Lately I've been thinking a lot about how this maintenance journey is about holding seemingly opposing concepts. The first concept goes like this...
It is not ok to overeat. It is not ok to mindlessly eat a bunch of junk. It is not ok to engage in bingy behaviors that leave me feeling regretful and yucky. It is not ok to skip my workouts. It is not ok to eat in a non-goal-oriented way.
And the second concept is...
When it happens, it's ok.
This is a contradiction and our brains don't really like that. But it's a dissonance we have to get used to, we have to teach our brains to hold both, because both are true.
How do I do that? Part of it is about staying in the moment. When I was in my mid-20's I read Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. That was my first introduction to the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being in the present moment. If we stay in the present moment, we can really only hold one of the above concepts at a time.
In this moment, these choices are not ok, and I will not accept them. In this moment, I will hold that eating a ton of chocolate at the staff meeting, just because someone brought it, is not permitted. By who's authority is it not permitted? By my own, of course. I am the only one in charge here.
But an hour later, when my authority was compromised, by me, I must hold something different. It happened, it's ok. In this moment, it is ok. Because if it's not, I have to scold, point fingers and otherwise assign blame. Blame can lead to shame. Shame leads to weakness, hiding, fear. None of those feelings will help me make the next right decision.
So it's ok in this moment. And then not. Hmph, I started out by saying we have to hold both but I guess what I've described, by bringing in this mindfulness idea, is that we only have to hold one. At a time. No dissonance, no conflict. The question becomes, "what is true in this moment?" What do I need right now to move toward my goals? Whatever I need, hold that. Forget the other. The other is not here, in this moment. The other can be used in some other moment when it is needed.