I have heard lots of stories about Thanksgiving Day throughout this week following the feast. I think many people look back at it through a zoom lens. They focus on all the things they did “wrong”, at least according to their comparison with what their dieting rules are. “I should have stayed away from the chips, but I was starving. My portions were way too big, and I ate dessert even though I knew I shouldn’t.”
That’s a lot of judgment! To make it even more negative, dieters tend to lose the bigger picture. What does the bigger picture look like for you? After all, Thanksgiving is just one day. When one day is remembered in very negative, failure-focused terms, it is likely to infiltrate at least some of the days that follow. Feelings of failure from past holidays may even sabotage the days leading up to it – “I’m going to fail anyway, so why should I try now?”
Step back – WAY BACK! – as if you are an astronaut looking back at the blue and white sphere that is the earth as it looks from space. If you look at your general eating habits, are they improving – even a little? That looks very positive from a distance, even though a microscopic view of a given moment may be less than encouraging. A second portion of pie is probably not on most people’s plan for everyday healthy eating, yet one day like that is just not a huge deal.
If this seems like a minor, unimportant difference in attitude, consider how feelings of success lead to more successes, while feelings of failure tend to sap all of the energy out of positive changes. I know this is a new way of thinking for many dieters, but a good question to ask about the zoomed in approach is: “And how’s that workin’ for you?”