Breaking the rules



So this happened last week… I broke the rules. My “healthy eating” diet rules that is.

I had a crappy week – personally and professionally – and as Hump Day approached, I was feeling sorry for myself, staring at the giant 50 flavours of Jelly Belly jelly beans that had been gifted to me about 3 months ago in my office and thought, “Why the hell not?”. I should be proud that I held out from opening them for 3 months! But hey, I cracked and ate all of the “Berry Blue” flavour in one hit (you can see the missing jelly beans in the 2nd row).

Post-consumption, I felt guilty and proceeded to rope in my colleagues into my shame spiral by getting them to play the Jelly Belly game, where I would give them a jelly bean and they would have to guess the flavour. Guilt is better when you share it!

The next day after my jelly belly scandal, I felt fine. Totally fine! I was surprised, but acknowledged that I felt this good because 99.9% of the time I eat totally healthily to support my Crohn’s and my digestive system. What was a handful of processed sugar?

But just as I had opened the box of jelly beans, I too had opened the can of worms… and could not stop myself from making excuses to break all the rules from that day onwards:
Thursday = goodbye to all of the “crushed pineapple” jelly bean flavour.
Friday = goodbye to all of the “lemon drop” jelly bean flavour; cider after work (not meant to have alcohol), and crumbed prawns for dinner.
Sunday (this is where it got majorly out of control) = 2 soy lattes with sugar at brunch (I’m not supposed to have sugar, coffee or soy!), soy pork salad (not supposed to have raw food either!) at lunch, a piece of pear and custard tart (absolutely bloody delicious! But full of sugar, eggs and butter) and a nibble of a cheesecake slice (was making up for lost time on Saturday when I ate well, clearly!)

And by 3.30pm on Sunday, I actually thought my stomach was going to explode. For starters, it swelled like I was 4 months pregnant, was sore, and was gurgling something fierce. I may not have had immediate repercussions for breaking the diet rules, but definitely after a 5 day bender, it all caught up with me! I had hit threshold!

And I have been paying for it ever since, if you know what I mean…

Reflecting on the whole thing now, I realise that it didn’t take much to throw me over the edge – a bad week of managing my emotions and I lost the plot of what was important to me – my health. It also didn’t help that I was surrounding myself with the temptation of deliciously forbidden food, but also that once I had broken a rule, I convinced myself that since I had already done the damage, what was another rule broken? And another, and another….

And yes, it was all terribly delicious and mesmerising at the time, but even with only a week of crappy eating, my body feels “mweh” – I feel hungover in my guts and I have very low energy, which makes me only want to consume more sugar to bring up my mood and overall energy. So now I have to make up for it all and jump back on the wagon. It’s like I am a recovering junk food junkie. One little taste of sugar and I lose it!

“My name is Amber, and I’m a junk-aholic”…

So now I have upped my probiotics, am drinking lots of water, eating good protein in meals, and I need to get rid of that box of jelly beans – outta sight, outta mind!

The moral of the story – it’s ok to lose yourself every once in a while – it is nice to not ALWAYS be following so many rules to be in the perfect, healthy state all the time… but be kind and forgive yourself quickly when you do lose control and try to bring it back together as soon as you can… 5 days was long enough for me, and at least I am lucky enough that I am really aware of how much better I can feel, and that’s incentive enough for me to do the right thing for my health again.

Wish me luck! Xx


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