Indulge, repent, repeat

Mondays are ugh enough, but this Monday feels particularly ugghh. It’s been almost 40 days and 40 nights of BBQ, beer and birthday celebrations and today, I’m feeling all of it. We’ve now entered into a 10-day reprieve from any celebration obligations, a period which I will consider my eating-to-excess rehab sentence.

I had no idea you could suffer from food hangovers. Before I became somewhat diligent about my diet (I think of my diet as the food I do eat, not as the food I don’t eat), I didn’t really notice an upset stomach here or there. Probably because I was eating digestively-challenging* food all the time. When I started to clean up my act, and my plate, I realized that I was also probably feeling bad all the time. Now that I’ve improved my menus, I really notice the treats I can handle (beer = A-OK!) and those I can’t (cupcakes are assholes).

One of the reasons I embraced a new take on food (aside from the very frank lecture from my family physician, who addressed my BMI like it was a broken bone during my physical last year) is so I can enjoy those occasions of indulgence, on occasion. Ice cream tastes even better when you remove one unnecessary ingredient: guilt. I can handle a double scoop now and then when I’m eating ‘right’ most of the time.

Summer is a little more challenging, though. (As are holidays, birthdays, weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays…) Summer food is so easy to indulge in, because it’s social, it’s usually served buffet-style, and it’s sooo good. I try my best to make our standard dinner-plate meals during the week, but it seems like almost every other day we’re picnicking, partying or eating on the run. The last four or five days were especially challenging, (thanks, Calgary Stampede, for deep-fried Oreos, really, thanks) so I’m in a hurry to feel better.

I’ve learned, however, that I cannot rush recovery. I have no quick fixes, and no other answers, so I just resume my tried-and-true regular meal plan and hope for the best. It takes a few days, and at least one wave of withdrawals from sugary sweets, but eventually I feel fine again.

And when I’m eyeing that second fifth slice of sizzling pepperoni pizza, I try to invoke the memory of how it will make me feel around midnight, because my brain has a habit of forgetting. It’s the same trick I use when someone hands me a fragrant newborn and my tummy starts to flutter. Remember how it feels to not sleep, for a year??

Oh, who am I kidding? There’s always room for more pizza. And babies.

*I hesitate to label food ‘good’ and ‘bad’. I love it all so much, it just doesn’t seem fair.

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