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Overate? Don't overcompensate

Editor's note: This column is one in a series as three RiverTown Multimedia reporters take part in the Slim Down with RiverTown weightloss challenge.

So, my February diet didn't go as well as planned.

My meal planning wasn't as diligent as I had hoped, resulting in more eating out and buying snacks on the road while traveling. My workout routine took a minor hit as my desire to hop on a treadmill plummeted near Week 3 of the month.

Katie DavidsonBut that's OK — as long as I avoid overcompensating.

Before I was diagnosed with bulimia in 2014, I'd make up for poor eating days by attempting to starve myself for as long as possible. If I fell for late-night snacking, breakfast and lunch were off limits the next day. Skipped a day at the gym? An extra-long sweat sesh was my answer.

However, the fallacies of my go-to diet fixes were soon realized.

After depriving myself of breakfast, lunch or snacks in between meals, I'd typically retreat to binge eating once my will power caved in. My irregular eating cycle continued, and I began to gain weight because of it.

I saw a nutritionist for a year and a half after undergoing treatment for my eating disorder. I dreaded mealtime during the most extreme stages of my battle with bulimia, and my nutritionist basically re-taught me how to develop regular eating patterns.

First, we made scheduled times for me to eat throughout the day: 7:15 a.m. breakfast, 10:15 a.m. morning snack, noon lunch, 3 p.m. afternoon snack, 5:15 p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. evening snack. I needed that regiment early on in recovery while I was re-establishing my relationship with food. But there were definitely days where I skipped a snack or felt like I needed to lessen my calorie intake after what I deemed as "overeating" at mealtime. My nutritionist helped me correct this line of thinking.

READ MORE: Slim Down With RiverTown

One of the most important lessons my nutritionist shared with me was to refrain from punishing myself by skipping meals or snacks. Not only did restricting myself lead to weight fluctuation, but it also reinforced my previous mindset that overeating was the end of the world.

Today, "cheat" meals or missed workouts aren't as big of a deal to me. I don't schedule out all of my meals to the exact minute like I used to, and I don't use exercise as a punishment for overeating. I'm able to see the flaws in my diet plan without loathing myself for them.

If your diet revealed some faults in February, don't punish yourself, throw in the towel or deprive yourself of the nutrients your body needs. Eliminate any punitive habits in your diet and remember that diets aren't ruined or completed in one single day — there's still plenty of time to get back on track.

Tip of the week from Vibrant Health

Getting Active/Simple Exercises

By Brittney Matheson, PA

Are you feeling stuck in a rut with your exercise routine? Or maybe you want to try new exercises but don't know where to start. Or maybe your current program isn't getting you where you want to go.

There's a seven-minute workout that has been proven to be effective in helping obtain more cardiovascular fitness in less time.

Visit the Vibrant Health website to find the right video.

Visit www.SlimDownWithRiverTown.com each Monday to see a weekly video.