Confession time: this week I have made fairly lame attempts at exercising and I fell off the low-carb eating plan wagon. What happened? LIFE.
Work became super busy, I had nausea (thanks, hormones), daughter got sick, I was running on adrenalin and my willpower flew out the window. If I can pinpoint the exact time the bottom fell out of my plans to stay on track I can, with confidence, say that it all began with crackers. The evil cracker:
Carbs are addictive. I have no doubt about it. Once I ate the crackers the nausea did subside but my hunger peaked. Low carb foods weren't cutting it. In fact, I could barely stomach looking at an egg, a slice of ham, a cheese string...even a salad turned me off. I wanted carbs - starchy, sweet or savory (I didn't care at that point). So I ate a piece of Ezekiel bread figuring that was not great but better than eating Wonder Bread. That slice turned into 2 slices.... then I saw the potato chips. Just one wouldn't hurt right? One became a handful.
Finally my mind caught up with my mouth and I managed to reel myself back from a binge. Wow, scary stuff. I used to be so proud that I was never a binger but who was I kidding? I clearly have that monster within, don't I? The fact is that I am not alone. I am absolutely positive that many of you reading this will be nodding and feeling their own shame.
Which brings me to shame. Why are we hiding behind our weak spots? Why are we berating ourselves when we eat outside of the guidelines? We think rigidity and blind determination is essential to maintain a diet. I disagree.
Flexibility and a sense of softness with ourselves is key to success in all areas of your life. Did I slide into a binge? Yes I sure did. Did I explode, die or collapse because of it? Nope. I bloated a bit the next day but that is about it. Did anything positive come out of it? Absolutely - AWARENESS. My awareness to look at myself from a different perspective, to see what I was unconsciously doing and to then consciously work to cease the behavior. I learned that I am not a robot, that I am not all powerful and that I am swayed by the "bad" carbs. I am as vulnerable as the rest of you. I also learned alot about my triggers - work, stress, fatigue, nausea, hormones....
Now when I feel myself moving towards a carb hit I stop, breathe and ask myself "Linda, what do you really want right now? " Last night I caught myself moving towards the cupcakes. When I asked myself that question - "What do I want right now?" cupcakes were not the answer. Gentle yoga, quiet time and a hot tea were the answers. I wanted to be nurtured, quiet and at peace.
The next time you find yourself moving into binge mode ask yourself that question and take time to listen carefully to your inner voice. The answers we seek are there if we just slow down enough to hear them.