I had a clean eating failure today.
Because of that, this post is going to be about the relationship between my job and my lifestyle.
That is, after all, kind of the reason I started this blog. To start, I’ll tell you a little bit about my story to healthy living.
Last May (close to a year ago), I graduated from a small liberal arts women’s college in western Massachusetts. While at school, it was easier for me to make healthy choice than it is for most college students. My school had many dining halls with different specialties: vegan, Grab N Go, multicultural, etc. The town it was in was also really green, full of vegans and yogis. That made it easy to find a healthy option at almost any restaurant or bar I went to. I wasn’t always picking those healthy options, but I managed to keep a reasonably good balance between unhealthy and healthy because of all of the options available to me.
In August, I started my first job at a financial services firm on Wall Street. I was part of a development program for recent college graduates and would go out for happy hour with my new cohorts almost every night of the week. What started as beer or wine every night quickly turned into nachos, burgers, and similarly unhealthy choices every night.
In November, I moved to Jersey City, New Jersey. It minimized my commute to just a short 25 minutes every day, which I loved. But whereas before I always had a train to catch, now I didn’t exactly have a good excuse not to join my coworkers for a night out. I continued going out for happy hours, which often turned into longer nights out many weekday nights and also started going out on the weekends in the city. The thing about going out in the city is that a night out isn’t just staying out to 1 am or so at a bar like I was used to in college. A night out in the city is getting to the club at midnight and staying out until 4 am. I started getting really tired, but I was having so much fun that I didn’t want to stop.
In January, things started slowing down. A week or two so away from all of my work friends around the holidays made everything calm down. Two weeks into the month, a close family friend of mine who’d been fighting cancer for the past few years passed away. He’d worked on Wall Street for years before he was diagnosed with cancer and was always stressed, unhealthy, and tired. I realized that I didn’t want that to be my life anymore and decided to make a serious change. I started getting serious about the gym, going out only once a week or so, and getting back to my healthy eating habits.
In March, I decided to start my blog! The name came from what I thought my life had become at the time: sleep, work, eat, and repeat. Coming from a life of clubbing and excitement at the time, that was boring to me. But now, I’m happy with it. I exercise almost every day and love it, enjoy relaxing at home by myself with a nice glass of wine at the end of the week, and eat clean for the most part. I still go clubbing occasionally, but it doesn’t hold the same excitement and appeal for me any more.
And that brings us to today. I’d say up until now, I’ve been eating clean and have been happy and satisfied with it. I’ve noticed that my energy levels are up and that I feel full faster with the foods I’ve been picking. But unfortunately, that brings us to my clean eating failure tonight.
Tomorrow is my work friend Christine’s birthday and we decided to celebrate tonight by going to happy hour at Green Rock, a local Hoboken bar. At said bar, I drank more than I have in probably the last three weeks combined and completely ignored my clean eating habits. My friend Christine and I ordered and shared a mini pizza and the “disco” fries, mozzarella cheese fries served with brown gravy. It actually wasn’t so much food, but it felt SO heavy in my stomach afterwards. And the drinks I was peer pressured into didn’t sit well either. Usually after eating, I feel satisfied. Tonight, I felt overstuffed, and I hated the feeling. I can’t believe I used to do this almost every night of the week!
Knowing that summer is coming and therefore, more happy hours and nights out, I need to work on keeping myself in check. The myths about corporate drones like myself going out after work, partying into the wee hours of the morning, and then heading back into work aren’t true, but people do come close. It’s tempting to fall back into those habits just for the excitement of it all, but I need to remember that the decision to eat clean and stay healthy is one that I have consciously made for myself. And not only that, my body doesn’t like it and nor does my brain.
I’m definitely not happy with what I ate and drank tonight, but I’m not beating myself up for it like I would have once. It happens and the important thing is to recognize what went wrong, learn from it, and move on.
And now that I’ve finished that novel, there’s only one thing left to say! Cheers (with some water) to a better tomorrow!