The Gift Basket That Haunted My Dreams

Are you like me, making plans in the morning but find that you are not sticking to them when evening rolls around?

I don’t eat particularly healthy. As with everything in live, I go through phases with my diet. Sometimes I eat less unhealthy, sometimes I eat more unhealthy food.

This week was especially bad.

Last weekend I received a nice little food basket from some of my friends. It was a very sweet gesture, and I was very happy to receive it. Upon closer inspection I noticed that there were some nice, unhealthy “treats” in there:

  • 2 bars of fine chocolate (100g each)
  • 1 pack of fudge (100g)
  • 2 packs of Snyder’s pretzels
  • 1 bag of honey and pepper kettle chips
  • 1 pack of wasabi coated peanuts
  • 1 small jar of white chocolate spread

There was also pasta, some fancy salad dressing, and other less unhealthy stuff. But the items above are in the center of this little story.

Why? Because within four days I had consumed almost all of the items on that list. Actually, within four evenings. And that is in addition to my regular evening meal (which, this week, was a frozen pizza every single night).

From a dietary perspective, this has been the worst week in a long, long, long, looong time. I don’t even remember a week when I had so much “bad” food. 1

Morning-Self vs. Evening-Self

I feel pretty awful this morning because of all the food I had yesterday evening. And the small jar of white chocolate spread is still sitting in my kitchen, waiting to prey on me tonight. But I won’t let it!

“Not tonight! Tonight I will be strong!”

Yeah, right. Morning-Stefan can be so naive. Morning-Stefan has just meditated, is fully rested, full of energy, optimistic about the day ahead. Morning-Stefan would prepare and eat a salad tonight. Morning-Stefan might treat himself to a small piece of chocolate, but he wouldn’t gobble down a whole chocolate like an animal. Never.

Sadly, Morning-Stefan will not be around tonight. Tonight, Evening-Stefan will be calling the shots. He will be exhausted from a day’s work, from a whole week of work actually. So he will not bother with a salad. When Evening-Stefan gets home, he doesn’t want to prepare a salad or a healthy meal. He wants food, and he wants it now. And something greasy with carbs is a lot more appealing than a healthy salad. So frozen pizza it will be, again. And while he’s waiting for the pizza, he will be looking at that food basket. Too bad that the salty snacks have already been eaten. But that jar of white chocolate is starting to look pretty, pretty good…

Getting along with your Evening-Self

Morning-Stefan is often pretty annoyed with his evening-counterpart. He doesn’t understand why Evening-Stefan has so little discipline. Morning-Stefan is so full of good intentions, but when evening get’s around, Evening-Stefan takes over and wrecks all those nice plans.

Morning-Me to Evening-Me: God dammit! Why can’t you stick to my plans? I know what’s good for us, that’s why I took charge of planning everything. Why do you never do what I tell you to?

Evening-Me: Fuck you. You don’t know what it’s like! Your life is so easy. You are always well rested. You and your little plans! You sit there in bed with your morning coffee and make those grand plans. But where are you, when it’s time to actually do the stuff? Where are you hiding then? I never see you doing any work. You are just planning, planning, planning. Full of good intentions but never contributing. When I get home from work, I don’t have the energy to behave responsibly. Why should I? I am exhausted. I just want to have a nice evening with no-one bothering me. Not even you with your stupid morning-ideas. Salad? Fuck you. I like cheese and pizza. I like extra cheese!

Let’s leave those two alone. It sounds like they’ll be fighting for a while. First time I hear them talk to each other. Strange. Very strange.

Help your (Evening-)Self!

There is one thing that I took from that short conversation, which I think is very important to remember: Evening-Stefan is not a bad person. He is just very, very exhausted, and has depleted so much of his energy, that he is no longer able and willing to do the “right” things. So, if we want him to do something, then we must help him before he shows up. Really help him, not just with good intentions and plans. Morning-Stefan can do better than that!

(Today, Morning-Stefan will take that small jar of delicious white chocolate spread and drop it off at my neighbours. I will ask them to hold on to it for me. Evening-Stefan just can’t be trusted with something that tempting. Maybe someday, but not yet.)

So, you better stop surfing the inter-webs now. Better go and take a walk, meet some friends, read a book. Anything. But, please, stop looking at this screen! (At least for a while.)

1. I use the quotes around “bad” to mean this: I don’t think that the food on the list is in and of itself bad, it’s just food that is better enjoyed in small portions and less frequently. That’s what I think, but not what I do when I have access to it…

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