I’ve just returned from a quick trip to the Jersey shore, Ocean City to be exact. I had never been and it was surprisingly lovely. I had imagined thousands of “Snookies” running around with their fake tans and tall hairdos, but thankfully, the city was void of any Jersey Shore wannabes.
Instead, the boardwalk was filled with families. Wide-eyed toddlers in strollers pointed excitedly to the carnival rides at the amusement park. Teenagers laughed and joked with each other as they drove the rented surreys. And grandparents sat on benches watching their grandchildren engulf cotton candy.
It was the quintessential summer scene and I was happy to be immersed in it.
So happy, in fact, that I indulged in a Kohr Bros. frozen custard covered in chocolate sprinkles. I strolled the boardwalk with my friends and family devouring my treat and for the first time since joining the In8 program, I felt no guilt.
Every splurge before this had been served with a side of guilt. My inner voice telling me, “You really shouldn’t eat that. It’s loaded with sugar and probably has a million calories. It’ll set you back weeks on your diet goals.”
That voice was silent. And no, I haven’t given up on this wellness business. Far from it. I think this marks the next level of the program for me—the beginning of balance.
I felt no guilt because I know when I get home, I’ll return to my healthy habits. I know this because I survived three weeks of eating on the road, my husband’s subtle moves to sabotage my diet, and wino friends tempting me with fabulous wine. And after all of that, I still got back on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon.
I’ve learned to splurge and bounce back.
That confidence has finally allowed me to let go of the guilt. I wasn’t expecting this revelation, but I certainly am basking in it. It allowed me the guiltless pleasure of licking the sprinkles off my ice cream cone while I strolled hand-in-hand with my seven-year-old daughter down the boardwalk. Enjoying our treat in the cool evening air, we debated which was better, vanilla or chocolate.
It’s the vanilla. Definitely.