If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that although I am a Health Coach, I am by no means a clean-eating little angel. I still have setbacks from time to time, and I’m pretty certain that no matter how much progress I continue to make, I will struggle with emotional eating to some degree for the rest of my life. And truthfully, most days I am cool with that. I have finally accepted my reality, and it feels better to embrace it than waste energy fighting it.
When I have a slip-up, I don’t really get upset about the extra calories I’ve consumed. It’s more about why I over-indulged that bugs me, which more times than not is for an emotional reason. It also is usually on food that is not all that good or worth it. That’s the worst! I pretty much never feel guilty about consuming treats I really love because they are just so darn tasty.
Butterlane cupcakes. The guilty pleasure I don’t feel guilty about.
So, onto my confession…
Over Columbus Day weekend I went to South Carolina to visit my best friend Courtenay, and we had a full three days of fitness, healthy eating, relaxing and playing with her two adorable daughters. With the exception of a few too many cocktails on Saturday night, I stayed true to my usual everyday habits, even though I was out of town and off my normal routine. And, it felt easy. Great. Excellent. Fantastic. Bravo, Ellen!
However, airports tend to trigger my emotional eating tendencies, and let’s just say that I was not exactly eating kale — or anything green for that matter — on my trip back to NYC. I wasn’t actually hungry when I got to the airport, and none of the fast food options sounded good to me (which, I guess is actually a positive thing), but somehow I found myself in line at Tequileria ordering a plate of nachos topped with chicken, cheese, black beans, tomatoes, guacamole and a sprinkling of lettuce faster than you can say chimichanga. Thankfully, I was able to intervene on the situation when I sat down and decided to just eat off the toppings and have a small handful of chips. That was actually easy to do because they were way too salty. OK, fine. No big deal.
With over an hour left to kill before my flight I went hunting for something sweet and moseyed on over TCBY. I can’t even remember the last time I had frozen yogurt because I prefer to eat full-fat ice cream (with ingredients I recognize), but nonetheless, I ordered a medium chocolate-vanilla swirl with Health bar topping without hesitation. I will admit that it was…ehhh…pretty good. Again, fine. NBD. I don’t want to make a short, uneventful story even longer, so I will fast forward three hours to when I was still waiting at the airport due to “air traffic” delays. Disgruntled, I went back to TCBY and ordered a small cup of strawberry with Oreo topping, and I can honestly say it tasted pretty gross. I ate the cookie crumbles, threw the rest away and settled down with an issue of InTouch Weekly and a bag of Peanut M&Ms to cap off an all-around unsatisfying eating experience.
Well, there you have it. This is certainly not my worst eating moment, but it’s not exactly my proudest either. Although, just writing this post makes me realize how far I have come over the last few years. Even through my less-than-stellar decisions, I was able to be (somewhat) mindful of my actions and I didn’t let one moment dictate my attitude or choices the following day(s) like I used to. This is why I like the Babe Ruth quote above so much. Recently I have started viewing my “strikes” as learning lessons, which helps me to stay positive and not let one moment define who I am or negatively impact what I’ve striving for.
So, I encourage all of you to see what you can learn from your strikes, too. Reflect. Be curious. Ask yourself questions. But please, don’t beat yourself up!
Does anyone else have tricks to bouncing back from a bad eating day?