Sue is doing so well, but I wanted to prepare her for making mistakes.  We reviewed the concept that mistakes are normal, and that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.  While it’s impossible to avoid mistakes altogether, I explained to Sue that what she tells herself about her mistakes is crucial to success.

I explained to Sue that if she says to herself, “This is terrible. I can’t believe I ate that. I’m so weak. I thought I could do this [stick to a diet] but I can’t,”  she’ll feel demoralized and helpless and she’ll  be likely to abandon  her efforts. But if  she says, “Big deal, I’m human, I made a mistake, I’m going to get back on track this minute, and I’m going to give myself a LOT of credit for getting back on track,” she’ll  quickly recover and it will be NO BIG DEAL. Everyone makes mistakes, whether it’s ruining a nail you’re polishing or deviating from your eating plan. I helped Sue develop the attitude:  “I can recover from mistakes—AND LEARN FROM THEM.”