Here’s a simple way to get “back on the wagon,” after a month (or a lifetime) of eating “bad food” and drinking “bad things.”
Just don’t get on a wagon in the first place. (I’ll explain.)
THERE IS NO WAGON.
I hear, every so often, someone chime in and say: I have fallen off the wagon, and I need to ________ (fill in the blank with: eat better, stop the sugar, quit the Diet Coke).
Ah, the wagon. I hate the effing wagon.
When I realized this, it was like a giant light bulb (for me)…. the fact that THERE IS NO WAGON — that, instead, there is ONE LIFE TO LIVE.
(And no, we don’t live on a wagon).
I think for the last 27 years of my life (as soon as I knew that I had a “weight problem,” around age 10), I have been battling this wagon.
This wagon that is the “right” way to eat, and when you fall off, into the doldrums of all the “bad food,” you are also a bad person and someone who has “lost control” and “fat” and “useless.”
I have eating like total poop emoji for the past week, and I don’t feel like I am off the wagon.
(More like the Crazy Train ^^^^ 🙂 )
Instead, I feel like I am “off my life.” And that is different. As I sit here, worn out from a very late evening (Christmas Eve) followed by a very early morning (Christmas Day with two kiddos), I just feel unwell. I don’t feel at my best.
I don’t see a wagon, but I see lost potential. And I don’t mean potential like prodigy or training potential—I mean potential to feel the best I can.
Once I was able to change the translation in my head from:
“I am on a healthy wagon and if I fall off, I suck”
“I just want to feel the best I can”
—Well, that changed things for me.
And I also know that I can change that in almost an instant–sure it may take a few days to get the sugar and sh*t out of my system, but I know that the very next thing I put in my mouth… that if it’s a good choice and I build on that—I can feel better pretty quickly.
The thing I love best about this way of living?
Well, it’s a non-scale measurement. It’s also a non-scale victory when I eat large salads and drink yummy teas and have large bowls of really healthy, hearty soups or giant meals of roasted vegetables and grass-fed something. Just preparing that food, sitting down and feeding myself–instead of shoving things into my face hole—that’s amazing.
It makes me feel amazing.
This holiday season… just remember that we aren’t on a wagon. We are just people who have been programmed to like really sugary and dense and not-so-great things to eat for most of our lives and through our culture… most of us at least… and we just have to try and seek health and wellness and a state of feeling well.
But that doesn’t mean that food is bad, and that WE are bad. WE are fine.
Repeat after me: “I AM FINE!”
For example, my late Mombow’s banana bread recipe has about 4,000 grams of sugar and it’s made of the lard of 80,000 cows, with it’s main ingredient as thigh cheese. So I modified her recipe with some healthier options, BUT, I am NOT going to beat up myself about enjoying a piece (or three) of something that was such a part of home for me.
Food is fuel, sure.
Food is also: gathering, memories, comfort, love, sharing, occasion, holiday, family… and a million other things.
And it’s OKAY to do that. And the beautiful thing?
We, like our new Amazon Echos or iPhones, are able to be re-programmed, re-set, and ready to take on the one life that is ours to live.
But for today? Love yourself, your family, and the things we can be grateful for… don’t beat yourself up about what you have eaten or drank or will eat or drink today… just try and take care of yourself.
Go for a little walk. Drink your water.
And repeat after me: There Is No Wagon. This is my life, and it’s a good one. Now let’s get to living.
With that, I am closing my computer, and doing just that. Hiking with the kids!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, and here’s to what’s next in 2017!