I fell off the wagon.
I indulged a little.
I had a cheat meal.
I had a cheat day.
I had a treat.
I’m having a moment.
You ever use any of these little turns of phrase? Find these words worming their way into your daily vocab?
You ever stop to think that these word choices add an extra serving of guilt, an extra layer of self-hatred, a little more shame?
Let me tell you something.
I hate words like cheat, treat, or indulge. It’s like making excuses for eating food, for eating the food that you want to eat in any given moment, for ascribing meaning and value to a certain way of eating, of equating your self-worth with your self-control (or lack thereof).
And what the hell is the wagon? And why do we all need to be on it?
This is the land of excuses, my friend.
The land of good and bad. Black and white. Healthy and not-healthy.
Where you count calories and think fat makes you fat and one triple cheeseburger with extra bacon and extra cheese, a side of fries with ketchup and mayo thankyouverymuch, and an extra-large milkshake with whipped cream on top determines your destiny.
I mean, did that one salad miraculously clear your arteries, your brain fog, and your colon? (TMI, right?!?)
Did it instantly make you shed 15 pounds, devote your life to leafy greens, and buy stock in every CSA (ahem, community-supported agriculture) within a 50-mile, nay, 100-mile radius?
Did it make you a lifelong gym member that gets their money’s worth every damn day?
Or did that one brilliant idea you threw out during your last all-hands-on-deck emergency brainstorming session immediately make you the go-to big ideas person?
Did it make your boss instantly recognize what a genius you are and how hard you’ve been working and what an underutilized asset you are to the team?
Did it immediately result in a very generous bonus and an extremely handsome raise and maybe even a promotion that very instant?
My guess is a big juicy nope.
Stuff doesn’t happen just. like. that.
I mean, if it were as easy as drinking ONE SMOOTHIE I’m pretty sure we’d all be at our body’s ideal weight (note: not society’s ideal weight for you but where your body is naturally nice and comfy) with shiny, thick hair; with glowing, smooth skin; with big, old regular poos.
Stuff happens over time. It’s not just one thing. It’s one thing and then another and then another that add up over time to create freakin’ amazing results.
So stop with the oopsies and the hehe-I’m-so-bad-I-can’t-believe-I-just-ate-that shit.
You don’t need a permission slip or a note from your doctor to eat something, even if it’s a little out of character.
And you don’t need to justify it or plot out a grand comeback or obliterate yourself on social media.
Let’s not adopt a can’t-stop-won’t-stop mindset. Because we all know how, after you plow through that triple patty, you feel like you’ve unlocked some sort of secret level that involves bonus points for finishing off the fries and milking every last drop of that milkshake.
Like all of a sudden all you’re craving is some fast-food, some grease, something that comes in a bag and has 57 ingredients.
And you’re thinking, Well, I screwed up. Might as well throw caution to the wind, as you stand in the kitchen polishing off the second half of that pizza and lustily eyeing that second bag of chips.
The people that want you to stay stuck in that mentality and cycle looooove that shit.
So here’s what you’re going to do.
Take ownership of your actions. Be a grown-ass adult. Accept that you wanted to eat that entire box of cookies. And be okay with it.
Let’s use facts to describe our actions. Not vague intimations of metaphors and similes and analogies.
I decided to eat something I wouldn’t normally eat.
I chose to eat some ice cream today.
I wanted to eat something that made me feel good emotionally.
I wanted some comfort food.
I ate two king-sized candy bars.
I ordered an extra-large pizza for one.
See how much different that feels? See how you didn’t project your feelings onto the food? See how there’s no guilt in those words?
And if you decide not to feel worthless or like a horrible person and find that your body kinda sorta really just wants some fruits and veggies now? Well, you’re going to be fine. Be sure to check out my two-day meal plan and grocery list to give you a head start.