Birthday Cake and New Orleans


I have fallen off the wagon.

This is blog post two, and I have fallen off the wagon.

Now let me be clear: I did not give up. But late January to mid February were full of the following challenges that have seriously taken their effects:

*Husband’s birthday. He turned 30, so it was kind of a week-long celebration of steak dinners, beer, and cake. Oh yes, I ate cake. As I’ve said before, to me it’s a #rightyes to celebrate people and occasions (in moderation of course. Don’t eat more cake or drink more beer than the birthday boy).

*A week in New Orleans where, duh, I refused to miss out on the local food scene. For me, it’s always a #rightyes to do and eat the things that an area is known for. What’s the point of traveling if you don’t eat the Jambalaya in New Orleans, or the beignets at Cafe du Monde? No point, I say.

*The day after returning from New Orleans, we closed on our first house, YAY!! It’s a huge milestone for us. But immediately after closing we had to start weeding out the house and putting things in storage for the demolition and renovation process that started yesterday. Because we were already living in the same house we closed on, there was a ton of crap everywhere that we had to get out of the way for the contractor. We’ve been living in a rush that left no time for intentional grocery shopping or cooking, which of course led to fast lunches of Taco Bueno and late dinners of Mazzios and Papa John’s. Ugh. (That garlic butter dipping sauce though! Whyyy must it be so delicious.)

*We’ve just moved in with some friends for the duration of the renovation process, which should be 4-6 weeks (fingers crossed). We are sharing space and a kitchen, which may lead to cooking and meal prepping challenges.

As I sit here typing this, I feel puffy and desperately in need of some serious veggies. I have not been kind to my body the last couple of weeks. I know I’ve also said yes to certain things that definitely should have been nos, like devouring a hefty few handfuls of flaming hot cheetos in the car on the way home from New Orleans (long road trips are their own brand of hell when trying to avoid junk food), or ordering queso with my already fatty Bueno quesadillas. Because when you get super off track like that… it’s SO hard to get back on track.

If this were any other year in the past, now would be the time I’d just straight up give up. All fresh and new January motivation has exited the building, and living with so much intention towards food and exercise is SO difficult. I won’t lie; I feel that familiar discouragement. But this is the first time where I also feel like I have the tools to fight it. Yes, I’ve gotten off track. But that does not mean I can’t just as easily get back on track. This is a mental hurdle that requires a LOT of energy to actually believe.

So many times in the past I’ve eaten a cookie or something early in the day and thought something like welp, I’ve messed up. Might as well eat a deep dish pizza with extra mozzarella with a side of buffalo wings for dinner because I’ve irredeemably failed. This sounds ridiculous when you put it on paper, but it’s a lie I’m betting nearly all of us have believed at one time. But just because I binged on sugar during the day once does not rule out recovering later that evening with some roasted veggies over brown rice. 

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Steinbeck’s East of Eden:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

Changing your lifestyle does not mean 100% ruling out all good and delicious indulgences, like beignets and birthday cake. It also does not mean you can 100% never care about what you are putting into your body and see satisfying results. But what it does mean is that cookies and pizza won’t kill you; it’s the irrational commitments to perfection and harmful self-talk that’ll do that.

Here’s to continuing to try, even after royally messing up. I’ve never made it this far in the new year with positive thoughts and remaining motivation before (which is laughable because it’s only mid february).

We are in uncharted territory, people!

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