The demonstration table was ready. I had the single burner ready. Two bags containing everything I could imagine I would need to cook an asparagus side dish was there: saute pan . . . check, wooden spoon . . . check . . . . asparagus, goat cheese, grape tomatoes . . . check, check, check.
“Ok, everyone, today I’m going to show you how quick and easy it is to make a side dish to go with your grilled entrees. I’m going to be making Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes”. As the words came out of my mouth, my brain focused on the work “balsamic”, the very balsamic that I HAD FORGOTTEN TO PACK!
A small shot of adrenaline (panic) later, I came to my senses. A little honesty and humor always helps, and my honesty here is that I am working on laughing at my imperfections more. With each year that passes by, I am realizing how very few mistakes are serious. This one certainly fell immediately into the category I call “not important”. No one was hurt, either emotionally or physically to my knowledge, and the show did go on.
I kept the mood light and was even able to convince everyone that they should be using balsamic vinegar on all kinds of foods – all without a single drop of it with me! Good balsamic vinegar can transform any vegetable into a sweet and tasty side dish. With olive oil, it is a fresh and healthy salad dressing.
As I drove away afterward, I did not feel embarrassed or stupid for my little lapse. In fact I have to say that the whole group relaxed more quickly and we had a lighter mood as a result of it.
Note to self: My comfort level with imperfection seemed to be a gift to all of us.
The same principle applies to eating for weight loss and health. Eating “imperfectly” seems to be a big barrier for changing eating habits, but I think it is a lack of comfort with the inevitable imperfection that is more often to blame for overeating.
If someone eats a brownie and feels terribly shameful about it, the lack of comfort can lead to many more. Although it may not make immediate sense, acceptance of imperfection works so much better, yet it is so hard for so many dieters. It’s worth a try, don’t you think?