The title of this post is a twist around Julius Caesar’s famous quote “I came, I saw, I conquered.” It’s about forgiving yourself after you eat a lot. I don’t want to call this binge-eating because binge-eating can be a lot more serious than over-eating. This past Saturday, I had an away crew regatta at Delaware. First, this means I don’t have my handy and trusty dining center (I go to a boarding school, so I eat all three meals at school but I never thought I would ever say that my school dining center was trusty, but in extreme situations like this Saturday, they can be quite relished and appreciated).
I had my usual breakfast at school (luckily) of yogurt with granola and nuts on top and sauteed spinach. However, everything goes downhill from here.
First, I ate a clementine before getting on the bus at 9:45am because I thought I was hungry because I ran from my first class to the bus. Bad thought there. Thinking I deserve to be hungry…
Next, I ate a pre-made box lunch turkey sandwich – with loads of deli turkey (= lots of sodium), cheese and white bread. I ate this at around 10:45am as my lunch because my race started at 1:15pm and I “calculated” that the protein in my turkey needed enough time to digest. In other words, I got too bored on the bus and decided I needed to eat despite not feeling hungry.
After the race, which was 500m shorter than varsity since I’m novice, I decided that I needed to refuel. Now the race wasn’t that bad and was definitely less physically demanding than any of the track races, but because I knew crew was deemed as a “physically demanding sport that burns tons of calories,” I digged into the snacks the parents brought. Here’s the list: One HUGE banana, one Clif bar, half a bagel (now this was my first time eating a bagel in months – I thought I deserved this thing of dense white flour because I rowed too hard), 5 cookies (again, another first since months – this was more out of a craving, just kind of bummed out that I ate my first cookie since last year as a Chips Ahoy cookie and not a homemade one), plus another banana and a whole bowl of pineapple. I know … in a less than 8 minute race that I partook, I ate that much. It also didn’t help that the day was super chilly so I wanted to eat even more.
After all that snack shazam, we went to one of the varsity boy’s house for dinner. And I ate okay, except I ate a brownie, my first in years, for dessert.
But with all this being said, guess what? I just worked out today and I feel perfectly in shape. My clothes still fit me the same. I ate just as much as I would have on any regular day. No, I did not eat less on Sunday because I ate more the day before so I can “balance” my calories out. Nope, I just moved on. I didn’t dwell on my lack of self-control, I just told myself that Saturday was my “treat yo self” day and I gave myself the trust that I can go back on track the very next day, which I did. I told myself that it’s the consistency that counts and one day isn’t going to ruin me.
So to all of you out there who are perfectionists when it comes to eating, just chill. My mom is the perfect example of this mentality that I’m talking about. She exercises an hour everyday, but she does it because she enjoys it. And the exercise I’m talking about is simply walking briskly on the treadmill for an hour while watching her favorite TV show. She eats pretty balanced meals, but when she wants dessert, she’ll get it, if she’s at a dinner party and there’s heaps of food, she’ll treat herself. The only way she shows her regret is this, “Oops, I ate too much.” That’s it. And she moves right on.
So for those who eat for perfection, I want you to know that sometimes you have to eat for pleasure. It’s okay if you eat that cake, it’s okay if you eat something despite knowing that it’s “bad” for you. In fact, I think it’s emotionally bad for you to eat something with guilt. Remember, everything in moderation.
So you overate for one meal, one day, one week, or more? It’s okay, I did that too. I ate, I ate some more, but guess what? I still love myself.
Do you have any tips for getting back on track after a “cheat” meal?