How To Get Over A Bad Food Weekend in 5 Simple Steps
I’m coming off a bad food weekend. I don’t mean to say the food was bad. Quite the opposite was true. It was good and I enjoyed it the most…in the moment, that is. Rather, my weekend was filled with non-nutritious foods and my poor choices over the weekend left my body feeling really bad. My conscience didn’t feel good either.
Friday night: Hubby had a meeting after work so I took my little girls for a special treat at IHOP because we never go there. After IHOP, I needed to pick up something for work at the neighboring Rite-Aid. Oh my, the Reese’s peanut butter eggs were on sale for only 69 cents! I never eat those. Had to get one! Only later did I stop to ask why they were selling Easter candy in January. People like me are precisely why they were selling Easter candy in January.
Saturday morning: Coffee with a new neighbor – she’s from hipster Colorado so I felt obliged to show her our locally owned donut shop (you are officially worried about me now).
Saturday Lunch? Well, Kid 1 was at a birthday party so I ran errands with Kid 2 which =’d lunch-on-the-run at Target =’d Pizza Hut breadsticks and a personal pan pizza. Someone out there is thinking, ‘And when’s the last time you ate anything green?’ To Target’s credit, I could have bought a salad but the picture of their salad looked SO BORING UP THERE ON THE MENU next to the Pizza Hut treats. I will add that the rain was just pouring outside and who really wants a grilled chicken salad when the world around you is wet and cold?
I’ll skip the next 24 hours but just know that fried shrimp was involved because, well, it was STILL RAINING on Sunday and I thought that fried fish might lift me out of my gloomy mood that was brought on by the weather. But, it did not. Oh, how it did not.
Now, what I want to show you is how I got out of this black hole. I trust that some of you have had “days like this” and maybe some of these ideas will help you.
- I waited for hunger on Monday morning. While pouring myself a cup of coffee, I noticed that I felt ZERO hunger in my stomach. So, I found other things to do while I waited to feel physical hunger. It finally came around 11:00 AM. Then I ate an orange.
- I confessed my gluttony to my loving God. 1 John 1:9 says that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us and will purify us from all unrighteousness.” I take that “purifying” to include helping me genuinely desire apples and salads after a carby cray-cray weekend like the one I just had.
- I didn’t hate myself. As I talk with other women who share the food struggle, I see that this is where God has most set me free in my food struggle. 15 years ago, this kind of eating weekend would have sent me into a multi-day/week/month funk and I would have gone into self-loathing. But, my God is loving toward me. The way I eat and how my body looks does not change His love for me. I accept that love. There was a time when I needed to ask God to help me love myself and not hate myself over how I ate and if that’s you, I want to ask you to ask Him to help you not hate yourself over your food mistakes. It is just food. Jesus said, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” (Matthew 15:11)
- I was “curious, not critical” about my food behavior. Instead of beating myself up, I asked, “I wonder why I kept eating unhealthy food all weekend?” Maybe I was panicked about balancing my responsibilities at my job with my responsibilities at home? Maybe it was the fact that it had been raining for two days straight and I wished it would stop already. Maybe I was tired and needed a nap.
- I started over. If I accidentally side swiped one car while trying to parallel-park, I wouldn’t say “Oh well, I might as well go and ram the sides of the rest of these cars along the street”. In the same way, I didn’t let the slip-ups of two days ruin the rest of my week. I didn’t just keep eating junk food like it didn’t matter because, like it or not, it does matter.
I do feel how I eat. I want to eat in a balanced way, waiting for hunger and stopping when full, having the occasional sweet or fried treat with the key word being “occasional”. I want my mind to be free to do life in creative, relational, and constructive ways with purpose. I don’t want to be bogged down again by the likes of a “bad food weekend” anytime soon.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3: 21-24