This essay is about “falling off the wagon.”
I try to encourage people to restart when they’ve fallen off, and sometimes it’s a pretty good reason. I’m not going to criticize someone for screwing up when, for instance, they’ve just lost a loved one.
And it’s absolutely true that when you’ve screwed up, wallowing in shame and guilt isn’t the least bit helpful. Feeling crappy is just an excuse to indulge further to bury those feelings.
At least part of the problem with screwing up is it’s not building the evidence I want. I had plenty of evidence I could fail at diets before I began my journey; I don’t need more of *that* kind of evidence.
And in my head, it’s a slippery slope between forgiving myself and moving on and deciding it’s OK to screw up in the short run.
I’ve always clung to Sarah’s mantra: make the next best choice. Yes, I ate a piece of cheese outside my window, but feeling bad about it doesn’t help, I just need to make a better choice next time.
But I’m finding a bit of a problem in my head with thinking this way lately. If I think to myself that I can cheat a little bit, and get back on track afterwards, that’s almost like thinking it’s OK to get off track in the first place.
And that is a slippery slope for me.
I’ve often said that mine is a journey from fat, weak and sick to trim, strong and healthy. And I need to decide which of those I really want.
Not decide in the moment, when a temptation is staring me in the face. Not deciding even on a daily basis, by choosing what I will eat tomorrow the night before.
No, I need to decide ONCE who I want to be.
And having chosen, having fully envisioned my choice, my ideal self, that needs to be who I’m aiming for all the time, in all the small decisions I make daily.