Ok. This was the week I cheated. Twice, now. Not “omg-forget-I-ever-started-this-stupid-thing!” cheats or even “well-that-undid-everything-I-worked-for-the-last-3-weeks” cheat. Just little “oops” cheats.
I already mentioned the popcorn incident from earlier this week. The second one was far less my fault! Not that I’m trying to shift blame or pass off responsibility, but the whole situation was somewhat out of my hands and I think, given the circumstances, I did quite well.
Yesterday was my boss’ birthday. We’re a pretty close group at work, especially now that we’re in our slow season and there’s only 5 of us here full-time. So the boss decided for his birthday we were all going to go out for high tea at the Langham Hotel – Auckland’s only 5-star hotel.
When I made the reservation, I let them know that there were two vegetarians and one person with gluten allergies (me). They said that was fine and they were looking forward to seeing us at 1 pm.
Since “tea” is typically sandwiches, scones and pastries, I was really, really hoping the gluten-free option would be something like a small selection of sushi and seafood with some fruits and veggies – something I know they have featured on their standard menu. Turns out it’s basically the same as the standard tea, but on dry, kind of crumbly gluten-free bread. Disappointing! But at $34 a person, I could hardly peck away at the few pieces of fruit and leave the rest – especially since I had my own little 3-tiered tray like in the photo. (Actually, I sat on that exact couch, too.)
So I ended up having a selection of little sandwiches and gluten-free scones – with some light whipped unsweetened cream and jam. And then there was the entire plate of desserts on top. One month ago, I would’ve eaten the entire thing, then possibly looked at the other platters to see if there was any other dessert that was gluten-free I could steal. Yesterday, I looked at the plate and wondered what I could possibly do to make it look like I ate most of it without actually eating most of it. I had the fruit skewer (yum!) and passed the chocolate-covered peanut cluster to the girl beside me. And then I ate the entire palm-sized meringue with
jam and cream in the middle the jam and cream scooped out onto my plate as they were too sweet.
What’s odd is that I don’t feel bad about it. I’ve gone almost 4 weeks without any sugary desserts. Shouldn’t I be beating myself up over caving? Shouldn’t I feel guilty about my weak will power and lack of control? Shouldn’t I be punishing myself today with a diet of carrots and celery to make up for it?
I went into tea knowing I would probably be given a whole heap of foods I wouldn’t have ordered for myself. I also knew I wasn’t paying and that it was a special treat for us all to be there. I didn’t over-indulge, but I enjoy each and every single bite. And I don’t feel one bit guilty. In fact, I took it all as a bit of a celebration because…
I got a huge promotion at work!
They actually announced it just after we had all got settled in for our tea. Within a few weeks, I’m going from “Office Manager” (aka: admin lackey) to “Production Manager” (aka: in charge of running an entire show’s production, start to finish). Which means I’m back into actual TV production again, not just working for a TV company, I get a decent raise and I can actually work my way up. PM can eventually lead to producer, which can eventually lead to executive producer… You see where I’m going.
So, yes, I “cheated” yesterday. A little dessert at tea and a green curry chicken takeaway for dinner as a treat from Andrew to congratulate me (the healthier choice than pad thai, I guessed!). Thing is, I didn’t feel any negative effects at all. I’m not tired, rundown or bloated. Maybe it’s masked by the remaining glow of the promotion, but I think it’s just that it wasn’t a big enough diet detour to really affect anything. I’m still feeling great, I’m still feeling motivated and I’m still on-track.
I think the key in all this is being realistic. Life is never perfect and life is never going to follow your plans. Accepting that and not getting too caught up in the minor little details – or beating yourself up over things you can’t control – can go a long way. And when you have to cheat, cheat sensibly! Let yourself have a small dessert or two. Just don’t polish off the entire desert platter.