I learned a couple of good lessons this weekend.
I visited my family, including my terminally ill father. I was stressed and anxious about a lot of things. Consequently, I let my guard down. I wasn’t as vigilant about what I ate and how much water I consumed (not enough). And then after dinner, I ate a dessert that I would not normally have even looked at. It was a slice of cheesecake, and not the good kind, but that wretched too-sweet mass-produced crap that one finds in grocery stores. I ate an over-sized slice and felt ill immediately afterward.
I’m not actually beating myself up over this. I’ve been home for two days and have gotten completely back on track. I’m eating properly, drinking lots of water, and exercising daily. I am merely reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned.
The first lesson is that I need to be mindful at all times, even during stressful periods, as much as is possible. My father is going to die — most likely this year and possibly within the next few months — and the end is going to be very hard. I’m going to have to pay attention and really think about what goes in my mouth. I need to remember not to eat mindlessly. I’m not actually worried about stress eating — I think I’ve finally broken that habit — but I will very likely forget that I don’t want to eat some of the crappy food that will be available to me and that I’ll feel unwell afterward, which is that last thing I’m going to need during what will be a very stressful time in my life.
The second lesson is about forgiveness. If I do fall off track during those stressful days in my life, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not going to berate myself or feel down about food. I’m just going to pick myself up, dust the cookie crumbs off myself, and start all over again. I’ll put on my sneakers and go for a walk. Everything will ultimately be okay.