A Letter to Myself When I Cheat my Healthy Eating

You did it. You caved. You were sitting in your car, a little angry and definitely hungry, and those snap peas sitting in your passenger seat were the least appetizing sight in the world. So, you drove down the street and got some fast food. You ate it happily enough, but now, you’re sitting there, wafting in the stale air where that greasy fast food smell still lingers, feeling bad about yourself.

Feeling bad that you betrayed your commitment to healthy eating, and for what? For chicken nuggets and fries that when you really think about it, really weren’t that great. You’re thinking about how upset you were a couple weeks ago, when you noticed that you weren’t seeing results despite working your ass off at barre and kickboxing classes every day and when you stepped on the scale to see that ugly number glaring back at you (you know, the number you promised yourself you’d never reach). You’re thinking about those not-so-great chicken nuggets are only hindering your pursuit of comfort, to feel good in your skin again, and you’re disappointed that you would even indulge in such a measly, unsatisfying thing .

I know you’re the queen of the pity-party and could keep this going all night long, but just stop for a minute. Seriously. Yes, there were better choices than going for the fast food, but honestly, you’re human. As a human, sometimes, you make choices for yourself that aren’t the best for you. And you make excuses for it: you were having a bad day, you were having a craving, it’s okay to indulge. And every once in a while, that’s okay, but not every day. Not all the time. Not now that you’ve committed to eat better.

To be honest, I get that it is hard to eat healthy, especially when you haven’t really thought about it your whole life. When you were a kid, you ate what was in front of you. When you got to college, you ate what the meal plan allowed you to eat. When you started cooking for yourself, you weren’t thinking about portion sizes or which breads and milks were better for you than others or balancing your proteins with your vegetables on your dinner plate. Your cooking objectives were to A) make food that was actually edible and B) not burn the house down. But now, you’re an adult now, and if you want look good and feel good and not set yourself up for heart attacks down the road, you need to get your ass in gear.

It’s not going to be easy, but guess what! Nothing has come easy in this life. It wasn’t easy to take your first steps or say your first words or read your first books. It wasn’t easy to make the volleyball team in high school. It wasn’t easy to get good enough grades to get into college. It wasn’t easy to balance school and research and a job and friends and the five-hundred extracurricular activities you just had to do in college.

Just think of these past couple months alone! It wasn’t easy to pack up your life and leave everything you’ve ever known to live in LA. It wasn’t easy to find a job. It wasn’t easy to find a second job only a couple months later. It wasn’t easy to pluck up the courage (and ignore your innate stinginess) to sign up for ClassPass and then go every day, even to those before-work 6AM classes that made you question your life choices that led you to that point. But you did all those things and are still doing those things, so much so that many of them having become habits. You don’t think about doing them. You just do them.

So, it’s time to apply the same bold motivation and initiative. Commit to adding more greens to your diet as you committed to getting up all those morning before work. Try new healthy recipes with the same vigor you have when you start a new novel. Think of it less as a chore and more as a challenge. You like challenges; you like proving yourself. And maybe, after a while, it won’t feel like a chore or a challenge. It will just be another thing you do, like flossing or going to the gym or drinking copious amounts of water.

There is a lot to think about when you’re trying to be a healthy, functioning adult in the real world. It’s easy to let things fall to the wayside. But if you’re going to live a long happy life, you have to make the effort. Start today. You got this.

Until Next Time,
Casey Brown | Gal about Town

 

(Image via Flikr user Joey | CC BY 2.0)

 

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