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My cheat meal yesterday turned into a cheat potluck

My cheat meal yesterday turned into a cheat potluck


Yesterday I lost a patient. A little one. I was a part of a great team but it’s tough when you work so hard just to see your efforts fail. Our team made handprints and footprints in a memory book and molds of the baby’s hands and feet for the family. We dressed the baby in a handmade gown, swaddled, then I placed the tiny body in the mother’s arms. It’s just now as I am writing this that I am letting myself grieve. Death is hard. Still, I am thankful that I serve a God who sees and understands, who never leaves me – even when I question the reason that things happen. I may never know why this infant’s life was cut short (by our terms) but I know the Lord is sovereign and has a plan. Regarding my time with the brief, precious life I cling to the following from Psalm 139:
You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.
I believe that the Lord knew what was planned for me before I arrived at work that morning. He knew I’d be told I had to come in and work extra this weekend and that two hours later I’d be called to be with this patient and family. He provided mercies throughout my day in the form of a fellow believer who was encouraging and helpful, who cared for my other patients while I was working with this one and who was empathetic when I returned and shared my experience. He provided an excellent team of skilled medical professionals for me to work with, and a night of mostly stability among my ICU patients that allowed for brief but refreshing mental and physical rest. He provided.
After the loss, one of our team members asked what he could get each of us. I looked down to the small can of Sprite that I had been given. I know, not clean but it had been six hours since I’d eaten a real meal and my blood sugar felt pretty low despite my cortisol level probably being through the roof given the previous situation. I replied that I was fine and thanked him for offering. He asked again, this time with soul-searching eyes. “Chocolate”, I replied. Thoughts of clean eating swirled through my head but it would be at least two hours before I could get to what was in my lunch box. He smiled and returned with four boxes of chocolate goodies for us all to share.
Prior to that “cheat” I had made it through one temptation. At a meeting earlier in the day someone provided GiGi’s cupcakes. Oh my goodness! They’re the kind of cupcakes where there icing is just as tall as the cake portion. So yummy! I declined to partake and drank water while some of my colleagues enjoyed the deliciousness. When I returned to the office later that evening there was a mint green box sitting on the desk – left over cupcakes. This time my will power had taken a nose dive. I opened the box. (Insert the angelic “Ahhhhh” with a yellow glow around a particular peanut better cup cupcake). I closed the box. Nope. I couldn’t do it. Yes, I had had a rough day. Really rough. Okay, just one. I don’t have to eat the whole thing. I reopened the box and got the cupcake, put it on a plate and covered it with a napkin. I went to the fridge and grabbed the bag of green beans I brought to steam with dinner then took the two to the break room. Green beans and a peanut butter cup cupcake. It was supposed to be green beans and a sweet potato. Fail. I gave in again. Chocolate then 2/3 of a cupcake. My non-planned cheat meal became a potluck.
Has this ever happened to you? I’m going to give myself grace and “get back on the wagon”. I packed healthy snacks for work but wasn’t able to access them due to extenuating circumstances. In life, we can plan with the best of them but there will be times that negate our plans. I think what’s important is that we don’t give up, that we acknowledge what happened and then try again. I learned that a non-refrigerated snack that I could keep in my work bag, though it may not be truly “clean”, may have given me the edge I needed to avoid going for the chocolate. Then again, sometimes a girl just needs chocolate. And that’s okay – in moderation. Now, the cupcake? That just means I put a little extra effort in today’s workout.

About Carlye S

I'm a thirty-something desiring to live a healthier life - physically and spiritually. Join me as I share about those who inspire me, recipes, training tips, lessons about clean eating and life in general. Let's get fit, eat clean, and seek the Lord together.

2 responses »

  1. I liked the addition of the comic clip. We just keep on moving forward even when all goes wrong we nurses must do what is right. You know B’nMe love you and are so proud of you:)

  2. This is what I dislike about the concept of “clean” eating. It makes you think in terms of black and white, clean and dirty. Your body, your life, our job is rarely black and white. One cupcake doesn’t make you dirty. It isn’t a “cheat” or a ruined day or anything other than a cupcake. By elevating food to that pedestal, you give it a power over your life that it doesn’t innately have. It’s just food. It’s just a cupcake. Your body can handle a cupcake. It’s just another kind of fuel after all.

    Keep up the good work, friend! Don’t be too hard on yourself.


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