Using the Words “Good” or “Bad” to Describe Your Weight Loss Journey

rachael-ray-quote-categorizing-food-as-badFirst, let me begin this post by prefacing it and saying that I am totally guilty of doing this. I catch myself saying things like, “Oh my gosh, I had such a bad week!” or “I’ve been so bad lately!” It is something that I am definitely working on, because it’s a reversal of years of negative self-talk and a way of thinking.

When we categorize things along this journey as “good” or “bad” we are placing judgment on ourselves and it’s usually a judgment that is self-defeating. For example, most of the times that I will say, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been so bad this week!”, my basis on that was a handful of meals or treats that were over-indulgences. I forget about all of the other things that I have done that week (tracking my food, exercise, drinking my water, etc.). Even if you weren’t doing other healthy habits, why do we place this categorization of “good” and “bad” on ourselves for these food decisions?

There’s healthy food and unhealthy food. Food higher in calories and food that’s lower in calories. Food that’s whole and natural and food that is processed. Some are better for our bodies and some are more harmful. Some are disgusting and some, while possibly being unhealthy for our bodies (or counter-productive to our weight loss goals), they’re freaking delicious and life wouldn’t be fun without them.

Twice this week, I had friends message me and say something like, “I thought I could be strong, but I caved in and had a doughnut.” or “I have been really bad this week, indulging in pizza and sweets.” I had to remind these friends that they are still strong, good people, and that their food choices had no bearing on this. And there were a ton of other successes worth celebrating, but our human nature is to focus on those few times we’re not as “on plan” as we wanted to be.

It reminds me of tracking my daily SmartPoints®. Ever since the new program with WeightWatchers® was released back in December 2015, I have really struggled to stay within my Weekly SmartPoints® Allowance. I think I might have stayed within my points about two or three weeks (if that). But, it doesn’t prevent or stop me from tracking. Some weeks, I’m one or two digits into the negative. And some other weeks, I’ve been into the 100’s and even 200’s (my all-time high), but the fact of the matter is: I tracked. I tracked it all. That’s what the WeightWatchers® program wants us to do and not tracking your food when you know you’re not on plan is no better than me tracking everything. Both methods are not following the program the way it was intended to be followed, but it has developed this healthy habit for me and I’ve still lost weight, because I typically dip into my Weeklies when I overindulge one or two days out of the week, not every single day. The other days, I’m on top of it. I’ve lost a lot of weight doing this. Plus, I no longer swap out my FitPoints® for food.

The point is, when we place the labels of “bad” to things along this journey, we are subconsciously telling ourselves that we’re failing and that we cannot do this. Reframing how you approach this journey and catching yourself when you label your behaviors as “bad”, you will begin to immediately start to see a change. You will become kinder to yourself and you won’t be afraid of this journey, because you will feel like you can be successful and that you are capable of achieving your goals—which you absolutely are!