Imagine this situation: You are at some type of communal meal with LOTS of delicious [or not so delicious] food, and at some point between chewing and talking you realize that you are full. Like, really full. Like, borderline uncomfortable full. But for some reason you keep eating.
I imagine that this situation is not entirely unknown to most people out there. There are meals, in fact, where it seems we are expected to overeat in this matter (think Thanksgiving, Passover Seders, and other holidays). Still, with my history, that ‘too full’ sensation can bring on feelings of negativity, hopelessness, loss of control, and disgust with myself. Reading back over that last sentence, it all sounds a little melodramatic. But truly, feeling “too full” or as though I’ve eaten “too much,” can leave me with low self-confidence and high self-criticism. Why the “quotations?” Because I know, rationally, that while being too full is a real physical sensation, the imagined consequences of that “too full” are fictional. As I was told a hundred times during recovery, “it all evens out.” Yes, if I stuffed myself every time I ate, then there would likely be some perceivable difference after a period of time. But occasionally eating a meal that is too large will not instantaneously change my body or my being. It will ‘all even out’ through my regular healthy lifestyle.
Confession: Tonight I ate too much. My body was full, but I kept eating.
There was a time when this fact would have led me to restrict my diet tomorrow and hit the gym for much of the day. But, not today. I know now that a healthy weight and lifestyle are not determined by one meal or one event. It is about balance.
Confession #2: Even though I ate too much, the food tasted good, I enjoyed the people I was with, and I have a great weekend ahead of me.
I know that what’s most important is not how I chose to eat one meal, but how I choose to live each day.