Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Slips vs. Lapses

Another concept I learned last week on my fitness vacation was the difference between slips and lapses and how to deal with them. Slips are sudden, impulsive, unplanned bad decisions and are the ones you need to avoid. Lapses are planned "cheats" and are okay in moderation.

Examples of Slips vs. Lapses:

-Slip: At 10am you made a plan to run on the treadmill at 6pm for 20 minutes. 10 minutes in to the run you suddenly decide to cut it off at 15 because you already worked out that morning and you're good.
-Lapse: At 10am you decide not to run on the treadmill at 6pm because you had a good workout this morning and you need the rest.

-Slip: You have a dinner planned with friends, you've looked at the menu ahead of time, and you decided on the rainbow trout with veggies. The server comes around, you get order envy, and you order the Cajun pasta.
-Lapse: You have a dinner planned with friends, you've looked at the menu ahead of time and you decide on the Cajun pasta because it has been a long time since you have treated yourself to a pasta dish.

-Slip: A co-worker has leftover Easter candy and you accept a piece, even though you are not hungry.
-Lapse: As you are packing your lunch to take with you to work, you grab a piece of chocolate to have for dessert.

-Slip: You plan on having 2 glasses of wine at 100 calories each at happy hour with friends, but once you get there you see they have a special on chocolate martinis. You drink two of those at 400 calories each instead.
-Lapse: It's Sunday and you plan a 'Monday Martini' night with the girls, knowing that you will have 2 chocolate martinis because they are your favorite and it's been two months since you have indulged.

Are you asking yourself what the real difference between the two is? Look at the first one: a lapse in this situation would mean that you didn't even walk at all, so isn't some better than nothing? Or how about the second one? The calories are the same for the slip and the lapse, so why does it matter which one it is? You consumed the same meal both ways!

Here's the difference: Control. Lapses are controlled 'cheats,' wheras slips are out of your control and tend to happen waaaayyyyy more frequently. Those little slips, like grabbing the work candy just because it's there, are the things that REALLY add up and have the most effects on your health. The occasional lapses are planned, well thought out, planned around, and happen very infrequently.

The things that have the most affect on your body, are the things you do consistently.

So be mindful of your slips, know the difference between the two, and control them. And when you do slip (and you will), don't beat yourself up about it. Learn from your mistake. Identify it and watch it next time.


  1. I like your approach to weight loss, it's sane and sustainable, far superior to the abomination of calorie restriction. You clearly put a lot of thought both into what you write and what you eat. Your success is assured - and so, I suspect, is a book deal! Keep going, my friend.

    1. Thanks so much, Dane! I appreciate your feedback!