You know when you have those days where you overindulged and you tell yourself that you’ll make up for it tomorrow… you’ll tighten up your diet, you’ll limit your carbs, you’ll only drink shakes, you’ll run some extra miles… Whatever it takes, you’ll makeup for the things that you did today. Similar to the way umpires call a pitch independent of the pitch before or the pitch to come, which they obviously cannot predict, we can eat our meals and exist in our days the same way. Each meal we eat is independent of the meal before it or the meal that is to come, because we never know what’s truly going to come if we are engaging in paying attention to our bodies. So when an umpire makes the “wrong” call and proceeds to makeup for it with his next call, everyone yells, ” Makeup call!” But, the makeup call always backfires, whether the other team heckles the ump when he tries to swing it the other way or your diet plan fails because you just couldn’t meet your expectation of perfect to makeup for your “wrong” calls the day before.
This week’s blog idea came to me while I was watching my fiancé’s son’s baseball game. Similar to last week, I was still spending most of my time not working by either visiting my sister in the hospital (yes, she has been there all week) or helping with my nephew but I was also able to go to the Taste of Country Concert as well as a baseball game. This schedule of events involved green smoothies, limited working out, sitting with my sister have word search races and cracking jokes with the doctors, drinking some adult beverages, and eating on the go – NOT my typical routine, but I was still able to enjoy myself. So, then I started thinking about how I would have tried to tighten my grasp and try to control as much as possible with my food and workouts on Monday morning. How I would try to makeup for the food I ate or the workouts I didn’t get in. I could either get uptight about the things I wasn’t able to do (easily) or take a deep breath and go with the flow, knowing my health is not dependent upon one weekend and also knowing the stress I would feel instantly as I place rules on myself for the next day.
How often have you said you’ll do better tomorrow only to find by 10 am that you have already “screwed up?” And then what happens? Do you make a nourishing choice for your next meal or do you throw in the towel because already messed up? But, if you never told yourself last night that you have to behave a certain way today, if you never created that perfection expectation, then would you really have “failed?” And if your mind wasn’t thinking it failed, would it not become a self fulfilling prophecy of more failure because you believe your failure to makeup for yesterday leaves you weak and wondering where your willpower went? When a batter gets one strike on them, do they quit the at bat because of the strike or do they wait for the next pitch?
What if you just chose to eat what felt right for you in the moment and if it didn’t turn out as you thought, you make another choice at the next meal- one that you think about, one that you pause and check in with before making your choice, one that will nourish your body, your soul, or maybe even both?
Because really, the makeup call never works. It may temporarily please the team who it is in favor for, but it isn’t necessarily fair or what they actually needed. See, the makeup call only acknowledges the fact that the previous call was in fact “wrong.” And if how you behaved was wrong, you must have to try to be right next time. But what if trying to be “right” ignores the rules? What if it ignores what your body actually needs? What is trying to makeup for the meal before or the day before leaves you feeling like a failure and treating yourself even worse the next time? The brain knows you are essentially punishing yourself, or in diet terms, restricting and restriction is a slippery slope my friends. I quote Isabel Foxen Duke when she says that restricting is like a bow and arrow. The further back you pull the bow by restricting, eventually it will snap the other way, in proportion to how hard you had pulled it back.
There isn’t a need to pull back. In your head you may think so, because that is diet mentality. Make the wrong call with food one day, makeup for it with restriction the next day. Seems logical right? But, there is no need to makeup for what you did, it’s just food!!!
There are no strikeouts in eating. Pitch by pitch, meal by meal, you CAN decide to swing or not. The only way you are going to win is if you make the present moment choice, play by play, meal by meal. No. More. Makeup. Calls.