March 5, 2013 by Darlene McC
A client story for you today about frustration, indulgence, and ultimately acceptance. My dear client, lets call her “Stephanie”, has the best of intentions when she proclaims things like “I’m not going to eat dairy for awhile” during our sessions. I’ve been working on getting her to cut back her alcohol; but if she wants to try dairy then okay. Why not. (More on choosing realistic and helpful changes another time.)
This morning “Stephanie” painted a scene for me (shared with her permission). Over the weekend she was making a traditional Brazilian dish for her son & husband. “Steph” spent the few days prior completely dairy free, as per her announcement on Thursday. Pissed about something else, wanting to feel in control of something; she pops open the can of condensed milk and gazes at it in enraged frustration. “Fuck it!” she thinks, putting it to her lips…and she downs the entire can!
Of course, “Stephanie” is mildly ashamed of herself while recounting this tale; though I can’t help but laugh a little with her. Because we’ve all been there. Despite our best intentions and well made plans we drink the milk. And not just a little milk. We down the entire can. My grandmother was once shamed by the rest of the family for eating an entire box of cookies despite being on Weight Watchers. It just happens.
But at this moment we have two choices: to beat ourselves up & admit defeat, or enjoy that condensed milk for all it’s worth and try again as soon as possible.
How often have you ‘slipped’ on your plan and declared yourself a failure? “I had a cookie, I guess I’m not paleo.” “I didn’t go to the gym, maybe I should cancel the membership.” And how often do you beat yourself up in the process? In that moment you needed to satisfy an urge; that does not mean all future moments have to be that way. So you drank the can! Big deal. You didn’t have the entire case. And, I’m proud to say, “Stephanie” has been spot on her nutrition since!
So “drink the can” sometimes. Just make sure it’s not every time and things will be alright.