Stupid Mistakes - Smart Mistakes Series: Food #1
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Last night I had a "deep thought" after I veered off-course on the food I had planned to eat. You know how it goes - you're doing great then suddenly an overwhelming compulsion to eat something comes over you and you seem helpless in the face of it. Well last night, the peanut butter monster got me!
I had been craving peanut butter - not usually a trigger food for me - and finally bought some on sale. For dinner I'd planned on warming up a whole wheat pita, cutting it in half and smearing each with 1 Tbsp of pb. Yummy! Well that worked fine but in addition to the planned food - I ate another 2 Tbsp right from the jar and then 1/4 cup of raw peanuts.
While this ranked only as a minor transgression, I noticed that I immediately felt that I'd let myself down and was well on my way to donning a hair shirt and engaging in emotional self-flaggilation when I stopped and thought about how stupid that would be. When I thought about it - was the "PB divergence" worth going to the effort to drag the mental hair shirt and willow branches out? It was NOT. I then realized that the only thing WORTH the time and mental effort was to check and see if anything other than a mild craving caused the "divergence" and if not, to move on and get back on track with the next meal.
Which is exactly what I did AFTER I noticed how freeing it was to quit beating up on myself for something that happens to all of us from time to time. Wow - who knew you could actually stop yourself from beating yourself up? (OK - maybe some of you did but this is such a knee-jerk reaction for me that it completely floored me!)
So the stupid mistake: Emotional self-flaggelation for a minor transgression that may have spiraled out of control with food featured prominently in making myself feel better after the beating. This is pointless, dramatic and damaging.
And the smart mistake: By-passing using myself as a human punching bag, checking in with myself, moving on and immersing myself in a good read. Peaceful, emotionally supportive and completely without drama, hair shirts and willow branches.