Oops day

Today’s assignment was curious: make a conscious decision to make a “mistake” with a food choice. In other words, eat something that’s a little evil. Pay close attention to how you feel, both mentally and physically, and then understand that you are not your food journal — the food journal is nothing but data, neither good or bad, and therefore outside of judgment no matter what ends up on the list.

Because I’m such an over-achiever, I had made it “mistake day” even before I knew I was supposed to.  It started with my normal Wednesday morning breakfast sandwich, but then I got to the office and found homemade apple cake and snickerdoodle cookies.  I couldn’t resist.  I made it through the Halloween cupcakes from two days ago and the homemade coffeecake from yesterday, but I wasn’t able to resist a third day of this all-out assault.

I got back to my desk, inhaled the sweets (you know, because I figured I could get rid of the evidence) and then read the assignment for the day, telling me about “mistake day”.  I thought to myself, “Nailed it!”. 

So I did the rest of the assignment, writing down what I ate and how I was feeling about it.  And you know what? Physically I felt awful.  I had eaten too fast and eaten too much and was feeling uncomfortably full and bloat-y. And you know what else?  In the past, this would have been how I normally would have eaten.  In fact, I probably would have gone back for more cookies (the cake was only okay — I shouldn’t have finished it — but the cookies were awesome).  I’m not sure if I used to always feel this miserable, or if I’m just more sensitive to it now?

Mentally, there was a moment of feeling like I was getting away with something — like getting free food was some sort of coup. On the heels of that, though, was the feeling that I should have been stronger, should have left it there — I know that doesn’t support my long term goals.  And on the heels of THAT was the guilt knowing that someone else would be looking at my logs and questioning my commitment to the program.

All that in a matter of minutes.  Amazing, isn’t it?

It’s not like I’ve never figured out the link between eating crap food and feeling crappy — been there, done that, as have most people.  This was a good experiment, though — being told to carefully identify what I was feeling and write it down was valuable. Like a lot of this program, the “aha!” moment was in the Monday morning quarterbacking of the situation. So the lesson here: I have to hold on to the feeling of how utterly miserable (mentally, physically, emotionally) I felt after eating the goodies.  It won’t always work, but at least some of the time that memory should deter me from eating something I shouldn’t. Right? 

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