Today was my first day of school. Tim texted me at around 2:00 saying that he decided to eat dinner with a friend and that I was on my own. So, naturally, I stopped at Chili’s on my way home. Seriously, they do online ordering and it was ready at the exact moment I got there after school. Done and done.
Here’s the problem with online ordering, though: Impulse buys. You know those things they line the checkout aisles with at the grocery stores that you’d never in your right mind buy except you somehow always pick them up as you are checking out even though you know you shouldn’t?
Chili’s online ordering is brilliant. I ordered my salad and, before it would let me place my order, it asked me if I’d like to add anything to my order. Then it gave me options.
Chips and salsa.
Molten chocolate cake.
It was my first day back at school today, so I earned at least one of these things, right? Even though I know they will make my stomach do turns and could potentially lead to a breakout down the line, I earned it.
See, this is the kind of thinking that got me in trouble all last year. It was hard day after hard day, so I earned that wine, those chips, that third (or fifth… whatever) chocolate chip cookie.
But I gave in anyway. At least I ordered what I thought to be the most innocuous thing on the menu – the chips and salsa. It might not be Paleo, but it is gluten free, right?
Turns out my salad wasn’t great so I ended up eating mostly chips and salsa as I worked on some articles and caught up on some emails. Actually, I ate
a quarter of half the bag on my way home, and THEN I ate mostly chips and salsa as I worked. And by on my way home, I mean half a mile. Walking distance. (I could seriously eat Chili’s chips and salsa all day every day. And, in the past, I have.)
The thing is, I think it is really important to cheat sometimes. You cannot possibly deprive yourself of everything delicious all of the time. If you do that, you’ll eventually fall of the wagon, and when you do, you won’t be able to get back on because you’ll be too busy wallowing in deliciousness. It’s basic intuitive eating: you tell yourself you can’t have something and you eat a ton of it not knowing when the next time you’ll be able to have it will be. It’s like a few of my friends whose diets constantly start “next week.” They load up on the foods they’re going to deprive themselves of because they think it’s their last meal, so to speak.
So, me? I cheat. If I want those chips or that cookie, I’m going to have it. When your overall eating is clean and healthy, and if you are consistently getting the nutrients you need, one snack a week or so isn’t going to hurt you. In fact, if you’re like me at all, when you have that snack, it will only serve to remind you how awful you feel when you do cheat, making you less likely to do it in the future.
I just hope, as the days get longer and my willpower gets smaller, that I can remind myself of that as the year goes on.