Usually you can plan ahead, or bring something healthy with you - But what if you can't?
Today was a great day. Firstly, because I wasn't at work. Secondly because I went to Chelsea Flower Show with my Mother.
This is something my Mother and I have done for the last 7 years and it's a really good chance to bond, catch up and basically spoil my Mother rotten. We have a good relationship but ever since I moved out of home at 18, we don't see each other a lot and so when we do, I like to try and spoil her.
If you ever get the chance to go to Chelsea Flower Show - Go! It's not cheap, but it's a really nice experience and the flowers and gardens are just beautiful. As per usual, my Mother and I spent hours just walking around the place and not only were there lovely things to see, there were also lovely things to smell and eat as well! Unfortunately, most of it was 'fish and chips' or 'pie and mash' so not exactly the most healthy food on the planet.
Every year, following the Flower Show, I take my Mother to a hotel for afternoon tea and this year was no exception. After trying both the Dorchester and the Ritz in the last 2 years, this year was the Waldorf Hilton's turn to host us with yummy sandwiches and delicious cakes.
However that's the issue - neither yummy sandwiches or delicious cakes arereally healthy and after being really, really motivated and on track for the last 2 weeks, I really didn't want to spoil it by putting high fat and high calorie food in my body. Usually, when I've been on track with my healthy eating and eat junk food, I automatically feel as if I've 'failed' as if 'What's the point? I may as well continue eating rubbish' and it's really, really self destructive. I doubt I'm the only one who feels that way?
I love my Mum so I want to treat her, the world doesn't revolve around me and I didn't want to tell her that I'd cancelled afternoon tea as it wouldn't be fair and it's hardly how life works - I mean, I can't go the rest of my life without eating any high fat or high calorie foods, can I? it's not sustainable and I don't want that.
I could also refuse to eat - However that's not really sociable and wouldn't make my Mother feel overly comfortable. She'd try and eat as fast as possible and the whole thing would just be awkward - Why would I do that to her? It's supposed to be a nice day, also.. it's rather silly to pay a lot of money for afternoon tea and then not eat anything!
So, my thinking was:
1. Acceptance - I know I'm going to eat things that aren't healthy.
2. Planning - If I'm hungry, I'm going to eat more, so I took a 'Nakd' bar with me to eat an hour beforehand. This meant I was less hungry when I got to the hotel.
3. Enjoyment - I need to STOP feeling guilty for eating 'bad' food. I'm not a bad person and eating a few sandwiches and cakes is not the end of the world.
4. Willpower - I might be eating non-healthy food, but that doesn't mean I should go crazy and stuff myself. I need to eat to stop my hunger, but NOT overeat.
5. Mantra - One of the most amazing quotes I've read recently is 'Eating bad food for one day is not going to matter just like eating good food for one day isn't going to matter' - Basically.. it's a lifestyle choice, it's not a quick fix.
6. Regroup - Tonight I ate sushi. It was healthy and I'm now back on track. One meal will not make a difference and I need to make sure I don't continue to eat rubbish.
Afternoon Tea was lovely - all the food and cakes were gorgeous. However, I only had 1 scone and not 2 and I didn't eat all the cakes. I also only had the 'normal' amount of sandwiches and didn't ask for any extra. This might not seem like much, but this is a massive thing for me. I left feeling as it I could eat more - I wasn't totally full and this felt GOOD!
I felt proud of myself, really proud that I had managed to exercise restraint and willpower but still enjoy a lovely time with my Mother.
It's hard for me, it really is - but I really do want to change my lifestyle and eat healthy so I'm not going to allow myself to slip back into the bad habits. I'm going to look back on my day with enjoyment and upload the photos of my Mother and I to Facebook for more happy memories :-)