OK everyone… at some point in this journey, we will probably all get to this point. You give into temptation and eat something that was not in your meal plan.
Yesterday was especially tough for me. I started the day feeling awesome and had a long calorie-torching morning run, followed by Power Yoga at lunch, which left me famished by 1pm. I had a handful of dry-roasted edamame to hold me off and stuck it out for the rest of the day, sticking to my meal plan. But at 9:00 pm, as I let my dogs out one last time before bed, I stood there in the kitchen and started fantasizing about food. It started out harmless enough with a 35-calorie wedge of Laughing Cow cheese (meant for my Sonoma Snack later this week), then I rationalized that I could have another small 60-calorie square of Godiva dark chocolate because I had not eaten a full 100-calories earlier in the day. Next, I just had to try some new 100-calorie-per-serving banana chips that I had gotten at Trader Joe’s, which were fabulous, and oh, I bet they would taste even better dipped in a little peanut butter (90-calories per Tbsp). Then one more chocolate square, dipped in peanut butter, and to top it all off, a small 100-calorie Mochi ice cream ball (also from Trader Joe’s and fabulous). Granted, everything I ate was in very small quantity, but it adds up. Doing the math, it was an extra 450 calories all in one 5-minute moment of weakness.
So now what?
Well first, if I’m going to ever get past this vicious cycle of bingeing, guilt, then falling completely off the health wagon, I have to do one of those things I hate – deal with my feelings. So how did I feel? First, it’s important to note that I recognized even before I started that I was not hungry. In fact, I was still quite full from my black bean taco dinner. I simply wanted something to eat, because I enjoy eating, especially tasty food. I felt guilty even as I ate them, and yet did not stop. Next came the guilt and depression that has lingered even into this morning. Yeah OK, I probably still ate less calories than I burned yesterday given my tough workouts, but there’s still this feeling of failure.
My first instinct at this point is to 1) give up and eat whatever I want, or 2) counteract the extra calories by cutting way back today. The correct answer: neither. You can’t give up. This is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. And as Cynthia frequently talks about in her Shape Blog, drastically reducing your calories the following day or week can actually have a negative effect by sending your body into starvation mode.
So I’ll shrug it off as a weak moment and keep pushing forward. There’s nothing I can do to undo it, so the best option is just to keep going like nothing happened. I will also be sure and add another serving of whole grains with my breakfast and protein with lunch on days where I’m doing a long training run to help stave off afternoon munchies. Now I’m going to eat my Apple Crisp and then go teach 8th graders about Agriculture. (I’m a volunteer teacher for Junior Achievement on Wednesdays). My whole life revolves around food!!