Just one of those days…..
Last night I met with a group of ladies for our weekly book club (I will be sharing about the book and our group in a future blog post) and our discussion was about stress—how it affects our bodies, our weight and how to begin to change the response habit to stress and create stress relief habits. It was a great discussion. And I was ready to work on how I deal with stress…..
We had met at Panera Bread and I had bought a bagel, my favorite, to take home to have for breakfast this morning. I planned my day ahead so that I could make that 10 SmartPoint bagel work. And it was good!
I got up way too early this morning, ate my breakfast way to early this morning and then started my day.
I was exhausted before the day started and well, exhaustion does NOT bode well for healthy choices!
And the stress hit…. appointments to take my son too (2 before 10 am) and waiting time in a waiting room. Lots of to-do list items that I needed to take care of, and I was getting pretty stressed about them, while waiting in the waiting room.
Rushing to appointments so that we are not late STRESSES me!
Having no control over my schedule and life STRESSES me!
A million things on my to-do list (that may be an exaggeration) STRESSES me!
Starting my day without my quite reading time STRESSES me!
Ugh! Let’s be real…. EVERYTHING STRESSES me when I am EXHAUSTED!
So, that plan I had for my day to stay on track and make me a priority while enjoying a favorite bagel…. well….. it got lost somewhere between the soda and the cookie isle in the grocery store…..
And the Pepperidge Farm Milano Pumpkin Spice Cookies found their way into my cart, at the register and then in the car heading home. Once home, the cookies found their way to the end table next to my favorite chair and there I sat, exhausted and stressed. And I ate a cookie. Then another…. And another….. and another and before I knew it 2/3 of that bag of cookies was gone. And I hadn’t even tasted them. What the heck?
At that moment I stopped. And I threw the rest in the garbage. And I remembered what was said in workshops this week about our character strengths and using one of those strengths to help us to reach a goal this week….. I hadn’t chosen which I would use yet. But today I choose mine while I was sitting there thinking about what I had just done and how it undermined my progress… And before I could beat myself up, I decided that my strength would be forgiveness.
I am great at forgiving others, but me, not so much. It is hard to overlook my mistakes, and even harder to let them go without some pretty harsh words directed at me. So, forgiveness was my character strength this week, one I could use to help me forgive myself.
And I did! I forgave myself!
I realized that forgiving myself for letting old habits pop up to deal with exhaustion and stress was another way I made me a priority! I am never going to be perfect. I know that there will be times that stress leads me into old habits. There will be times that exhaustion leads me into old habits. I know that there will be times that life throws me curveballs and best laid plans, well they fall apart. By forgiving myself, I end the cycle— stress, eat, guilt, eat, guilt, stress, eat…. I can then move on and get back on track.
The cookies are counted. A light dinner had. And I don’t feel guilty!
THIS is how I make me a priority! THIS is how I change old, unhelpful habits. THIS is how I reach my goals!
Today forgiveness gave me back some control on my perfectly imperfect journey.