This can be a very stressful week for people on a diet — especially for people with binge history.
It’s like a perfect storm of triggers:
- disruption to the regular eat-sleep schedule
- often travel and sleeping in strange (sometimes very strange) beds
- abundance of food, including childhood trigger foods
- lots of family (and you don’t get to pick your family, another reason dogs are wonderful)
- plenty of polarizing discussions, including dueling opinions on impeachment and whether or not to nuke Ukraine.
- lots of booze to make sure the shit show stays a solid 10 out of 10 in terms of stress of avoiding potential
- blowouts (insert woman yelling at cat who hates veggies meme here).
- So it’s Binge Trigger City, or at the very least HIGHLY disruptive. So what do you do?
(This post NOT intended to replace professional therapy. If you suffer from binge eating episodes, therapy is essential).
Try to incorporate as much of your every day structure into the chaos. This is the reason I drone on and on about structure — you practice and drill down during normal times so you can “survive” more chaotic times.
So while you may have to leave your cushy sleep number bed to share your cousin’s old Millennium Falcon bunkbeds, you can still get up at the same time, try to have the same breakfast, etc.
Exercise. Do something, anything. This ain’t about building muscle or losing fat, its maintaining rhythm, blowing off stress, or even just ‘putting those calories to work.” (A bit of bullshit, but mind-games can be useful in some contexts.)
Allow yourself to taste everything, but load up on nothing. This is actually really satisfying, though I wouldn’t suggest it with hardcore food triggers. And to that end, be sure to know and be respectful of what your food triggers are.
Oh and if you’re still hungry after trying it all, go back and crush turkey. Save the neck for me, Clark.
Relax. This whole topic is actually a very serious one, and a MAJOR stressor for many people. Thats the reason I chose a more humorous take on it.
Because an environment is only as stressful as the power you give it.
And the best way to deny it of any real power is to humbly acknowledge the stress you feel, respect your known triggers and prepare accordingly … but also recognize the absurdity of letting a holiday completely knock you off your game.
And finally, try your best, of course, but accept that you’re never going to be perfect.
But eating a bit too much (okay way too much) in a single meal has NEVER gotten anyone fat.
Trust me, bodybuilders try to prove that fact wrong every year and I’ve yet to meet any that have been successful.
Your control over stress is limited.
How you react to stress, and especially prepare for it, is all on you.
Play the game to win.