Monday, May 3, 2010
Of sin, guilt, redemption and what I ate over the weekend (not necessarily in that order)
I was thinking about all of this while reading the Sunday NY Times Magazine, which had a fascinating article about people who track everything in their life with analysis. They go way beyond diet and exercise, including variables such as mood, number of times they pick their nose, etc. It was a good reminder to use my recently invented Guilt-o-lator which tracks my guilt levels at different points in time. It's still a prototype model that is available only in Japan (or, more accurately, only available in my imagination).
BTW, for those interested, here is the article referenced above...
So what were the results as the weekend progressed?
Friday: I got home a little bit early so I could see my younger daughter give her presentation on Walt Disney (the nice version, not the guy from the McCarthy hearings). Afterwards, I was working from home. So how did it go:
Friday afternoon: little bit of grazing, but I focused on beef jerky (still loving it) and an apple.
Guilt-o-lator reading: low
Friday night: sushi. Good news: sashimi. Not so good news: spicy tuna.
Guilt-o-lator reading: lowish (might have been higher, but it's a Friday night and I deserve a break)
Saturday workout: lifted weights (had a great workout)
Guilt-o-lator reading: erased any bad feelings about spicy tuna
Saturday breakfast: Special K, banana, 0 fat Greek yogurt, coffee
Guilt-o-lator reading: very low (except for the bite I took from my daughter's donut -- but it was only 1 bite)
Saturday lunch: PB&J (on low cal bread), cottage cheese
Guilt-o-lator reading: low
Saturday afternoon: began grazing (couldn't tell you exactly what I ate, but hummus & crackers were in the mix)
Guilt-o-lator reading: rising
Saturday pre-dinner: my similarly stranded neighbor (his DSW was at a reunion) came over w/ his four kids for a BBQ. Started with snacks (cheese, salami, crackers) and beer (Bud Select 55 -- 1 POINTS value per pop/nice!).
Guilt-o-lator reading: rising faster, definitely in the yellow zone
Saturday dinner: 1/2 pound burger + bun, mayonnaise infused salad stuff, grilled vegetables
Guilt-o-lator reading: in the red zone
After dinner: kids up to bed, and I'm by myself. What to do? Why not have a glass of wine and the rest of the ice cream they didn't eat?
Guilt-o-lator reading (upon waking up next AM): critical
Sunday AM exercise: death-by-spinning (seriously, I wonder how many people actually self-combust on their bike when in their 3rd anaerobic cycle).
Guilt-o-lator reading: back to the red/yellow zone
Sunday breakfast/lunch: see Saturday
Guilt-o-lator reading: edging back to the lower side of yellow
Sunday dinner: grilled scallops and raw bar
Guilt-o-lator reading: back to the green zone
Overall, Saturday night was far from a brilliant lifestyle performance, but I sandwiched my sin with some more angelic choices before and after. I felt fairly well redeemed by the end of the weekend, and I'm fairly sure no permanent damage was done.
Bigger question: is using the guilt-o-lator a good idea? Logically, I would say that guilt can be a dangerous weapon in evaluating choices that have already been made. It seems that I should not be dumping negative, self-flagellating thoughts on myself as a general matter of course. That said, thinking about how I felt about my choices actually helped me course correct fairly quickly. For example, at dinner Sunday night I turned down the bread basket. I suspect that feeling a little bad about the Saturday binge helped fortify my defenses for the next day.
I may keep the guilt-o-lator around a little bit longer, and see if it is helpful or whether it permanently damages my soul and mental health.
What is your take on guilt? And be honest!