I’ve decided that a food hangover is officially worse than a hangover of the traditional variety. Why, you ask? Well, from personal experience, I find that when the culprit is booze the recovery [while unpleasant] is purely physical. Once I get the nastiness out of my system, the hangover is lifted, and I’m all better.
Then again, I’ve never had to deal with a hangover like the one these boys had…
When the “hangover” is from an over-indulgence in food, the recovery can take much longer for me. Because once the physical discomfort passes, there are still the nasty mental issues to deal with. Guilt. Shame. Disappointment.
Going into Superbowl Sunday, I knew I would not be at my best diet-wise. I knew there’d be chicken wings. And chili. And cheese, cold cuts, pot stickers… Oh, did I forget to mention the cinnamon buns? I knew that eating this food wasn’t the best choice. And I chose to partake anyway. Why?
Well, for one, I didn’t want to deprive myself. Going into this new journey, the one thing I vowed to myself was that everything I was going to do would have to be sustainable. i.e. I didn’t cut out bread or sugar, for example, because I know I can’t live without them in the long term. Nor do I want to. Rather, it was about making better choices whenever I could. I know enough to know that I will not always make the best choices. But I can certainly commit to making better ones.
So, two things happened last night:
- I decided to sample from everything available which appealed to me; and
- I decided to steer clear of alcohol (no use in consuming empty calories when I was getting some tasty/filling ones already); so water was my choice beverage for the night.
What this did for me was to help me feel like I am capable of ‘cheating’ while also making a better choice. In this case water over beer.
I chose to eat all those decadent foods last night because it also served as a test for how I’d feel today. I knew I’d feel pretty gross physically (my body is not really used to a lot of junk these days); but my bigger question was how I would feel emotionally/ mentally.
Would I wake up beating myself up, feeling guilty for falling off the wagon? And if so, would I be able to move past that without wallowing in self-pity and kicking off a cycle of bad choices?
I woke up, and – as predicted – I felt
like death pretty gross. My digestive system is still staging a revolt against my food choices as I type this. But, funny enough, while I didn’t wake up feeling proud of what I ate yesterday, I didn’t feel ashamed of it either. Similar to waking up after a night of drinking too much – I simply checked in with myself and thought, hey so that kinda sucked. Probably best to lay off the “x” (insert your poison here…tequila, chicken wings, etc.).
In the same way I don’t wake up the morning after drinking too much and swear off alcohol forever, or beat myself up for being weak or bad, I didn’t over-dramatize my little junk food extravaganza either.
The way I ate yesterday (one day of the 35 days of 2013) does not define me. I made a choice. That does not make me a failure. Today I’ll make better choices. The first one was what to eat for breakfast (multigrain Cheerios + almond milk + half a banana). The second was choosing to workout again. 35 consecutive days of working out in all! Only 335 to go in 2013!
Learning to love and forgive yourself is such an important part of the journey. It’s one I continue to work on.