Experiencing a slip in your relationship with food can feel like a failure, like there is no point in moving forward. “I already screwed up, why continue?”. Instead of falling into a place of anger or desperation, try getting curious. Slips don’t just happen on their own. Something caused it, and the smart, inquisitive, little Marie Curie inside of you is going to figure out what did.
Okay, so you don’t actually have a PhD in physics…how are you going to decode this?
Ask yourself these questions:
what was going on before the slip?
Was there an incident or situation that happened before the slip occurred that could have caused an uncomfortable reaction that may have caused you to reach for the comfort of food? Maybe you had a fight with a friend or your partner. Maybe you had a really stressful day at work. Maybe your toddler had a meltdown because you gave them the wrong color sippy cup. It happens. Was there anything that caused a shift inside of your body or mind that could have hurt your ability to stay abstinent? Take note of this and ask yourself the next question…
what were you feeling prior to the slip?
What emotions were you experiencing before you picked up that sweet treat? It’s normal for people to seek comfort when experiencing difficult emotions like anger, frustration, sadness, or hopelessness. Not everyone was taught how to manage these feelings in a healthy way, which may lead to unhealthy coping skills. Now that you have identified your emotions, did you notice any change in your body? Was your heart pounding, your breathing rapid, your shoulders stiff, or your jaw clenched? These kinds of responses are an SOS that something isn’t right, and that action needs to be taken to keep yourself on the right track. Last question…
what kinds of thoughts were you having leading up to the slip?
Your inner monologue is more powerful than you may give it credit for. If your mind tells you that you are stupid over and over again, you may believe it. If your mind tells you that you will never accomplish that goal you set, you may trust it. When you have negative and self-critical thoughts swirling in your mind, it can alter the way you feel about yourself. When you aren’t feeling great about yourself, do you tend to treat yourself well? Usually not. Negative thoughts can help to push you into a slip, so it is important to be aware of them and take a step back.
So why did you have to do all of this scientific research about yourself? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you avoid slips in the future, as they are signals that you may be in a more vulnerable place. These answers give you the power to take your eating behaviors and goals into your own hands, where they should be.
Want more support? Check out Molly’s youtube channel and subscribeto the Sunday Love Letter to get support, information, and motivation on your journey to create a loving relationship with food.