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Help, I over-indulged!

I got this question from a client the other week. It came after the weekend that had been, as they described, 'a junk weekend'.

She described it all as having hit her on Monday, feeling terrible, really bloated and very lethargic.

What can you do when you've had a weekend like this? Does it mean all the progress on your goals has gone?


First and foremost and MOST important:

1. Do NOT beat yourself up over this.

Here's a great opportunity to practice some self-kindness. If you're feeling bad or guilty about it, remind yourself: you are not fat, ugly, disgusting and you don't get to talk to yourself that way. And depending on how loud your inner critic is, you also might not believe some of the alternative kind stuff you might say to yourself, so how about some commitments instead?

Make these commitments to yourself to let you know that even in the difficult moments – you’ve got your own back:

  • When I have an extra hard day, I will take extra good care of myself.

  • When I am under a lot of stress, I will treat myself with a lot of kindness.

  • When I feel more overwhelmed than usual, I will take more time to rest than usual.

  • When my emotions are strong, my self-compassion will also be strong.

  • When I am feeling additional tension, I will make space for additional relaxation.

  • When I am feeling deeply, I will also practice accepting my emotions deeply.

  • When I am really tired, I will be really gentle with myself.

That also means you don't go to any extremes to try and 'make up' the ground you think you've lost. In fact, CHANGE NOTHING. No diets, no restrictions, no giving up pizza and chocolate and alcohol. Not going to help next weekend.

2. Go back to your normal eating.

That's right. Completely normal eating. Not less. Not skipping meals. Not giving anything up.

You still have a body and you still need to eat, no matter what you ate yesterday or last weekend.

Treating your body with respect means: treating your body with dignity and meeting its basic needs.

All bodies deserve dignity.

Also, go back to your normal movement routines. You do NOT need to earn food or make up for anything that you ate. I don't have many pet peeves, but one I probably do still have is exercise classes who relate the workout to food. We move for fun, grit, resilience, strength, humour, grace, and growth. We do not move to punish ourselves. Ok?

Go back to the commitments made above: if you're using those commitments, it's pretty hard to make decisions grounded in hate for ourselves.

3. Drink some more water.

It'll take a few days for the feelings of the over-indulgence (maybe physically and mentally) to subside.

Be patient.

Sometimes over-indulgence can leave us dehydrated (salt, alcohol etc.) so drinking some more water over the next few days will help your body re-hydrate.

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