I was approaching the counter of a food vendor in Atlanta’s airport when I heard the magic word: “Free!” “Free what?” I asked myself. As if reading my mind, the lady behind the counter looked straight at me and said “Free strawberry milkshake.” My surprise must have shown on my face, because she chuckled, and then added, “We read the order sheet wrong and made it by mistake.”
I hesitated. I wasn’t really in the mood for a milkshake – in fact, I don’t particularly like milkshakes. On the other hand, I was hungry, and it was free! “FREE!” I ended up taking the free milkshake – and actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
The first thought that came to my mind as I worked my way through the milkshake was “I’ve blown it! I might as well throw in the towel and pig out.” But I know this negative type of thinking only makes matters worse. So here’s the replacement thought that I eventually came up with: “Free milkshakes aren’t going to jump into my path every day – I’ll enjoy this one, and then put a little extra emphasis on high fiber foods for the next couple of days to compensate.” This thought allowed me to enjoy the milkshake, and summon motivation to “recover” by eating a little healthier for the next couple days.