My kids are prime “birthday party age”. Meaning that, at the very least, I have to attend a kid’s birthday party every other weekend. Good times, I tell ya. Good times. This past weekend, I took my youngest to a party at the skating rink. It’s nothing new, about fifty percent of the kid parties in town take place at the skating rink. I know the drill, and I already had a plan to say ‘No’ to the skating rink pizza provided to every party. Easy peasy. If you haven’t been to the skating rink in awhile, just trust me that it’s not that hard to say no to food from there. But when we got there, and navigated through the six other parties and found ours, the first thing I saw was that one of the tables was set up with multiple foil catering pans. Hmmmm, I thought, I wonder what’s in those pans? I knew it didn’t matter, though. I was a birthday party pro-with-a-plan! I had already told myself that I was NOT going to eat anything, and that was final! We dropped our present off and weaved our way through the sea of children to get my pumped up little one into some skates! He was so excited!
After skating for awhile we went back over to the tables, and they had uncovered the foil pans. That’s when I saw it. Right in the middle was a giant pan of macaroni and cheese. Ooey gooey grandma’s homemade mac and cheese!!! O-M-G.
In one split second I went from “No way I am eating at the skating rink” to my new plan, “If they don’t offer mac and cheese to the parents, I’ll just steal it off my kid’s plate.” He’s only three, it’ll be easy. He won’t even notice.
As I was hovering around the food table waiting to offer to help serve the mac and cheese, I saw someone rush in with a cake box. The mom seemed SO relieved to see it, and when she opened the box I immediately knew why. Unicorns! Gorgeous sparkly unicorn cupcakes with a glittery golden fondant horn on each one. I suddenly couldn’t think about anything but macaroni and cheese and glittery cupcakes!! I had to have one! I vowed to take one if she offered. I could never say ‘No’ to the mom that almost had her custom made sparkly unicorn cupcakes not arrive on time! That would be rude! I got you girl. Give me one of those cupcakes.
Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the real magical unicorn cupcakes. I couldn’t keep my eye on the macaroni and cheese, stop my three year old from eating gum off the floor, AND snap food pictures. But this photo I jacked from the internet is pretty spot on!
I am sure that by now you can see where this is going…
Long story short, I ate a whole plateful of macaroni and cheese and a unicorn cupcake. Actually, I ate one unicorn cupcake plus one more unicorn horn. My little sweetie pie took one bite of his fondant horn, decided he didn’t like it, and shoved it into my mouth. I didn’t want to be gross and spit it out, so I just ate it. Then I ate his half eaten chicken tender off of his plate. No real excuse for that one. Maybe I was mad at him about the horn so I decided to just double down on the half eaten toddler food? I don’t know. What I DO know is that I went in with a plan, and came out in a confused fog of cheese and shiny fondant. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little miffed at myself for crashing and burning the struggle bus. Especially the half eaten chicken tender. That was a rookie move, but half eaten chicken tenders happen. Unplanned splurges happen! I have learned that it doesn’t do any good to dwell on things. Worth it (macaroni and cheese) or not worth it (gnawed on chicken tender), the next move is always the same. Back on track.
To show you what I mean, I drew this flow chart. Everyone loves a flow chart!
Since I had already eaten a glorious meal of macaroni and cheese, cupcakes, and toddler trash, I decided to eat a light snack at dinner time. I even checked, and there is no law that says I HAVE to eat another dinner just because it is 6pm. As it turns out I can eat (or NOT eat) whenever I want!! I know, mind=BLOWN!
You are welcome to print out this flow chart if it helps, or you can just jot it down. The take away is this: It doesn’t matter if your last meal was “good” or “bad”, keep striving to make healthy choices. It is not about adhering perfectly to a strict diet or certain rules. It is just simply about continuing the journey, and finding a balance that works for you.