Sacrifices That Aren’t Worth It
I’m writing this post while feeling guilty about staying out til 11PM last night to do trivia at Plan B after dinner at Rooftop 120. I had more to drink than I would have if I’d stayed home instead. I snacked when I got home (I mean it was on white bean chicken chili, but it was still nighttime snacking, therefore I feel bad). I had some fried crab cakes at Rooftop. I feel dehydrated and bloated.
But I also had a very good time with my friends. I took advantage of the fact that I am young, able to get seven hours of sleep without feeling TOO dead the next day (though I feel pretty dead I also know I’m a sleep diva), and still living at home so I have money saved to allow myself to go out and buy drinks and dinner. I even went to spin class before my plans.
It’s still hard to give myself credit for the healthy stuff I do whenever I make the conscious decision to go out, to have an extra glass of wine, to order a carb side when I could’ve ordered a veggie side. But some sacrifices are just not worth it. Which brings me to this fantastic Greatist post that Brittany sent me yesterday. Greatist CEO Derek Flanzraich took on an #absperiment to try to get a six pack in six weeks.
In this particular weekly update post, he made “a list of the things [he] sacrificed on [his] journey to get six-pack abs in six weeks.” I picked out some of them to talk about how I either a) used to sacrifice these things or b) still find myself tempted to make these sacrifices.
Drinking not a single drop of alcohol. This is something I used to sacrifice but no longer do. I still get tons of anxiety about alcohol calories but no longer get the paralyzing fear that had me only allowing myself one drink, and only while out at a restaurant. And that drink could NEVER have had even a drop of fruit juice in it. It could never be beer and if I wanted a drink, I most certainly wasn’t allowed to eat much, so that I could “make up for it”. My mind tells me every day that my stomach would probably look “better” if I stopped drinking but I enjoy my cocktails and I love my wine so goddammit, sacrificing that isn’t worth it. And I’m way better about eating with my booze too, because booze and no food is just a recipe for a hangover, an upset stomach, and unsafe driving.
Canceling/not attending/feeling terribly out of place at any social event focused on drinking. This goes along with the first one on Derek’s/my list. I still find myself afraid to commit to plans at events or restaurants because I know if I go, I’ll want a drink. Sometimes I turn down or cancel plans because I truly just want to stay in and have time to myself. But I’m still guilty of also doing so because I’m afraid of any extra calories I may want to consume while out, and I’m also still having a hard time making plans that would take the place of a gym trip. Or have me staying out later and therefore missing a particular gym class the next morning.
Dreaming about food constantly. Not so much anymore but back when I was restricting a lot I used to literally dream about carbohydrates.
Seeing the look on your grandmother’s face when you tell her you can’t eat any of her home cooking. Not necessarily my grandma but I used to turn down food offered by people that they’d made or bought for me, even when I truly wanted it, if the food didn’t match my definition of what was OK to eat or if I didn’t feel “hungry enough” to eat it. On my birthday a couple years back a co-worker brought me a cupcake and he was so bummed when I wouldn’t even take one bite when he gave it to me. I just said “I’ll take this home and have it another time, I just ate!” In reality I had not just eaten and certainly wasn’t going to eat the cupcake another time. I still feel tempted to avoid having dinner at peoples’ houses because I’m at a point where I won’t turn down something I truly want, but I also don’t want to deal with the guilt I’ll feel after for eating it if it’s out of my box. But that’s just another type of “plan” I’m working on only turning down if I truly don’t want to go.
Having to constantly explain what you’re doing. Ugh yes this can get SO AWKWARD. I ask for no bacon on my salad…”Oh do you not like bacon?” asks a friend. “No I just…I mean I like it…but it has um…fat…” I respond clumsily. “Why are you going on the Stair Master, didn’t you just do spin?” “I know I did but I had dessert last night so…I have to?” Saying that kind of stuff out loud makes me realize how dumb it is. I didn’t ask for no bacon on my salad last night and I’m glad because I not only enjoyed the bacon but I avoided any questions.
Scheduling in one-and-a-half to two hours of gym time every day. One and a half hours is my current max but it used to be about two hours. I probably do one session at the gym that’s that long just once a week, and I’ve gotten better about being okay with working out less than an hour (or even thirty minutes!) but it’s still so hard for me to schedule full days off. Again this ties into turning down plans too, because I’m afraid to miss the gym or have a late night affect a workout.
Doing laundry constantly. I swear if I did not constantly need a clean sports bra I’d be able to do laundry half as often.
Not eating yummy carbs. Carb fear is still big for me. It’s not as bad as it once was but I’d say carbs are still my top fear food group. I even question myself when I eat fruit or starchy veggies. This ties in directly with two more points from Derek’s list: Even treating veggies differently and Except for berries, cutting out all fruit. I am totally guilty of looking at a bag of snap peas to see how many sugars are in a serving, or Googling how many calories are in an apple. If I eat fruit after dinner, I know know know it’s dumb, but I question myself and wonder if I “should” be doing that. What happened to the days of being a kid proud that she finished her corn or had a banana? And don’t get me started on white carbs…I’ll eat them now, but I have to get myself psyched up for it and feel like I deserve them (after a hard workout, after not eating them all week, etc). I have a lot of work to do here.
Not sampling any famous restaurant specials, any local must-haves, etc…Thankfully my foodie status has made it easier to allow myself to order specials, and modify menu items less, when I go out to eat. Last night I actually forgot to request my salad dressing on the side. That is something I would have NEVER forgotten to do a year ago. And even if I had remembered, and they’d brought the salad with dressing already on it, I would have sent the whole thing back and made them redo it. Now I definitely wouldn’t be that difficult.
Ordering nothing with your coffee. Breakfast pastries aren’t usually what I crave in the morning but every now and then, I want a scone or a bagel, dammit. But I never order one.
Staring hungrily at random people’s food without meaning to. I totally do this sometimes when I’m out to eat with friends or family and they order something I wanted more than what I ordered. Fries…burgers…oh, and dessert. It’s super awkward when I get caught staring. At least now I’ll allow myself to finish off a few bites if they offer some to me. But the next step is just ordering a burger of my own.
As you can see from this post, while I have come along in my recovery, I still have a lot to work on. I still let fear dictate many of my choices and I have to remind myself that having a six-pack, a perfectly toned stomach, buns of steel, whatever I’m focused on at a particular moment might not even be achievable. And if I was able to achieve it, I’d first have to give up…having a freaking life. Not worth it.
Can you relate to any of these sacrifices?
How do you determine what’s “worth it” and what’s not when it comes to a life of balance?