And now, guest post about the true life adventures of MFF SuperNinja Stella Kaufman, as she negotiates balancing everyday life with her health and hotness lifestyle!
“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
-William Ernest Henley
So I ate the effing hamburger. I was in control. Until…. (cue music)…the progressive dinner.
I was assigned the dessert course. That meant a day of serious baking with my daughter (a girl with mad baking skillz). I spent a delightful afternoon tasting batter and sampling baked goods. I even baked the first non-protein cake I’d baked in awhile. Even so, I was still in control.
It was all going quite well, really. Everything according to plan. Beginning with appetizers, we worked our way downtown until we got to dessert at my place. Again, in control. Not thinking about it.
By the time we got to my place, it was late. There were desserts, dessert drinks. And I tasted everything. (That’s okay.) And then I tasted everything again. (Still okay…I mean, it’s a party, right?) And then I started randomly eating bits of things. I cannot legitimately call this tasting anymore. I can’t even call it a serving. It was random eating. Mindlessly now. Not really caring about it or necessarily wanting it. (Not okay with me.)
I awoke the next morning in somewhat of a sugar coma. I saw the leftover desserts on the table. I wasn’t feeling good about my dessert frenzy the night before.
I thought to myself, “This is unacceptable. There was just no reason for it. I’m so done with dessert!”
And then I proceeded to make myself a healthy omelet with vegetables in the hopes of luring myself back to reality. As I was cooking the omelet, I glanced over at the table, and I couldn’t help but think how amazing two of the those peanut butter cookies would be with a cup of coffee…but I wasn’t going to act on it…
WRONG! I absolutely sat down to eat my healthful omelet with two peanut butter cookies (the kind with chocolate kisses in them…I mentioned that, right?)
I picked up the cookie, and, realizing that this was not the person I wanted to be, I put the cookie down, and — Okay. That didn’t really happen. In fact, I ate both cookies with the coffee. Yeah, that happened. And as long as it’s confession time, I may have eaten a couple of cookies later that day.
With crumbs and melted chocolate still on my face, I was forced to ponder…
What. Just. Happened?
I did everything right. I wasn’t overthinking. I (rightfully) thought I was at a place where I could trust myself in this situation. So what? What??
Well…I guess I just kinda messed this one up…
In terms of self-growth as it relates to my relationship with food, I think of each of these types of situations as a kind of experiment. An opportunity to monitor progress. Truly, the only real way to monitor progress is to see how you do in this type of scenario, right? I mean, it’s easy to be a model of self-control in the face of a plate of cut up carrot and celery sticks.
EPIC FAIL. Or was it?
I needed to assess the damage. Sure, I completely reverted to old behavior patterns. I didn’t listen to my brain or my body or anyone. I was unstoppable (and not in good way). But in the end, I had to ask: Was permanent damage done? Life resumed. Again, no apocalyptic ending.
The only way this would have been a true EPIC fail would have been if I hadn’t learned anything. But I did. And, as with so many things in my life, I learned so much from this failure! The epiphany for me was that it was not about the actual food I ate, and how I was (clearly) not in control. Or even that I failed. It was about what I did with this information. That was where I had progressed. I had a flashback to how I would have handled this just months before. It was definitely different than what was occurring now. This time, I did not go into a spiral of self-pity and shame that caused me to step back onto that dreaded treadmill of bad patterns. This event, although dramatic in my mind as it happened, was nothing more than just that…something that happened. Life happens. Dessert happens. An isolated event. Not an indication that I would be forever thrown back into old patterns. Nor was it a sure sign from immunity to further failure. It just happened.
There is simple formula that I now live by. And I share it with you.
FAILURE = LEARNING ≠ APOCALYPSE
I put that up somewhere I knew I would see it. On the refrigerator.
I’m working on that.