A few months back, I joined my Toastmaster’s group at work. For those that aren’t familiar, Toastmasters is an organization that helps you build your confidence in public speaking and communication. It’s not just about giving speeches though. Each meeting people play different roles from Toastmaster, Timer, Ah Counter, Table Topics, Evaluator, and of course, Speakers. Our group meets at 7am on Wednesday mornings and even though it’s early, it’s the highlight of my Wednesday. I learn about people’s hobbies and passions as well as how to give meaningful feedback. I always leave with a smile.
Today, I had to give my second speech in the program which was to focus on organizing a speech. I’ve known about this speech for quite some time and struggled to figure out what I wanted to talk about. Finally, last week, in an effort to simplify my life, I chose my topic. Running. I’m passionate about it, I can talk 5-7 minutes about it and I thought I could organize it in a way that the audience would understand. I thought I was prepared. The speech always goes better in my mind but somewhere along the route from my brain to my mouth something happens. Nerves? Fear?
I have this tendency to let 1 or 2 things or people affect me – whether it be in personal situations, work situations, and to no surprise, Toastmasters. I mentioned that people play different roles and today I let the Ah Counter (someone who counts how many filler words you say – like, and, so, anyways, um…) and the Timer get to me. Every time I caught myself say um or so, I paused, looked at him and saw him right it down. The Timer also started holding up the time at 3:30 in and I started to panic. Was I going to get through all my speaking points? Was I making sense? In the end, it was ok. I got lots of great feedback to help me for the next time and people were inspired by my speech.
This might be a little long winded but I promise I’m going somewhere with this…
After Toastmasters, I started to beat myself up about my speech. Instead of focusing on what went right, I focused on what I could have done better. I should have done this…or that…oh wait, I forgot to mention xyz. I was spinning out of control – at least in my head. Totally distracted from my work, I decided the only thing that would solve the issue was to eat a donut. I never really thought of myself as an emotional eater but today I was. I tried to eat some fruit, drink some hot tea, but in the end nothing was really satisfying my craving.
So I did it…I ate a donut. I’ll run it off this evening but I’m not feeling so hot about the donut now. I know you’re probably thinking…it’s just one donut. But emotional eating can spiral out of control – one donut leads to two…and then other bad food choices and mindless eating.
How about you – Do you crave sugar or something else when something hasn’t gone the way you planned? How do you control yourself and not eat the entire box of chocolates? or Bottle of wine?