Your intention was to not overeat. But now that you’re done eating, you don’t feel so great. You aren’t stuffed, exactly, but you’re uncomfortably full.
Guilt starts rising up. Normally this would be the moment where one of two things would happen, or perhaps both. You’d begin berating yourself: “I can’t believe you did this again! What’s the matter with you?” You might also say, “Well, I’ve blown it, so I might as well keep eating.”
But instead you pause and catch yourself. You’re committed not to perfection and fast weight loss, but rather to freeing yourself from a painful relationship with food.
You’re going to need a moment to regroup, so if you aren’t alone, excuse yourself and head to the bathroom or someplace private for just a second. Now give yourself a hug, or gently touch some place on your body. Remind yourself about some quality you like about yourself, or about some loving thing you did today, or something you do well. You might say something like this to yourself:
I’m a wonderful person. I had some trouble just now, but it’s over and I’m moving on from here. I haven’t committed any crimes. I don’t have to keep eating.
Now close your eyes and take a few breaths. No need to breathe deeply, just notice the air moving in and out of your body. If you’re sitting, feel your legs and bottom and back against your seat and your feet against the floor. Notice the feelings swirling around inside you, and just say to yourself “feelings.” Do this for a few moments, and chances are the swirling will begin to subside. Notice the thoughts running around inside your head. Don’t engage with them, don’t start arguing with them or building them up. Just say, “thinking.” Again, chances are that they’ll start quieting down.
You might be aware now of something else that’s bothering you. If so, reassure yourself that whatever it is, you can handle it. If you have time, take a moment to think about it and see what solutions might present themselves. If you don’t have time for this, promise yourself you’ll get back to this before the day is up.
Now go back to whatever you need to do next knowing that you just turned around a moment that could have spoiled your day.