This month dealt an unexpected blow to my construct of love and all things right when Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale announced they are ending their marriage. I have an old photograph somewhere of Gavin and a couple of my friends when they were on European tour together. And then there was the time Gwen was staying at my hotel in Boston and I got up the nerve to go chat with her a bit out front one afternoon (and no, it didn't’ end with a restraining order). So, when they announced their split I felt a little bit of my hope for my own love story and perfect ending die. And then I craved pizza.
So, what are we supposed to do when an event triggers us to indulge in self-destructive tendencies? We need to identify the triggers, or the weak links in our chain, and come up with a positive action plan around them.
Too often one little event will start a downward spiral of behavior that is not conducive to the goals we are trying achieve. Let’s stick with the example of Gwen and Gavin forcing me to derail my diet by ordering a large pizza and eating the whole thing while crying and watching Bridget Jones’s Diary. The next logical step is to have a pint of Talenti Sicilian Pistachio Gelato, obviously. Suddenly, I’ve had an entire pizza, a pint of gelato and now I feel horrible because clearly I have no willpower and will never succeed at trying to eat better and lose weight. And, since I will obviously never be able to maintain anything close to a healthy lifestyle I may as well just skip the gym altogether in the morning and instead opt for a giant cinnamon roll and a coffee on the way to work.
Now, instead of losing all control (and sanity) what should have happened when I heard the horrible news is this: I should have been aware of how it made me feel, took a minute or two to evaluate the situation and look at it a little more clearly and make a decision of what to do next, based on something a little more logical and a lot less emotional.
If I had a plan in place for what to do when something makes me want to lose all control, I would have been a lot more likely to adhere to the plan than to sprawl out on the floor pounding my fists in desperation wondering how in the modern world it still takes close to an hour for a pizza to be delivered to my door. (Seriously, how?)
I should have gone for a long walk or maybe even a run to clear my mind and think a little bit. Your challenge this week is to think about what you can do to stop the self-destructive behavior the next time something triggers you to eat everything in sight. Now, put that plan into practice. Because you never know, it could just be your favorite celebrity couple splitting up next week!