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Look, Feel and Perform Better Challenge > There Is No Wagon - thoughts on binge eating and dieting

You can not fall off the wagon. You can not get back on it. There is in fact, no wagon. You are self propelled, and you make your way down your own path.

I’ve heard it countless times and had said it myself for years…”I’ve got to get back on the wagon”. This language seems to allow for some other power, in this case The Wagon, to make or break us. We make a big change in our lifestyle that seems like it will make everything better. That if we can stick to it we will once and for all be happy. We decide to get on The Wagon. We choose a date, prepare for it, and then go full steam ahead. At first it’s great, this is when you’re riding the momentum created by the hope of change, or of something changing you. Then some of the reality settles in and you stray a bit from The Wagon. You “mess up” and feel guilty. Maybe you even “mess up” a little more because of the guilt. So what do you do now? This is the point where you can move further off your path (have a second or third beer, order dessert after pizza, have a crappy dinner since you “messed up” at lunch, etc…) or turn back toward it (make your next decision one that lines up with your values and priorities). You can eat like crap all day and it’s still only one day. Health and fitness is not made or broken in one day alone. Be nice to yourself, don’t beat yourself up about it. And importantly, don’t wait for some wagon to come along and pick you up.

If you find yourself in a cycle like this then consider a few things. First, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a failure. It means you’re just like everyone else. Fit people don’t magically not crave “bad” foods or never have trouble abstaining from unhealthy treats, and it’s hard for them to get to the gym sometimes, too. They even kick back and have a few drinks and french fries every now and then. What they do is consistently make more good decisions than poor ones. They live more in line with long term values and less with instant gratification. Try this: Think about what you value, then think of a few small actions you can take right now to live in line with those values. It’s important to realize that we are constantly making small decisions about how we will live and who we’ll be. This means that you can make a choice to have an all weekend bender or give in to a craving for the office donuts. That’s ok. It also means that you can make your next choice one that you are ok with, that makes you happy, and that is in line with your values. Be nice to yourself and put one foot in front of the other. Don’t wait for The Wagon to come around again and pick you up. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to be a little bit better.

January 16, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

I should've read this before I posted in the giving in post lol! Great advice Fox!

January 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBreebree

Well said, Mr. Fox.

January 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

I found this book very useful in terms of understanding the biological and psychological mechanisms... written by clinical psychologists based on experiments. No new wave stuff here.

Willpower: Rediscovering Greatest Human Strength

January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMurat

I omitted a word above. It should have been "I found this book very useful in terms of understanding the biological and psychological mechanisms of WILLPOWER"

January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMurat