Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Conquering the Cookies

Today I was presented with a common challenge: the large platter full of large cookies at the center of a conference table. There were sugar cookies. M & M cookies. Chocolate-on-chocolate. Macaroon. Seemed any type of cookie a bakery could offer was on this platter. Each and every cookie spoke to me: if it wasn't demanding I pick it up and eat it then and there, it was asking me to discreetly package it in a napkin and wisk it back to my cubicle where the two us may enjoy each other in semi-privacy.

Unfortunately, this was a lunch meeting, and seeing as I am in the meagerest point of the month my lunch consisted of a PB & J, a sandwich variety normally reserved for school children. My appetite was no where near satisfied, and the murmur of "eat me" whispers coming from the cookies soon became a resounding choir of culinary Sirens, singing me to my diet doom. I tried to distract myself with the discussion of the meeting, but the voices of others were lost mid-way across the table, creating chaotic noise in my head. From my deepest depths, I tried to shout back at the cookies:

"No! I don't need you and your refined sugar!"

But the more stand-offish I was with them, the more tempting they became to me. And finally, I gave in. A perfectly round, light tan colored cookie flecked with M & Ms found its way into my eager hands.

"I shouldn't eat you," I thought, as I raised the first bite to my mouth. So soft, so scrumptous!

"This will make my stomach hurt," continued the thought, as I continued eating, now trying to break off dainty little pieces rather than chowing the whole thing down in three, ravenous bites. But I still ate the same amount: the whole cookie. I sat staring at the grease stains it left on the napkin, wrestling down the feelings of guilt and regret over the slip-up.

I spent the next hour and a half (the rest of the meeting) pondering my lost negotiation with the cookie. I know eating this one cookie will not sabotage me forever, and it is nothing more than my human nature rearing its head. It was time to conquer the cookies, to ignore them as though they were a puppy begging for attention. I decided not to allow one little (or insanely large) cookie destroy any amount of pride I have from all the accomplishments and hard work I have put in on my fitness journey. Once the decision was made not to listen to the temptations, they silenced and one would have thought cookies couldn't talk at all.

On any pursuit of better health, there will be temptations. Sometimes the temptations are weak blips barely noticed, other times they are loud bull horns demanding our attention. Which ever is the case, we must take them one at a time, and not get hung up when we succumb to ___________ (fill in the blank). It does not mean the journey is over, or the journey thus far was pointless, but that it must continue, one foot in front of the other.