I don’t like chips. Not really. I mean, they’re okay but there are about 5,000 other things I’d eat first. Coconut anything takes the first 1,000 slots or so.
Well, two weeks ago, wandering around Trader Joe’s with a cart full of produce, a bag of sweet potato tortilla chips made their way into my cart. Not an outward sign of crisis by any means. An hour later, standing in my kitchen, purusing the internet, I pulled out the giant bag (this was no single serving packet, mind you) and I downed the entire thing without even noticing. Seriously. It wasn’t until I reached in and realized it was EMPTY that I paused to actually breathe.
Standing there, empty bag in my hand, I am pretty sure my jaw touched the floor as I tried to remember the last ten minutes of my life. What the hell just happened? Did I actually eat this whole thing unconsciously? I looked left, I looked right, and carefully tucked the empty bag deep into the garbage and walked away to pretend like it never happened.
The next day, I was back at the grocery store picking up some basil for a super clean, plant-based “lasagna” I had planned for dinner and that same damn bag of chips managed to hitch a ride back to the apartment with me. I got home, put my goodies in the fridge and…what happened next? You guessed it. Total food blackout. A second bag. Done. Gone. Finito.
This time, I sat there, staring at the empty bag completely stumped. Two months ago, I was happier than I have honestly ever been, treating my mind and body right and reaping all of the joyous rewards that come with actually caring about yourself. What the hell had gotten into me? Well, okay, I know now what had gotten into me. I was stressed. I am stressed…and I’m not putting myself first. Second. Or third.
Over the past two weeks I can safely, and sadly, say that I have woken up with a legitimate food hangover more than 70% of the time. If you don’t know what a food hangover is, let me tell you. It’s when your body feels, not necessarily looks, soooooo icky inside from treating it like shit, that you might as well be nursing yourself back to life from a freshman-sized tequila-enduced misery. Sounds like I’m exaggerating? Consider yourself lucky that you don’t know what I’m talking about. It sucks.
Out of all the things I was feeling, I didn’t dare let myself go down the road of regret, remorse or (self) reproach. In the past, I would’ve dove head first into some serious hate talk. But this time, I’m not beating myself up about these lapses in self-care. Nothing productive comes from talking negatively to yourself. Instead, figure out what is going on, why you (or in this case, me) are making choices that are not in your best interest and how to refocus and push reset.
At the end of the day, it’s not a question of the way the inhalation of bags of chips will make me look. It’s really not even about being healthy or achieving “goals”. It’s about feeling good and doing what will make me feel my best.
Along with the bag of chips, I’ve decided to put regret, remorse and self-reproach into the trash. When this happens again, and I’m sure it will happen again – not the Houdini-ing sweet potato chips, the self-care slip up, I will remind myself to do exactly this: take a step back, a deep breathe, remember to refocus on my intention of feeling good and reset.
You’re the boss and you can always decide to give yourself another chance.