Even After All This Time

I’m fourteen months into this whole healthy lifestyle thing. I’ve completely changed myself, not only in how I eat, but in my attitude toward health, fitness, and life in general. If you picked up the current me and plopped her next to me at the end of 2014, you would be hard-pressed to find many similarities. I’m still the quiet introvert, but even that is beginning to change as I lose weight and gain confidence.

As much as I change, as many miles as I walk, as large as my average caloric deficit… it’s easy to forget that I’m not perfect in any regard, weight loss or not. Yes, I’ve been incredibly successful. I’ve lost a lot of weight, and I will continue to lose. However, even to this day I have my moments where I let old habits just barely peek their head back into my world.

Take tonight for example: I left work today with 790 calories left for the day. That’s a little bit more than normal, but I wasn’t very hungry this morning or afternoon. By the end of the workday, however, I was ravenous. My husband picked up Panda Express, but because I’m currently in the middle of a Whole30, I grabbed a Chipotle Salad for myself. It was my usual: double carnitas, mild and medium salsa, and guacamole. 700 calories by their online nutrition calculator, which is a complete estimation because all of the toppings are scooped by hand as quickly as possible. Tonight I thought my server skimped a little.

I gobbled my salad, and was still a bit hungry.

Normally, I’d drink a glass of water and walk away to play with my daughter because I had hit my calorie goal for the day. Tonight, I made a banana-kale smoothie and split it with her.

But I didn’t stop with that. Something clicked in my brain and in what felt like an out-of-body experience, completely detached from emotion, I found myself scouring the pantry and fridge for whatever I could put in my mouth.

After the smoothie it was a pickle. Then another. I ate a cashew cookie and coconut cream pie Larabar so quickly that I don’t even remember tasting them. A spoonful of coconut manna. Almond butter. A handful of macadamia nuts. As I was putting a bowl of leftover taco meat in the microwave, I snapped out of it and said out loud, “what am I doing!?”

I put the lid back on the meat, placed it back in the fridge, and brushed my teeth so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat any more.

At least it was all Whole30 compliant?

As easy as it would be to be disgusted with myself, I think it’s important to compare tonight’s binge with a binge a year ago.

A year ago, a night like tonight would mean my entire week was ruined. I may as well eat crap until Monday when I restarted on “Day One.”

A year ago, this would have happened weekly, and the calorie count would have been monumentally higher.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to stop when I did tonight, likely eating myself sick and purging afterward.

I’m not perfect. I am so incredibly far from perfect, in fact. While I make a lot of really positive choices for myself, I do still make a few bad ones. But you know what? That’s okay. I have come such a long way. What I ate tonight will not influence what I eat tomorrow, the next day, or the days after that. I ate a lot of unplanned food tonight. I will try to log it as accurately as possible, (though I definitely did not utilize my food scale) and I will move forward.

That’s how I’ve been successful. It’s not because I’m perfect, but because I always move forward. Regardless of how today goes, tomorrow I will try to do better. Walk faster. Push harder.

14 months and 115 pounds later, and I still make mistakes. But I will continue to love myself in spite of them, and I really hope you do too.