Friday night was rough. I was meeting my family at the Spaghetti Factory for a birthday celebration. I love pasta. I love bread. I love meatballs. I love wine. I love everything about the Spaghetti Factory.
So, knowing that I needed to plan to succeed, I'd looked online at the menu hoping to find a healthy option for dinner. I scanned the menu ... hmm ... baked chicken breast looked promising except that it was marinated in olive oil and served with browned butter and mizathera cheese sauce. What a way to bring a zillion calories to baked chicken breast! A BLT salad might be ok except I'd have to have them leave off the bacon, blue cheese crumbles, croutons, olives, avocados, and dressing. Then it's just a LT salad. That's not really worth the $9 price tag.
Ok, no problem. The food I need is in the kitchen. I'd just order lettuce, tomatoes, and a grilled chicken breast. I got this, I thought.
But I didn't have it.
Before I went in, I got a phone call that I knew I shouldn't have answered but did anyway and in so doing, I let my emotions get the best of me. I started to feel insecure and unhappy with myself.
When I start to feel those things, I eat. I started with a glass of wine thinking it would calm my nerves. It did. It also opened the door to the bread, pesto dressing, meatballs and scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I beat myself up one side and down the other side that night. I mean, I was just newly on this plan again and there I go derailing myself before I even got started!!!! When I got home, I opened the pantry door thinking that I'd already failed, I might as well finish out the night with whatever might tempt me in the cupboards.
But I stopped because I knew I'd only feel worse after another indulgence.
I shut the cupboard and instead opted for a hot bath with some smelly stuff and a few candles. I pulled out my journal and wrote about the feelings I'd had earlier in the night. I went to bed feeling slightly refreshed even though mentally I was still berating myself for the off plan meal choice. I was already dreading my next weigh in.
Saturday morning, I met a friend for coffee. I related the story to her and she said "You have to forgive yourself or the rest of your weekend will be off plan too."
That's something I'm not so good at but something that I know can be freeing. So, I said to myself, "Yes, it was a mistake but it was one meal. It's not the end of the world. You are back on plan today. You are making healthy choices. You'll succeed because you're worth it. And I forgive you for the mistake that was made."
I know it sounds silly, but truly a weight was lifted off my mind when I forgave myself. I stayed on plan and focused the rest of the weekend. I even went out to dinner and a movie last night and managed to make wise, healthy choices.
I'm learning. It's happening slowly ... but it's happening. I'm finding that lasting change doesn't happen overnight and I need to be patient with myself as I soak in and learn all I need to learn. Each slip is an opportunity to regroup, refocus, and perfect that forgiveness skill.