Lesson learned: just start

August 16, 2011

Well, I passed the test. I made it through a barbeque without breaking my cleanse. For the most part. Our registration fee to attend the barbeque included a supper ticket for a hamburger and fries or a hot dog and fries. So, I checked out the menu and asked if I could have two fried eggs instead. And a side salad. No bread. No dressing. They said, “sure!” That was great of them to accommodate me like that!

Then as I ate my eggs, I remembered that eggs are not allowed on the cleanse. I enjoyed them anyway. I don’t think my having those two eggs will interrupt the cleanse much at all. By eating the eggs and the salad, I was satisfied and didn’t regret not having the fries and other choices. My drink ticket also included a soft drink. So, I asked for a herbal tea instead. They said, “sure!” again, even though the herbal tea was more expensive than the soft drink. They didn’t ask for the difference or apologize for not being able to accommodate me. They simply met my needs.

It was a great dinner because of their accommodating attitude. And this was a small, fast food concession stand. Not a luxurious, upper scale restaurant used to accommodating picky eaters. They had a limited menu. I struggled with the option of having a chicken filet sandwich, without the bread. But I knew the chicken filet would be deep-fried and likely breaded.

Then I struggled with the whole idea of trying to stick to the cleanse when faced with such limited choices. I almost gave in and allowed myself a day off from the cleanse. But I stuck to my commitment, and settled on the eggs.

I suppose that to be truly committed, I should have said “no” to the eggs as well. And settled for only the salad. But I knew that would not fill me up. It was a bare minimum of a salad: iceberg lettuce, a few cucumbers, a few onions, a few tomatoes. I left the tomatoes on my plate as they are not allowed on this cleanse. Instead of taking the chance of blowing the entire meal, I allowed myself the grace of having, and enjoying, the eggs.

Sometimes, we have to allow ourselves the grace of not getting something “just right” in order to succeed. Actually, I’ll change that to: “often.” “Most of the time” is even closer to the truth. Most of the time, we have to allow ourselves the grace of not getting something “just right” in order to succeed.

I tend to have an “all or nothing” attitude. This attitude interferes with my ability to succeed. If I blow a meal, then I decide that the entire day is shot. And then I really overdo it. I’m learning to let myself eat something I shouldn’t, without letting that influence what I eat for the rest of the day. I just simply get right back on track with the next meal.

That attitude of accepting mistakes is really helping me to stick to my commitment to complete this cleanse, to exercise regularly, and to continue to eat healthy food when off my cleanse. Now, when I miss my regular exercise routine, or eat something unhealthy, I don’t beat myself up. I don’t tell myself, “messed up again.” I don’t tell myself, “back here again.” Or any other negative message.

Instead, I simply start from right where I’m at. I don’t even “start over.” It’s not necessary to start over. I simply start from right where I’m at. Wherever that is.

For example, I started my running group three weeks ago. Then missed two weeks. I didn’t even do any running on my own. I went from running one night to running zero nights. Last night, I went back. Almost didn’t, but my friend convinced me to go with her. I even told her that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. That I was too far behind. That it was not going to work. That I needed to run on my own to get back up to where the group was. She didn’t buy any of that!

She had missed the past two weeks, too. So we made plans to complete last week’s schedule instead of the current week’s schedule. And we told the group not to worry about us, that we were going to do our own thing. The “sweeper,” the lady who was chosen to be last to ensure no-one was left behind, would have none of it. She just ran far slower than she was used to. And my friend and I completed the same schedule as everyone else. I didn’t even feel that it was too much of a difficulty!

So, I didn’t start over. I simply just started.


  1. Congratulations on completing your run! I always found that the hardest to do … getting back into running after getting out of the habbit for a while! As well you are so correct! It is definitely difficult to watch that we don’t convince ourselves we can’t do things! We should just constantly say I think I can in our heads and we will succeed!! Just like you succeeded at your bbq! Thats fantastic, because those are the easiest places to just give in to the temptation!!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, tigger16. It felt great to accomplish this. I think doing the run helped me at the BBQ. And now I have success to build upon. I’m past the “gotta make myself” stage because I got over this one hurdle! Just one thing at a time. That’s all we have to do.

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