As I write this, our little boys are in bed, my husband is overlooking bagel shipments, and my older two children and I are watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade while the first fire of the season crackles in the fireplace. We just saw the scene where the old knight says, "He chose poorly." It's classic. Talk about the understatement of the year!
In case you haven't seen the movie in a while, there's this bad guy (of course), and he follows Indiana (sigh) into a hidden room full of ancient goblets. Inside there are many gorgeous, solid gold, gemstone encrusted chalices that are fit for a king. Whoever drinks from the cup of Christ, the Holy Grail, will supposedly have immortality. Whoever chooses the wrong cup will suffer immediate death. But which one is it? So this bad guy chooses the most beautiful of all the goblets, thinking it surely must be the one. He drinks deeply. It's obvious that his choice is a poor one because moments later the flesh melts from his skeleton and then his head explodes. Cool! It's at this point that the ancient knight protecting the Holy Grail delivers his classic line, "He chose poorly."
Well, this blog isn't meant to be any great epiphany. But after a day full of choices, most good, one or two which could have been better, that movie line really hit home to me. Earlier today my eight year old decided to make a surprise chocolate cake for his older brother. It was a surprise to me as well. As I stared down at my arch nemesis, cake, the old feelings of desire welled up from nowhere. I was momentarily dazzled by it's beauty. Lost in desire, I could almost taste it's moist sweetness and feel the creamy frosting on my tongue. (Sorry, I know this is a little over the top.) But at that moment I wasn't thinking about what after-effects that cake would bring. I was thinking about cake.
That is the moment, the moment of choice. Do I indulge? If I do, do I stop at one piece? What will satisfy me? Cake was not planned into my day. I have no idea how many calories it has and frankly I really don't care. I start thinking, "When will I have this opportunity again? How many times in life will my eight-year-old make his first cake for his brother? It's a once in a lifetime event! How can I not have a piece?!"
Alright, I know it's ridiculous. Do I really want to blow everything on cake? And I've seen Andrew bake before - lick and stir, lick and stir. But even knowing what's probably IN the cake, even knowing how damaging it can be to me - it's not easy to work it through in your mind when you're staring at ... cake.
One piece of cake probably won't show up on the scale at the end of the day. But even a bite can be a mental invitation for me to have another and another and well, you get the picture. A bite can put me "off" my diet. And if I'm "off" then I quickly start thinking about everything else I want to eat before I get back "on." The mental games in the on-again/off-again world of the dieter can begin with one piece of cake.
Today I didn't eat a piece, but I have before. Yes, there are times when I regret my choices and the words "You chose poorly" echo in my mind. No, my head doesn't explode. I may not suffer immediate death when I make a poor food choice, but I do suffer the consequences. No matter what happens, when all is said and done, it's a blessing to know that each day is a new day, with new choices to be made.