Last summer, I told Farmer Chuck — the king of everything delicious at our CSA Sunrise Farm — that the onions we'd been getting in our basket were...Read More
In Case You Were Wondering…
I didn’t intend to ignore most of the good lessons I’ve learned in the last two years; it just sort of happened. The universe has sent me a smack pack of reminders, and I’m sharing them with you so you don’t have to receive a similar gift basket of your own.
It started last Saturday night with a wedding. The evening was balmy. My husband Dave was looking SO handsome. Romance was in the air… and I had a cocktail in my hand. After dino-chow-friendly BBQ, I had another vodka & soda… and then a giant piece of Italian cream cake. Which I ate like an animal.
I felt 100% guilt free and enjoyed myself immensely.
Sunday evening, cuddled on the couch watching Scream 2, gluten-free pizza seemed like the best idea ever. I mentally praised myself for not eating my entire half of the pie.
And on Tuesday, when we realized our income tax refund was going to four times as much as we’d hoped, we decided to celebrate: Cuban food at the restaurant where we held our wedding dinner. Fried plantains. Yucca. Hunks of crispy pork. Mango-infused rum cocktails. And trés leches cake.
Friday, one of my best buddies at work was celebrating his last day before jumping ship to a new job. We had a beautiful, decadent meal and cocktails at Second Bar + Kitchen. My entree was a sensible and tasty pile of sauteed greens topped with slices of grilled steak – but I had bites of a handful of non-dino-chow appetizers – and my own fork to sample the array of desserts that hit the table (including – oh, my! – a chocolate toffee sticky pudding with bacon ice cream). And then, since I’m telling you the ugly, naked truth, I drank two vodka & sodas at our Karaoke Apocalypse show.
To cap off the week of hedonism, I snarfed my way through some tortilla chips and salsa on Saturday morning, alongside my healthy, dino-chow approved bowl of caldo de res. And then after a somewhat reasonable BBQ lunch, I ate a bunch of bites of banana pudding with whipped cream.
That’s quite a collection of treats, no?
Here’s the thing… any one of those meals would have been so OK with me. But instead, looking back on the week, I realized it was almost like a slow-motion binge in between squeaky-clean dino-chow meals.
I can’t help but think: What was I thinking?!
The truth is, I wasn’t thinking. I was just chowing.
I thought I was celebrating, but I forgot that true celebration is accompanied by mindfulness. And that celebratory emotions – joy, love, triumph, woot it’s friday! – can and should be separated from food and drink. It’s totally appropriate to mark a special occasion with a treat… but it’s best when it’s done by being fully present and savoring each bite. All of the occasions listed above would have been just as sweet if I’d shown restraint in the food and booze departments.
I don’t feel guilty, and I’m not beating myself up – which is a huge improvement over past behavior.
But I am realizing that all that “fun” really wasn’t such a great idea for me. Around about Thursday morning, I started wondering if my period was coming early because I was so freakin’ cranky.
I actually told a co-worker who was annoying me that I was going to stab him in the face.
By Friday night, I was feeling pudgy and unattractive – not the right frame of mind when I’m supposed to be the confident, fun-loving hostess of Karaoke Apocalypse.
Saturday, I was a hormonal wreck, still blaming pre-pre-PMS. Until I reflected on the week and the sugar-alcohol-grain roller coaster ride on which I’d taken myself.
Here’s the thing: physically, I don’t feel all that terrible. I didn’t have a stomach ache or weird bathroom experiences. I didn’t feel really depressed – just a little “off” – and I laughed a fair amount this week, along with the crankies.
But I didn’t feel Good. And I certainly didn’t feel Strong. Powerful. Confident. Energized.
Sometimes I wonder if being all picky-pants about what I eat is worth it. You know how it is… we say “no” to cocktails most of the time. Pass on dessert. Avert our eyes from the brie on the cheese board as we reach for the olives included as garnish.
Make no mistake, my faith in the power of dino-chow is strong, but even I wonder from time to time if all the fuss is necessary.
But that’s because I’ve forgotten what the “old normal” felt like. Puffy. Sniffly. Cranky. Lethargic.
Pretty much the anti-superhero.
I enjoyed myself quite a bit this week. I also felt crappy quite a bit this week.
This morning, determined to get back to feeling Good, I went for a run-walk around the lake and had a nice little chat with myself about the difference between “fun” and “happy.” Again. Then I came home and got busy in the kitchen. So far today, I’ve eaten homemade machacado and eggs, mango with coconut milk, and deconstructed hamburger salad.
That’s ever so much better.
I’ve been reminded… again… that yes, it’s worth it.