May 19, 2016

Day Twenty-Nine: This Week's Plan (or Not)

There was a plan for this week, I swear. It's just that sometimes plans don't work out and you end up at McDonald's for dinner. But the important thing is that, no matter how much your plans are derailed, no matter what goes wrong or what you eat, you have to be honest with yourself about what happened, why it happened, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

This week's plan was driven off course by a lot of factors. I forgot my dad was coming to town. I didn't check the weather forecast. I had to go to a late meeting and didn't finish in time to exercise OR make dinner that night. Snit happens, as my mom would say. It is always going to happen, and it's important that we don't use it as an excuse for throwing our good intentions and hard work out the window. There's no reason to feel bad about yourself, feel like a failure, or sabotage yourself just because something didn't go right. That's an important thing to learn, and it's something I've finally grasped.

The scones I baked for breakfast this week were terrible. The thought of exercising or cooking after my late meeting was terrible. The 90 degree weather on the day of one of my training runs was terrible. These things were all terrible, but I took the problems, worked with them, accepted what happened, and moved on. There is no blame to be placed, no shame to be felt for not having a perfect life. I think a lot of us forget that when we're trying to lose weight and get healthy. We want so badly to reach this skinny nirvana, and we don't know what to do when something goes wrong on that journey (did I just use the word journey? Hashtag kill me now). And so we go to this dark place of shame and pity, and Coca Cola and Kit Kat bars, and then give up altogether because we can't do it.

That's absolutely not true. We CAN do it. I can do it, you can do it, anyone can do it. We just have to want it enough, work at it enough, and be willing to face the tough times with some dignity, self-respect, and HONESTY. Be honest with yourself about the choices you make. Did I have to go to McDonald's instead of going home and throwing a salad together? No. Did I? Yes. Do I feel bad about it? No, because things happen. Life's not perfect, and we're going to make mistakes. The important thing is to ACKNOWLEDGE the mistake as just that - a mistake. Not some life-ruining moment that is worth throwing away everything you've worked for. Acknowledge it, contemplate it, track it, come up with ways to prevent it from happening again. But never, ever, EVER let a mistake get in the way of what you want.

And because I'm talking about honesty here, I'm just going to add that McDonald's chicken nuggets and French fries really don't taste that great once you've gone without them for almost 2 months. Okay, the French fries were good. But the nuggets? I can live without them.