We are embarking upon a challenging week, with it being Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s after then. Celebration and temptation is all around us, which can be an equally fun and stressful time. A time when we can be especially hard on ourselves, and haunted by that noisy voice in our head that chastises us for all the “bad” things that we do.
For the missed workout, forgotten gift purchase, distracted mind (at work and/or home), unreturned calls and emails, and fast food meal eaten in a crunch.
Instead, I am trying to remind myself of the positive choices I DO make rather than allowing too much credence to that increasingly loud voice in my head calling me out for any “bad” behavior.
For example, recently we spent the weekend in Killington with our nephew Alex who had moved to North Carolina. He hadn’t skied in three years and kicked butt! The skiing was great as a result of an unexpectedly large amount of snow, so even I skied both days. We pass through Albany on the way home, where one of my brother-in-law’s lives, so it was a unique opportunity for Alex to visit with some cousins he hadn’t seen in a long time. We stopped in for dinner, knowing that there likely wouldn’t be my kind of food served. Sometimes other priorities take precedence, and enjoyment of such rare gatherings is one of them. My former boss calls it “the joy factor”, and I’m all for it!
Sicilian pepperoni pizza, chicken wings and Dr. Pepper were graciously served. Having exerted myself a good part of the day, and not eaten in a number hours, I was hungry. The kind of hunger where without eating, grumpiness would ensue and the remaining few hours in the car very unpleasant for those around me.
I am not gluten free, but do limit my bread intake and tomato sauce is not my best friend. However, I graciously took a slice of pizza, quietly removed the pepperoni, had a few celery and carrot sticks that came with the wings, and reveled in the company.
It was a wonderful visit for us all! So why couldn’t I let it go at that?
Instead, over the following 24 hours, I found myself wresting a tough opponent I call “pizza guilt”. Pizza guilt is an obnoxious bully who takes residence in my brain and says things like “I can’t believe you ate that!” or “how could you be a health coach if you ate THAT?” or “Now you need to be punished!”
When really, it should be commending me – given the choices in front of me, I made them as healthful as I could – “Good for you!”. Why was I so hard on myself about eating a silly piece of pizza, instead of being proud of how I handled the situation?
Why do we constantly beat ourselves up so badly, instead of focus on the positive moves we make the majority of the time? Why can’t we get out of our own way?
Cut to a week later when I picked up my stepson Jon at the airport after him being in Asia for almost four years. As you can imagine, they don’t have much pizza in China, and if they do, it certainly is nothing like the kind here! So of course, what did Jon want for his first meal back – pizza. So we picked up a pie (and some salad), and shared it with his Grammy and the aforementioned cousin Alex. It was great to be together! I’ll admit I wasn’t fully over my “pizza guilt” even this second time around. But I also didn’t allow it to overtake me and did a decent job of quieting that mean voice in my head.
Let’s face it, none of us will ever be 100% perfect, and we’ll often be faced with situations when choices are limited. I’m working on not just being ok, but good with that. Saying “shut up!” to that bully, who is really me telling nasty things to myself that I would never consider saying to someone else. Instead, I will choose to focus on the small nuances I employ to make the most of a situation, and be proud of that.
We all have our versions of “pizza guilt”. What is yours and how can you change the conversation in your head? Please share!
Have a wonderful, joyful week and be kind to yourself – you deserve it!
xoMarjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™