I wouldn’t say I’m good at learning lessons.
Case in point: I did a pretty fantastic job on my Whole 30 last month (if I do say so myself). I enjoyed the food; I felt great; and I lost 10 lbs. When the challenge ended last Wednesday, I decided I would mostly stick to that way of eating because I felt it worked for me.
Then Thursday rolled around. It was my four-year wedding anniversary, and we wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate. And celebrate we did: a wild mushroom flatbread to share as a starter, a burger and fries for my main (half of which I gave to Ryan), a flourless chocolate cake to share for dessert, and a big old glass of red wine to wash it all down (did I mention I cut alcohol from my diet almost two years ago?)
No big deal, I thought. I can have an off-plan meal every so often. I didn’t feel great, but I didn’t feel bad. Getting back on track was easy peasy.
Until Saturday. My friend hosted book club at her house, complete with appies and – you guessed it – more wine. So I helped myself to some pasta and chicken, stuffed mushroom caps, bacon-wrapped dates (my paleo contribution to the evening), veggies, brownies, and – you guessed it – a glass of wine.
No big deal, I thought. Treating myself on special occasions is totally fine. I really didn’t feel great, but I could get back on track. Sure I could.
You may have guessed by now that I’m a total dumbass. My acid reflux – the acid reflux that vanished completely during my Whole 30 – came back with a vengeance yesterday. It started with a pain in my left shoulder. I figured I had slept on it funny, so took some loopy back pain meds that helped for about an hour. Then I realized the sharp, stabbing pain was only getting worse.
Oh god, I thought, I’m having a heart attack! Years of abusing my body have finally caught up to me! There’s so much I have left to do!
I did say I was a dumbass, didn’t I?
A cursory search of the internet revealed that a sharp pain in the left shoulderblade can be caused by heartburn or acid reflux. Ginger tea didn’t help. Tylenol didn’t help. Pepto didn’t help. I had to sleep on my right side the whole night – and I’m a left-side sleeper. Even then, the pain kept me up. It’s still not 100 per cent gone, but now I’m 100 per cent committed to keeping to my eating plan.
You can mess with my tummy, evil food, but don’t you dare mess with my beauty sleep.
So no, I’m not good at learning lessons. I make the same mistakes over and over and over again until I’m quite literally forced to smarten up. Perhaps I’m a slow learner. Or maybe I just have abnormally poor impulse control.
But I like to think I just need the right motivation to change.