As a family, we have a lot of discussions about how one bad decision can change your life. When you’re parenting a child as impulsive and risk-loving as our dear Monkey, this is a conversation that needs to happen over and over again, in the hopes that by the time he’s old enough to make a life-changing decision he takes half a second to pause, think, and make the right choice. Or so we hope.
In a much less serious way, I have to learn this lesson over and over again myself. For me, repetitive bad decision making has to do with food choices. While I know what foods to eat to best fuel my body and satiate cravings, I don’t always do what is best for myself. Let’s be clear: I’m not just talking about a little treat here and there that may have calories I don’t really need but sure tastes good while I’m enjoying it. No, I’m talking about the kind of meal I choose to eat knowing that it will make me feel a bit too full– maybe even a little sick– afterwards.
Last week my husband and I went out for lunch at a local burger joint, and while standing in line to order I said to him, “I really shouldn’t get the bacon cheeseburger. Last time I did it sat in my stomach like a rock for hours.” I read over the rest of the menu, noting that I could get a grilled chicken sandwich or grilled mushroom instead. But when it came time to order, what did I do?
And while it was super yummy while I was eating it, it did most certainly sit in my stomach like a rock all afternoon. I also didn’t cook dinner for my family as I usually do….I felt so gross I couldn’t even look at the food. In fact, I was so distressingly full that I had only a bowl of oatmeal for dinner that night. I would have just had a green smoothie, but I knew I was planning a long run in the morning and needed something more substantive.
Fast forward to that long run the next morning. I still felt heavy. I still felt like I was carrying a brick around my abdomen. It made my long run– usually one of my favorite times of the week– a real chore.
I’m really working hard to make better decisions when it comes to fueling my body. I don’t want to do any type of restrictive diet– life’s too short for that– but I know I need to honor my conscience when it tells me clearly that something isn’t going to work well for me.
With any luck at all, writing this story and putting this out there will help to solidify in my memory the really unpleasant experience I had from one bad decision.