Mistakes Were Made. And Not Good Ones

Mistakes were made last night when it came to eating well. They weren’t even good mistakes, you know? As I’m looking at this as something that I’m going to be doing over a lifetime, I don’t restrict my eating. I don’t say – I’m not going to ever eat cake or a doughnut. Certainly, when I celebrate with friends and family, I won’t deny myself because of arbitrary guidelines because that’s not sustainable and sustainability is the name of the game.

I need, however, to look at what happened. and see what I could do to prevent it from happening in the future. One thing I did right was to track everything I ate and the time through one of those calorie tracker apps. Data, I tell you, is wonderful.

What I could have done better:

  1. I didn’t get 7 hours of continuous sleep. This is a big one. I started the day off tired. When I’m tired, I have less will power.
  2. I was in a training all day for work that required a lot of discussion. Discussions and interactions drain me because I am an introvert. I can do it and have done it. It just depletes the willpower battery.
  3. I ate processed food for lunch. A Lean Cuisine frozen meal is great in a pinch. In my experience, however, they don’t have the staying power as food made from scratch. I had frozen some leftovers but didn’t remember them. I think this has to do with my not getting enough sleep.
  4. No mid-afternoon snack. No matter how often I remind myself of the importance of the mid-afternoon snack, I do not plan for it. Lately, my lunch has satisfied me enough until dinner. Today was not the day. For me, a mid-afternoon snack is around 300 calories. It’s just enough so I’m not so hungry for dinner that I make poor decisions …which is what happened yesterday.
  5. I was hungry as soon as I got off work. I was tired from not getting enough sleep and the training and it was Friday. It was the perfect storm for bad decisions.
  6. I did not start off my dinner with vegetables and end with fruit.
  7. I did not exercise. I fell into all-or-nothing thinking. 10 minutes? 20 minutes? That would have been a win and I’ve noticed that when I exercise, I’m not as hungry.

What I did right yesterday:

  1. I wrote down everything I ate and drank. EVERYTHING. Even when I was tempted to stop tracking. I kept tracking because with data comes power.
  2. I ate my typical healthy breakfast.
  3. I ate my typical healthy mid-morning snack.
  4. Yes, I ate a processed meal for lunch, but I also ate a salad before the meal and fruit to finish it off.
  5. I ate 1,000 calories before 1:00 pm which is my goal because that means I’ve been on track for the beginning of the day and typically in a good place for feeling full the rest of the day.

If I had to point out the crucial mistake I made, where things went wrong, it was not having that mid-afternoon snack. These mid-afternoon snacks have worked for me:

  1.  Apple + peanut butter.
  2. Fancy nut butter + nonfat Greek yogurt
  3. Carrots + hummus

But even before then, it’s my sleep. I haven’t been sleeping well after months of consistent sleep. Hmmm….

About Irette Y Patterson

Irette Y Patterson is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. She has been published in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Translunar Travelers Lounge and on the website of The Saturday Evening Post. When not writing, you can find her digging around in her garden or catching the latest musical in the theater.
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