I still work hard all week on my nutrition, my exercise and hydration. And I still enjoy my treats at the weekend. On the surface, nothing changed.
But it did. A whole lot changed.
Firstly, what I’ve come to realise is that, in the long run, the glass of wine, a takeaway, a packet of crisps, a pub lunch or a chocolate bar is not going to derail your diet.
Secondly, indulging in these treats doesn’t mean I’ve failed to stay on top of my nutrition at the weekend.
What it means is that I’ve found a balance that is acceptable to my lifestyle. And no, this is not the same as giving yourself permission to binge every weekend.
Hear Me Out…
Most people believe that an overly indulgent weekend needs to be followed by some form of punishment – undereating during the week, fasts, cleanses, excessive workout routines – to atone for their supposed dietary weekend mishaps.
As a result, you swing from one extreme to the other. And end up in an unhealthy cycle of overly strict weekday eating, weekend binges, followed by extreme penance to repair the perceived damage.
And the cycle continues, week in, week out….fuelled all the time by GUILT.
My nemesis GUILT made me feel:
- Disappointed in myself for not sticking to my Monday morning promises.
- Shame for not being able to be stronger and say no to the junk food.
- Hyper-sensitive to “good” and “bad” food and caused an unhealthy relationship with food.
Say Goodbye To Food Guilt
Forget about restrictive diets or skipping meals to absolve yourself for weekend overindulgences.
The best, and the only way, to break this cycle is to:
- Kick guilt to the kerb – remove the “good” and “bad” food labels.
- Adjust your mindset – allow yourself to have a little of what you like. Restriction always leads to binging.
- Start where you are – if you do have a serious blow out at the weekend – the best way to react is to simply start where you are…and get right back on track…no punishment, no guilt, no shame. Start at the very next meal. Don’t continue on the downward spiral. Eating a load of junk food, just because you ate some junk food is like ripping a €50 note to shreds because it had one tiny tear in it.
- Trust the process - slow and steady progress towards realistic goals, without food restriction is the only way to a sustainable, happy lifestyle.
No Need For Food Penance
To conclude, you can absolutely enjoy yourself and your food without entertaining food guilt. There is no need for food penance.
You manage to change this mindset and you are winning. Mindfully and consciously enjoy your weekend treat without going overboard. You will continue to make progress towards your goals and finally say goodbye to food guilt.
Co-Founder Pepper Hustle
P.S. Do you suffer from food guilt? Share your experience below.
P.S.S. If you need a little help to permanently say goodbye to food guilt and want to make positive, life-long sustainable changes keep reading here.