The pity party

This is all about the “I don’t feel good pity party.”   I feed all ailments.  This is only one element of my food issues.  But some feed a cold and starve a fever.  I feed everything.  Even if I have a stomachache, I think if I eat the right thing, it’ll feel better.  No…strike that….not “it’ll feel better” but more like “I’ll feel better.” 

There’s an old story about a child who runs inside crying because he hurt his knee.  His mom hugs him and then puts him in a chair to check out the damage and decides it needs a bandage.  She hands him a cookie and says, “This will make you feel better.  I’ll be right back and get you a bandage.”  She comes back, he’s still crying but now has the cookie on his knee and cries, “Mommy!  It’s not working!”

I’m a fairly healthy person now.  I work out.  I eat well.  I love healthy foods.  I’m no longer overweight and I worked – no work! – very hard to get where I am.  So why is it that the first thing I think about when I don’t feel well is eating?    And I don’t think about eating broccoli.  I want cake, cookies, ice cream, potato chips, French fries or chocolate.  Then I rationalize… I’m sick.  I deserve to have something that makes me happy.  And food wins.  Every. Single. Time.

That’s a problem if I can’t manage it.  

I’d like something else to win.  I’d like to say to myself, “Marci, don’t you want some elliptical?  Don’t you want to run?  Don’t you want to do a body pump class?”  But I don’t say that.  Even after over five years at goal, I’m still saying, “where’s the cookies?”

I’m not sure if I even have wise words about this.  Sometimes it’s just good to recognize the weaknesses and surround our space with options that don’t derail our efforts.  Sometimes it’s good to give in to the craving in moderation.  Sometimes it’s good to write about it.  I’m a work in progress. 

Tomorrow it’s supposed to snow.  Who, this winter, has used snow as an excuse for going off your plan?  “It’s too cold!  I’m trapped and can’t work out.”  For every excuse there is a solution.  Sometimes we just don’t want the solution.  Sometimes we want to jump off the tracks. 

I speak often of forgiving yourself.  I say that NOT because there is something to forgive, but because you think there is something to forgive.  I want a dime for each time I’ve heard someone say to me how “bad” they were that week.  We are not bad because we choose cookies over broccoli.  We are not bad because we choose the couch instead of situps.  We are not bad because we choose a casserole instead of roasted vegetables.  We’re grownups.  We make choices.  We own them.  Human means we’re not perfect. 

I guess the trick is to choose veggies over the casserole more times than we do it in reverse.  Maybe choose the couch half the time you chose the situps.  Maybe choose fewer cookies and more broccoli.  Maybe we stop feeling so much guilt for choosing comfort in our stand bys.   When I don’t feel good I refuse to feel guilty about my pity party cookies.  But maybe I don’t choose to eat as many as I used to. 

Choose cookies or carrots.  Choose lounging or lunges.    Choose whatever you want to choose.  But own it.  That’s how you’re good to yourself.  Show up.  Be accountable.  That’s strength. 

So I’m being accountable to all of you by saying that I chose a good homemade piece of cake instead of the elliptical.  And when it snows tomorrow, I will try to choose better – but no guarantees.  Sometimes little pity parties are like that. 



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