Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch, minding your own business, flipping between DIY halloween costumes on Pinterest; funny, yet maddening political memes and rants on Facebook; and cat videos on Youtube. You feel all cozy and safe.
Then, it happens.
Maybe you get up to go to the bathroom, or you have to go stop your 2 year old from flushing the cat down the toilet, or save your 4 year old from impending death by hair pulling by the 2 year old, or you have to run the drier for the 3rd time to make sure the clothes aren’t wrinkled… you know, every day mom stuff.
So yeah, you get up, still minding your own business, and BAM! all of a sudden, you find yourself staring smack dab in the face of your enemy: The pantry.
You look in. You realize that there’s no one there to see you sneak a Nilla Wafer. Or a chocolate egg leftover from Easter. Or a mini Snickers from Halloween. Or a bag of Humpty Dumpty BBQ chips. You know, just a little snack. So little, it’s not worth counting. But you make the choice to walk away. You feel proud. You feel heroic. You think you deserve a Congressional Medal of Honor.
And yet, no one is there to pat you on the back, say congratulations, or offer you prizes. So instead, you open the fridge.
Now the fridge is like Switzerland- because in the fridge there are fresh, healthy food items- they’re like your allies. But there are still dangers lurking. First, there is the leftover macaroni-and-cheese mixed with hotdogs that your 4 year old requested but refused to eat because it was too cheesy. Then, there’s the half-drunk bottle of wine behind the leftover spaghetti. There’s also an assortment of deli meat, cheese, and other things that may get your sick because you don’t remember when you last used it, better yet opened it originally. There’s also mayo. MMMMMMMMM mayo.
But you are more powerful than this force. You have conquered these enemies in the past. You have outsmarted them, you have obliterated them. You don’t need to bring yourself into enemy territory like that.
So you go sit down. Open up your laptop, giggle at the cat jumping because of the pickle, look at how you can you make your own confetti for your child’s birthday party, and maybe laugh because someone posted that Trump should email Hillary his tax returns.
But you are still not safe.
Crisis number 632 of the day happens: you hear your son fall off the case of water in the pantry and the falling of what sounds like a waterfall from Heaven.
And you are now face to face with the 75 pounds of Halloween candy that he pulled down as he gracefully fell off the case of water. As you pick him up, you watch him run away with a lollipop and you think, “Wow. He looks so happy. I want to be that happy!” As you pick up each piece of precious candy, you look at them, you smell them, you imagine them melting in your mouth, and you do it. You unwrap a mini Reese’s. You smell its chocolaty goodness. You think to yourself: There’s protein in there. You look around and no one’s looking. The coast is clear. So you pop it into your mouth.
Now once you’ve eaten it, you realize you’re an idiot. Not because you’ve let the enemy inside, but because Snickers are your favorite. So you grab one of those, too.
You leave before it gets bad and you go back to sit on the couch. Now you realize that your body really wanted something savory and not sweet. Yes, you’re still hungry.
You get back up and grab a handful of Humpty Dumpty BBQ chips. You stand there and eat them. Then you grab another. Then, another Snickers, then a chip, then a Reese’s. Then, you realize what you’ve done. What was supposed to be a small snack that you weren’t even going to count has turned into a 300 calorie binge.
So, you’d think you were smarter than that. You’d walk away. You’d move on. You’d learn from your mistake. But you do not, and instead you head back over the fridge, feeling guilty. You plan to eat some carrot sticks or something like that to cancel out the chocolate. You open the fridge. There it is, staring you down. Your friendemy. The wine. A little self talk happens. “But it’s 1 in the afternoon. Exactly, it’s afternoon. But if I have a glass now, what will I drink tonight? Go to the store. If I drink this, I will eat more. Just take some carrots with you.” This goes on for a little while. As you reach in to take out the wine, you realize you’re at a crossroad:
One road is called Self Sabotage and the other road is Your Goals. You have been down both of these roads before, though. You actually spent a lot of time down Self Sabotage Road. You lived there for a while. You didn’t like it, but it was an easy road. It was flat, not bumpy at all. You like Goals Road better, but the terrain is rough at times. But then you remember that Goals Road makes you confident. And you’d rather be confident than complacent; you’d rather feel challenged than comfortable.
And suddenly you realize that you have single handedly stopped your binge. You have stopped and said, “Dude, you don’t like that place. That place makes you a crappy person.” You feel strong. You feel empowered. Much better than you did when you were contemplating drinking wine in the middle of the day. Now, if you chose the wine, I won’t judge you, but remember that each choice you make leads you further or closer than your goals. It’s never too late to turn around. It’s never too late to talk yourself out of it. And it’s okay if you talk yourself out of it out loud, no one will think you’re crazy, I swear. Okay, maybe they will, but whatever- do what you have to do to make better choices for yourself. Yourself won’t regret it, I promise.