Up 'til yesterday, I'd been 'good' for virtually the whole of my first week - a couple of squares of chocolate and a few glasses of wine over the bank holiday weekend, but plenty of fruit, veggies and exercise. Strangely, despite being far more careful about my diet and saying a firm 'No' to fatty food and fizzy drinks, I hadn't felt deprived - far from it. Thanks to the wiser choices I've been making, I've actually been having to eat more than usual to hit my nutrition targets.
Yesterday though, I chose to step off the wagon for a day and the effects surprised me. Some ladies in my office had organised a charity coffee morning (sausage and bacon rolls and piles of delicious cakes and pastries). I had thought that I wouldn't go - I didn't want to fall at the first hurdle. That changed when one of the ladies came up to my floor and personally invited me. This group of women had dedicated a lot of their own time to this event - they'd baked, they'd shopped and they'd negotiated time off from their work to run their stall - all to raise money for disadvantaged children. How could I sit there and turn my nose up at their efforts? I figured that I'd done so well all week, that I could afford a little cheat. I weighed up how bad a bacon roll would make me feel, compared to how bad I'd feel to sit there like the Grinch, surrounded by colleagues who'd joined in.
So, I bought a bacon roll.....and a huge chocolate muffin. I told myself that I'd take the muffin home to share but, twenty minute later, it was gone. I was so full I felt uncomfortable yet, two hours later, I ate lunch. Then I could barely move.
I read a Spark article this week about good and bad guilt - 'good' guilt being the conscience that asks you whether you're sure you want to do something before the fact. Well, I thought, it's my day off tomorrow - I'll be in the gym first thing and am going walking in the afternoon. I'll be back on plan tomorrow, today, I resolved, I'll have a full cheat day. 'Dinner', therefore, consisted of chocolate, Pringles and chicken wings - basically, I ate whatever took my fancy.
This morning, I don't feel guilty about yesterday's food. Today, I had a healthy breakfast and I'm off for a workout once I've finished writing. In fact, I'm glad I ate badly yesterday.
Why...? How...? What....?!
Well, I'm not glad I ate what I did because I don't care about myself, I'm not glad because I'd satisfied a craving for junk food and I'm certainly not glad because it made me feel good. I'm glad because it made me feel absolutely awful - not psychologically, but physically.
After eating last night, I did not feel the satisfied feeling I've been getting used to - that feeling that comes from giving your body the fuel it needs. My body felt cheated - it had a lot of food to use but there was no real substance to it - where was the fibre, the protein and vitamins? I went to bed early, exhausted and I woke up this morning feeling almost as tired.
So, I've learned a very important lesson. My body does not like being fed rubbish. I do not function well when fuelled by junk. This morning, my resolve is strengthened. I'm so happy to know that eating better is clearly doing me good and making me feel great. Next time there's a charity sale, I'll still have a bacon roll OR I'll buy a muffin - I can always pay double for one item to do my bit - but what I won't do is write the whole day off and go nuts because, thanks to feeling so bad, I now truly know what's good for me.