Having Trouble? If you are having trouble sticking with the program, don't be hard on yourself. Rather, give yourself a pat on the back for the changes you HAVE made. And then challenge yourself to stick to the program for one day! - for today! For the rest of today. Once you do it one day, you will be so proud of yourself, you'll want to keep achieving that success every day! One day at a time!
By the same token, instead of focusing on the ways in which you weren't perfect, give yourself credit for what you did do, even if that was: I did five minutes of exercise, drank a glass of water, ignored my craving for chips, ate everything on the program menu, and I kept a positive attitude most of the day even when I slipped up in the afternoon. And really feel proud of that. If it was in any way better than the day before you are moving in the direction of your goals. Every little step in the right direction is worth celebrating!
I was thinking a lot about this last night and today before even reading her message. Yesterday, I bought a package of six large snickerdoodle cookies from the bakery. I wanted one for my daughter – her favorite. But they were only sold in packages of six. I knew I’d be in trouble, so in the store I vowed that I wouldn’t eat them. Well, I did. As soon as I got home and the groceries unpacked, I ate a cookie. It was large, and dense – must have been baked with lots of butter because I could feel it like led weight in my stomach. Tasted great going down (doesn’t it always?), but the after affect was so immediate. You would think that I had learned my lesson by throwing the rest away, or to get away, fast. I didn’t do either. I did a few more chores in the kitchen and then I HAD ANOTHER ONE. I was still feeling very full and uncomfortable from the first cookie, but still, I forced the second one down. Of course, that felt even worse, it didn’t even taste good.
Do any of you eat while in pain, but still continue to force the food down? I write about this because it is behavior I have yet to understand in myself. Perhaps uncovering it and taking a hard look at it, will lead me to some reasoning and hopefully, change.
This reminds me of Nicolas Cage’s performance of Ben in Leaving Las Vegas. There were frightening scenes when he tilts his head back and guzzles straight from the vodka bottle. I saw the movie with my boyfriend at the time, soon to become my husband. He asked, “Did you ever drink like that?” No, not really. But I wonder had I continued, would I? There certainly was a lot of pain there. Today, eating forcefully, painfully, as a glutton feels much like drinking to excess. It is the loss of control in spite of the pain that is frightening. At times I wonder is there something unresolved that I’ve buried, that I wish to continually hurt myself over?
Perhaps. So I ponder my state of mind yesterday as I overindulged. I had just come home from shopping with my son. I was very tired and my body hurt from maybe overextending myself with exercise. My neck, lower back and right hip were sore. I was also tired from getting too little sleep the night before. I honestly don’t recall my thoughts at the moment as I felt predominantly tired and sore and a little bit dazed. No deep negative thoughts. No big mental challenges. My little one was even being easy-peasy at the moment – cute, delightful, funny. It is these times that I wonder if the way I eat is more a function of habit instead of psychological distress. The truth may be found somewhere in between.
So I began by thinking about Jinjee’s words about not being so hard on oneself – lighten up, keep positive. At the end of the day, I honored the good food that I ate, the joy I felt in preparing it, and the amazing exercise I had experienced. This morning, immediately following yoga, one person exclaimed with childlike enthusiasm, “That was the best class, EVER!” (I wanted to hug him, but we were all so sweaty. Ewe.) A moment later in the locker room, a woman confided, “Such a bad class for me today.” I could feel her resignation in the slump of her shoulders, her lowered eye lids. I tried to be encouraging.
I am still so much a beginner in this class. I’m the one you would see in an exercise video who performs the modified poses for all the newbies, injured, overweight folks to follow along. Yet I think to myself, there is no bad class, for to be in the class is a triumph, an accomplishment, a gift to myself. That’s how I feel about the diet on the hard days, through the slipups, and the all out binges - there is no bad day in my diet. To nourish myself is to live. To acknowledge mistakes is to learn. To overcome challenges is to grow. Every moment of each day is an opportunity to start anew. I can see good things on the horizon.