WARNING: This is going to be a very long entry.
Alright folks. In interest of full disclosure, I tumbled off the horse on Saturday and hit the ground running towards gastronomical debauchery. Yes; I was running pell-mell, arms flailing about, into the embrace of my old friend, Mr. Junk Food. I have climbed back on the horse today, not entirely willingly, but knowing it’s what’s best. I (and my diet) have survived this foray into fattening foods, so I figured I would share some insights that I gained through the experience.
Reaction vs. Response
Whether or not you believe it right this moment, you will probably mess up big time with something in your life, at some point. Well maybe you won’t. You’re probably perfect and incapable of such gross oversights. Well… I’m not. I am perfectly imperfect and I’ve screwed up so many things in my short 27 years, there’s probably a trophy for me out there somewhere. But you know what I hate screwing up? Diets. I hate falling off the band wagon because it’s so hard to get back on.
Why is this? Two reasons: food and failure.
As far as food goes, it’s fun to be bad, and that’s why most of us are here, right? Too much of a good thing. If you have issues with food obsession like I do, you are very concerned with experiencing flavors, textures, sweet, salty, rich, creamy and fluffy. Fluffy soft breads and pastries are what got me here in the first place.
And failure? Failure is realizing what you’ve done and burying yourself with the shame of it. Failure is a lack of willingness to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and go back down the path to health and wellness. Failure is accepting your mistake as your reality. Failure is embracing the behaviors that destroy as a lifestyle, and not a temporary state. And boy, oh boy, have I been there.
One of the first things that Leslie shared with me at our many meetings was a list of things that “naturally thin” people do or believe. One of them was this: No freaking out over diet mistakes. Start over tomorrow, and get really strict to make up for a day (or three… eep!) of bad eating. Keep an eye on the scale, and let it tell you how your body is reacting to your food decisions. Don’t get upset. Just respond accordingly.
See… there’s a huge difference between reacting, and responding. My awesome Aunt Janet,a life coach, taught me that long a go. The definitions really lay it out for you:
1. To act in response to or under the influence of a stimulus or prompting: reacted strongly to the sarcastic tone of the memorandum.
2. To act in opposition to a former condition or act: composers who reacted against romanticism.
3. To act reciprocally or in return.
The underlying tone here takes the power away from the individual doing the reacting. Almost as if they’re completely impulsive with no self-censorship.
1. To make a reply; answer.
2. To act in return or in answer.
3. To react positively or favorably.
I love that number three has the word “react” in its definition. The word respond suggests thought, much more so than react does. So my advice is this:
Respond to your mistakes, don’t react to them. Learn from them and decide what your next move will be. Don’t let your mistake, or your emotions related to that mistake, decide for you. Today is a new day, or heck, tomorrow can be the new day you need. Just remember to decide.
The Body Knows What’s Up
So you know what happens when you try to eat terrible food after eating such a clean, restricted list of foods for so long? Nothing good. Just take my word on that.
You Can Go Home Again
Maybe this is the wrong way of looking at it, but Ideal Protein feels like my “home turf” right now. IP has been very, very good to me. I’ve lost almost seventy pounds since the end of May (5/22/2011) and I only have about thirty more to go.
Ideal Protein won’t judge you. It won’t tell you you can’t come back until you’re perfect. It won’t tell you that the stuff you ate the day before is completely unforgivable. Ideal Protein will be waiting there, patiently, if you made a mistake. (Or several mistakes, as the case may be… ehem.) It will, however, make you hungry for the first few days, since you probably threw yourself out of ketosis.
You know what? Worth it.