I had pizza last night.
There, I said it. Comically wipes fake sweat off brow.
Also: I used to binge on cheese sticks. You know, the string cheese kind that comes in the little plastic sleeve.
I was seeing a nutritionist who recommended said cheese sticks as a good snack.
She was well meaning (except when she told me to try eating meat), but I told her I had a history of being unable to stop after eating just one stick o’cheese.
I knew that cheese and I didn’t get along really well. But something in my brain must have been misfiring because, instead of not eating it or eating it in moderation, knowing the effect it had on my body, I chose to eat not one, not two, but three or sometimes even four or five, knowing full well how I’d feel.
I totally believed that I might as well just keep on with the destruction.
Like when you finally quit your dead-end job but find yourself going on a search-and-destroy mission for useful files and promptly hitting delete delete delete, email the entire company a so-long-suckers-you-all-suck email, and grab five reams of paper, ten boxes of your favorite pens, a handful of thumb drives, and a few ink cartridges on your way out the door.
(Maybe just a polite resignation next time? And maybe all the pens you’ve squirreled away at your desk.)
And my poor nutritionist. She wasn’t a psychologist. She didn’t really understand the compulsion to go above and beyond.
Just like you might spend three days designing an internal email announcement when it’s only going out to a whopping 12 employees, I felt the need to eat those cheese sticks until the entire bag was gone and my stomach was wrecked and I was hating myself.
I was always an A+ Dean’s List kind of gal.
What I wish someone had told me then…Nah, It’s not that I didn’t know or that I needed someone to tell me.
It’s that I needed to accept.
So what I wish I could have accepted was that one “bad” meal or one “slip” or one “bad day” doesn’t ruin everything. Just like one “good” meal or one “success” or one “good day” doesn’t make everything better.
I was firmly planted in the slippery slope of self-destruction camp. That one that believed if the ship was going down I might as well gorge on all the gourmet food stored in the freezer before it was lost to the sea.
The one that believed it was all or nothing. I could either eat healthy 110% of the time or throw everything out the window after one piece (okay, three pieces) of pizza.
We’ve done a damn good job of tricking ourselves into believing it’s all in or don’t even bother. We point to the scale after we enjoy a meal at our favorite restaurant as proof: Look, I gained 1.3 pounds! Might as well eat some ice cream now.
(P.S. The number on the scale isn’t the number one indicator of your health. Neither is the number someone randomly decided your jeans size is. I hope you already know this.)
Just. Fucking. Stop.
You know what I did after eating that pizza? Well, first, before even eating that pizza?
I had some homemade sweet potato fries.
(I learned this trick from my boyfriend. When he was practically a bodybuilder, he would eat his pound of red meat and sweet potato for dinner, then have pizza for dessert. Dessert! Pizza was never the main course.)
Then, I ate that pizza, enjoyed it, drank a shit ton of water (pizza be salty!), and slept it off.
I woke up, drank more water, had my favorite Saturday morning smoothie, and did yoga.
In other words, I went on with my life. I went right back to my normal routine. I didn’t use eating something I wouldn’t normally eat as an excuse to pile on and continue eating a bunch of other stuff I wouldn’t normally eat.
I moved on.
I didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t beat myself up over it. I didn’t think I was a bad person or less of a person because of it.
So you ate a donut at this morning’s team meeting that was supposed to center on weekly workload but somehow devolved into a discussion on new software and revised processes and a department mascot? (Who votes for Walter the Walrus?)
You know what you do?
Go back to your desk when the meeting is finally over. Drink some water to flush out those toxins (only semi joking…and bonus points for lemon water). And eat that healthy lunch you packed and snack on those nuts and attend your regularly scheduled workout.
Don’t reach for another donut because you’ve already had one. Don’t wash it down with a few shots of espresso. Don’t climb into the clown car for a lunch out. Don’t skip your workout thinking it’s a waste now anyway.
One donut does not give you cart blanche to eat more pastries and fast food for the rest of the day. One donut does not mean you’ve ruined the day. One donut does not mean you can’t eat clean in your cubicle for the rest of the day.
Oh, and it definitely doesn’t mean you should volunteer to be Walter the Walrus at the next company picnic.
If you’ve been welcoming those donuts with open arms a little more often than you’d like and they’re starting to outweigh the fruits and veggies, might I suggest a quick little two-day meal plan (plus bonus grocery list!) to get you feeling a little more powerful, a little more in control, and a little more…better?
Grab it below!