Self-Care Saturday: Planned Lapses in Discipline

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Hello, World!

It’s Ashley here, blogsitter extraordinaire at your service, as promised!  Tobi was confident when she left that you and I will get along famously, and I am honored to stand-in for a few days and share with you some of her brilliant (as always, right?!) insights on  the many meanings of vacation.

And today is Self-Care Saturday! Tobi was most insistent that we not “skip” Self-Care Saturday in her absence because that’s kind of her point, right? When you tap into that 100% commitment level, self-care becomes the #1 un-skip-able thing in your schedule? Well, then…Self-Care Saturday it is! For today I’m sharing a bit of a different take on the whole idea of vacation, but it definitely led me to a major realization about how to use little mind tricks to reach my goals.

You see, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, a bit of an all-or-nothing-er. and a bit of a constantly on-and-off the bandwagon gal. Maybe you know my kind? And just as Tobi has been on a transformative weight loss and lifestyle journey, a couple of us TeamTobi members have been working on it right alongside her…

Brooke (the Loseit! cheerleader and champion):


After a lifetime of weight struggle, I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve finally been able to commit and I’m seeing real results! I’ve lost 35 pounds, and I have just about 5 more to go!

Me: photo(1) It’s very exciting for me to feel freed from the shame and insults with which I’ve been abusing myself for as long as I can remember. BUT! This transformation has also unlocked inside me a fear of slipping back into my old ways of emotional overeating. I’ve heard so many sad stories of remarkable weight loss and the long, slow backslide and the inability to work-up the will to lose it again. And as I close-in on my goal (squeee!)…I have noticed that my resolve wears thin at the end of the day and at the end of the week.

And last weekend? I did something that was very scary for me: I enjoyed a day of eating with no calorie counting and no guilt. I decided this on Friday because I knew that Saturday was totally booked with 2 birthday parties, a visit to a tiny newborn friend, and a fancy lunch date with my little girl (She’s 3, so milkshakes were on the menu.). I wanted to be present, to enjoy the people and the celebrations, and to think not once about what I could or could not eat. The fear in the equation was not that if I ate about 1000 more calories than usual for one day that I would wake up 35 pounds heavier and be back at square one. The fear was that I would lapse into following the no-counting “plan” and stay there. So, on Monday, I told Tobi about my experiment, and her reaction totally surprised me. She said: Good for you! How are you feeling?! I told her that I felt normal and fine but that there was this fear creeping in. Her take on it was this: Planning a one-day vacation from calorie counting on occasion is actually a great strategy for weight loss because you’ve set the terms in advance. It’s a LOT better, she said, than overeating at lunch one day and then just giving up for the rest of that day (or week!) because you’re mad at yourself for “messing-up.” It keeps your attitude positive and healthy and lets your willpower reserve build back up. You’re not failing if you’re following your own rules, and believe me, for a perfectionist like me it’s SO important to NOT see myself as a failure. That just opens the door to self-defeat, overeating, and more negative self-talk. According to Tobi, this strategy (which I didn’t even realize was a strategy and which I was probably about to kick myself for) actually helps me cultivate a long-term discipline. As in all things, it’s an act of self-care and self-nurture to set yourself up for success in this way.

So my “vacation” was an enormous success because I got right back on-track this week with renewed commitment, and I suspect that I was more disciplined because I gave myself a break. (It also helped that I felt pretty gross after eating without restraint all day.) Can you see how this will actually give us better results in the long term? I’m so excited. So…thanks to Tobi for this insight! So happy Self-Care Saturday! Enjoy the weekend, and ask yourself: Is there anything you need a “vacation” from to keep you on-track with it?



p.s. Tobi also wanted me to remind you that TODAY is your LAST DAY to buy a ticket to The Journey to Getting Published and still get the chance to Bring a Friend for FREE! As in, after today, you’re paying full price whereas today you can split the cost with a friend! Ok, in my book, that’s a no-brainer! To learn more about the event, CLICK HERE!

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8 Responses to Self-Care Saturday: Planned Lapses in Discipline

  1. Great post, Ashley!! Amazing transformations:-) You are all such beautiful, emotional cheerleaders, I didn’t even realize you were melting away before my eyes. Congrats on being healthy and disciplined. You are as beautiful inside as you are outside!! xoxo

  2. Beautiful post, very inspiring and you look amazing, congratulations!

  3. Tam Stone says:

    Ashley, what a fantastic post! I love the idea of thinking of “cheat days” or “reward days”, etc. like vacations. I really like it because reward or cheat days can become a way of life, and before we know it we are back into old bad habits. If we think of cheat days more like vacations, then we know we must return to the eating habits that have lead to our success. The healthy eating is a way of life.

  4. Franki Parde says:

    You GO Girl!!! franki

  5. Hi Ashley, i love your take on “vacation.” i just finished the book, “Women Food and God” by Ganeen Roth… who has such a powerful message for anyone (and who’s not??) prone to emotional, perfectionist eating. she has a gentle, humorous, grounded approach that suggests eating only when you’re hungry and paying attention to what your body wants. sounds counter-intuitive to diet/nutrition-perfectionism, but like Tobi says… learning to trust that your body knows what it needs, that it is giving you signals all day long about what, when, why and how to feed it, is such an important aspect of the journey toward better health. it is incredibly freeing and much more sustainable than long-term calorie counting (which isn’t a bad thing… just not always necessary 🙂 so nice to hear your voice here. yes, tobi has left us in good hands.

  6. Ashley, you are a great writer!! I am loving the transparency of the blog lately, and you have done a great job filling in for Tobi. I want to congratulate all of you on your weight loss. I was one of those skinny people who never had to watch what I ate, and maintained a size zero figure all through high school and college. But after marriage and starting a business, my years of mindless eating caught up with me. I have spent the last few years trying to get back into a smaller size, so I know firsthand the discipline and commitment it takes to achieve what you all have. That deserves major recognition, and I am so proud of and happy for all of you!!!!

  7. You both look amazing and are to be congratulated!!! Very inspiring!

  8. Charissa says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that I found this post the day we were leaving on vacation and it was exactly what I needed from a very unexpected source! I’ve been dieting and was stressing about my eating. I made healthy choices when possible, but was careful not to deprive myself too much and with all the walking we did, I gained less than a half pound. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom! 🙂