Ice cream sundae with whip cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles
Chocolate Easter bunny
Pizza (Gluten free of course!)
Keylime pie filling
Shame and guilt
What do all of these things in common? They are all things that I consumed this week. Or should I say, they consumed me.
I started off my week in my normal routine, or so I thought. But realistically there were a lot of changes to my typical schedule. School is out for the kids, I have taken the summer off, and we have been adjusting to new daytime activity schedules which keep us out of the house a lot. My sleep schedule has also taken a bit of a hit too and I have been getting to bed later than I’d like. Although I thought I was adjusting okay to this, the realization of my eating habits this week are screaming otherwise.
During my detox yoga last night, I reflected on my food consumption over the past week. I had felt slightly out of control and slipped into past behaviors more easily than I could have imagined I would. I felt saddened and disappointed with my slips, but I worked to only allow myself to sit with these feelings for a brief time, before I forgave myself and moved on.
Today is a new day and as with all other days I have the power of choice. Today I am choosing to be more aware of my behaviors and I am choosing health. I am also choosing to forgive myself because beating myself up for choices in the past (despite how recent they are) only feeds the negative feelings that work against my positive change.
Now, please do not get me wrong, I am not against the occasional french fry splurge or a delicious hamburger and ice-cream sundae dessert. It is not the food itself that is the enemy (I whole heartedly believe in life in moderation) – it is the feeling that the food is controlling me rather than having the consumption be a conscious choice, this is where the problem lies.
Growing up I battled bulimia for several years and so falling into the binging behaviors can trigger more than just behaviors, but a slew of negative thoughts that go with it. Luckily, over the past decade I have worked hard on self awareness, forgiveness, and replacing old destructive behaviors with new empowering ones. Now a days I am less likely to spiral out of control, but I still have to be very mindful when I get off balance as the slope can be slippery.
As soon as I realized that my eating habits had taken a negative turn I reflected on how the behaviors had manifested. I believe that the peg that had first become loose in my tripod of health was my sleep. Then, on my visit back home with my family I fell into old habits that I used to engage in when I lived there. Unlike my previous trip home, I did not come prepared with food this time and so my meals felt less in my control. I started helping myself to seconds and thirds simply because the dishes were sitting in front of me rather than being plated with appropriate serving sizes ahead of time as I do at home. I also found myself triggered by seemingly benign statements family members made which brought back old memories of times I had less control over food. I honestly believe that if I had not been off kilter with my sleep that these statements would have not even influenced me, but this weekend got the best of me and I ate with my emotions rather than my head.
Rather than allowing myself to be consumed with the guilt or disappointment in my poor choices I have decided that I prefer to be grateful for the experience, as the awareness of my triggers and reactions is beneficial to my own personal growth. I do not expect to get through the rest of my life without getting triggered or falling into old behaviors, so the quicker that I am able to identify when I have fallen down the rabbit hole and pull myself out, the better. I am proud of myself for coming to these realizations and I understand that this is all part of the process to finding the balance in my own life.
So today instead of sweetened granola and leftover steak and onions for breakfast I have chosen a little more wisely and started my day off with an egg white omelette, a grapefruit, black coffee, a huge glass of water, and a deep breathe of gratitude for a nice visit home with my family and a little more self growth.