I literally felt convulsions pulsing through my body this afternoon as we sat at Chuck E. Cheese and the pizza arrived. Immediately I was afraid of what I might do. I think Chuck E. Cheese pizza is nasty, but that smell was so intoxicating. This was the moment. The moment of truth...
I have been thinking about this moment for several days now. I knew it would come sooner than later. There is always this honeymoon period when I get serious about eating well, etc. and then, dang if "that old feeling" doesn't hit me. And I mean it hits hard. The one that just. won't. quit. Not until I make it go away with some chocolaty concoction or crunchy salty carb. I despise that feeling.
But I didn't want to be afraid of it this time--I wanted to be ready. So I made a decision a few days ago that I'm going to be brutally honest with myself and admit that under no circumstances can I budge from what I have planned to eat. That leads down a road I no longer wish to travel. And, if I have doubts about eating a certain food, under no circumstances, will I eat it. NO matter how rude, illogical, or strange it may seem to myself or others, this is the decision I made. Seems a little extreme, yes I concede to that. But as I have said before (&conveniently tend to forget) extreme problems like mine call for extreme measures.
Although my defensive plan may seem extreme, it really isn't and this is why: What I am choosing to put to death through hardcore, relentless denial is just a feeling. A feeling that, for me, can easily lead to sinful actions. When I feel all fidgety and panicky and it seems like eating a package of...anything is the only thing that will help, then I know. When I am not hungry at all and the minute I turn on the TV the Pavlovian craving for a big bowl of...something...is unbearable, then I know. When a pizza that I consider to be nasty is placed before me and the smell alone is sending me into convulsions, then I know. It's like a trick my mind is playing on me. It's just a feeling. Nothing bad will happen if I don't eat the pizza or...whatever. I just won't have eaten it.
Sometimes I will give-in to the feeling. I didn't today, thank you Jesus, but I might. And then I will be tempted to dream up an excuse cleverly disguised as logic or self-forgiveness. See, I know that pizza is not a "bad" food. Well, actually, it is kinda a bad food but anyways...I realize that a person could ingest C.C. pizza in moderation from time to time (although I know not why you would actually want to do this) and still be an extremely healthy and fit individual. The reason it was so important for me to not eat the pizza today was completely an issue of the mind. Not an issue of being flexible or living in the moment or being able to forgive myself because I had a slip-up. It's really not about any of that now. I've learned all of those lessons--in the most difficult of ways. But now I know how to forgive myself and move on. Perhaps even now a bit too quickly, too frequently. And I've learned how to be flexible. With meal planning and changing things last minute because of certain situations, I can do that and still stay afloat. I've also learned that being in the moment with my family has nearly nothing to do with eating food with them and everything about just being there. Really being there.
What I'm saying is that in the past I might have just eaten a piece or two of that pizza (even though I knew I was about to go eat a salad at Chick-fil-a) and chalked it up to living in the moment with my kids, or because I can be flexible and just track that instead of what was planned. Or because "tomorrow is a new day."
I can't keep doing that. I can't use any of those handy little ideas as a scape goat anymore. I had a plan for the day in place. I had made a decision. And I needed to stick to it. THE END.
Was it easy? No. Will it be easier next time? Yes. And am I wishing I had eaten the pizza as I sit here writing that I didn't eat it? All together now: "NO!"
This moment will come again all too soon. For me and for you. We have to be ready and we have to be honest. We have to do the hard work of resisting and saying no--over and over and over again. If we really want to change, that's just the way it is. That's the cold hard truth.