The Next Right Thing

I have been beating myself up lately with a lot of negative self-talk about laziness and the fruitlessness of trying to develop a healthier lifestyle. I’ve read no less than three articles in the past week about how no diet in the history of ever has worked in the long term for anyone. Another one about letting go of worrying about those last 3 – 5 pounds. Another about how no amount of exercise can make up for a bad binge. A lot of stuff I know, some stuff I am not sure I believe, and still more stuff that served no other purpose than to make me want to crawl into a hole and eat all the cookies and all the salty things.

A friend reminded me yesterday that maintaining a healthy lifestyle — that is, eating “right” or “well” for every meal and getting the recommended amount of weekly exercise (let’s say 30 minutes a day at least five days a week) is a challenge even for folks who only have a 9-t0-5 job and little to no other weekly commitments. We have at least another 20-plus hours just running our current performance schedule. Throw on top of that the physically demanding nature of this particular show and it’s not really a huge surprise that I’m having trouble sticking to plan.

My intellectual side understands this. My heart is telling me that if it were really important to me to take care of myself the way I say I want to, I’d have traded in forty minutes of Skyrim yesterday morning for a workout. Or would not have eaten the approximately seven thousand little mini-beignets that were just sitting on the table outside the dressing room on Saturday. I am eating a lot these days even when I am not hungry. Especially when I am not hungry. I am eating bowls of cereal at 9:45 at night because…well frankly just because there is cereal in the house.

So yes I think I can do better, but I’m having trouble finding the balance between challenging myself and beating myself up. I hate to lower my expectations of myself when they seem to freaking reasonable. The next thing to try is to focus JUST on doing the Next Right Thing. Not worrying about Saturday’s dinner on Tuesday. Not worrying about Will Melissa bring cookies to the show on Thursday when it’s still Monday. Not worrying about scheduling an appointment for 1:30 Sunday afternoon and will-that-make-it-too-difficult-to-work-out-that-day when it’s only Wednesday. Not worrying about whether or not I can fit into the next Stitch Fix that’s still over a week away.

I don’t have to worry about whether or not I will be able to resist getting tat pretzel appetizer at the venue where my event is tonight, because I am living in the present moment. I only have to consider whether I should grab one of those leftover bagels from this morning’s presentation that’s sitting in the kitchen right now. And it should not be difficult to do the Next Right Thing because I’m not even hungry — the only reason I would even consider is the ever-present and ever-ridiculous Because It Is There. I don’t need to grab it and save it for later in case I get hungry. If that happens, I have plenty of other options. Instead of worrying about whether I’ll have the motivation to work out tonight when I get home, I am going to choose to live in this present moment where I don’t even have the option of working out.

The Next Right Thing for me, right now, is getting some work done and off my plate. I’ll worry about after, after.

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