Have you ever had one of those days/weeks/months where you just can't seem to string together two healthy meals in a row? Does your brain cycle in a thought loop of...
Should I just quit trying?
Why do I suck at this?
Will nutrition always be frustrating and make me feel like a failure?
The fact is failure is part of life.
But most of us are pretty crappy at interpreting failure. We think if we fail, we are a failure.⠀
But that's just not true.
Failure is just information about what's not working for you.
My oldest son is a tennis player. When he was young, he had a coach that celebrated failure.
"Who do you think learned more," he would say after a match, "the kid who won or the kid who lost?"
Although I'm certain it didn't feel good, the player that lost was getting a ton of feedback about what wasn't working. His mistakes were a collection of data that pointed to what needed to be adjusted, what needed to be practiced, what needed to be changed in order for him to improve. He just had a Masterclass in "what not to do".
If your epic diet fail has gotten you down, follow this step-by-step approach to reframing that "failure" into an opportunity to learn.
1. Think about the day(s) the “failure” happened. What was going on beforehand? What happened after? How were you feeling?
2. If a loved one or friend made the same mistake you made, what would you tell them?
3. Was there anything else going on in your life when it happened? Were you feeling angry, tired, frustrated, or stressed?
4. When you think about your answers above, can you see an obvious reason why the failure happened? What action could you take to prevent the same thing from happening again?
5. What environmental factors played a role in your “failure?” (Eg: keeping junk food in the house, not having healthy foods prepped, eating out)
6. How could you change your environment to support healthy eating?
7. Was your support system lacking? (Eg: friends, or family members who aren’t on-board, not having a like-minded community, co-workers who roll their eyes at your meal-prepped lunches)
8. How could you strengthen that support system?
Failure is only a bad thing if you don't learn from it. When you embrace failure as part of the journey you're one step closer to success.