I normally don’t eat any type of animal products – with the exception of fish for the benefit from the oils – and I keep a pretty clean diet. Now, “clean” is a relative term, and plenty of over-the-top people would consider my diet hideously unclean, but most normal people would consider it pretty darn good.

Anywho, last Saturday, it was one of those magical nights that I was going to deviate from my normal routine and have a cheat meal. But I took things waaaaay too far. In fact, right before I gave the waitress my order, a part of me was ever so subtly whispering Don’t do it. Doooooooon’t do it! But I was looking at that menu thinking of how obnoxiously delicious it would taste.

So, I did it. And those damn beef enchiladas almost did me in…

I was like Odysseus and the enchiladas were the Sirens calling to me from the rocky shore. Unfortunately, I was only loosely fastened to the mast, so I escaped my restraints and steered my ship aground. What an idiot.

Mind you, my body isn’t used to processing meat. I can get away with having a little chicken once in a blue moon when I cheat on my diet, but red meat is dangerous and I knew that going in. I, of course, told myself a tantalizing lie about how maybe this time it would work out okay. Can you spell, "stoopid"?

To be balanced in my reporting of the incident, I should point out that the song of the Enchilada Sirens was delightful. Those cheese-covered, beef-stuffed cylinders of yummy goodness were amazing. I was humming my own little Mmmmmm noises the entire time I was eating. It had been so long since I had a good beef enchilada. It was like meeting back up with an old friend.

Unfortunately, that old friend sent me on a week-long downward spiral. It was like I’d remembered the wonderful moments we used to have together and conveniently forgotten that my old friend was actually a deceitful, trifling wench. Thus, I yielded to temptation, enjoyed some momentary pleasure, and woke up the next morning on the proverbial rocky shore, battered and bruised.

Seriously – my energy was shot for the next 7 days. Mentally I was functioning at about 70% of normal. My body didn’t have the get-up-and-go power I’m used to. And yesterday I competed at the first swim meet of the year and got rocked. I was embarrassingly slow and just puttered along running on fumes.

In the words of the great Nacho Libre, all I kept saying to myself was, “SUCKS to be me right now!

And I had no one to blame but myself. It wasn’t like I got food poisoning because the restaurant didn’t prepare my meal properly. I had no business ordering beef anything.

This morning, thank God, I finally felt back to my wildly energetic, ready-to-charge-hell-with-a-water-pistol self. It is a galaxy away from how I spent the last painful week…

What lesson did I take away from all of this?

Don’t do stoopid crap that you know you shouldn’t do.

Stoopid hurts.

Being stoopid will cause you to lose momentum, so steer clear! If you shipwreck yourself as I did, it’s not like you can blame someone else – you chose to be stoopid. You weren’t ignorant if you’re honest about it. You knew better at some level, yet you pretended you didn’t and proceeded anyhow.

Please, the next time you’re thinking of doing something you know deep down is utterly stoopid, just remember “Brian’s Epic Beef Enchilada Siren Disaster” story. And then?

Just. Say. No.

Save yourself the unnecessary heartache – and heartburn – of killing your energy and performance. And then take all that extra energy and funnel it into things that are going to make you truly happy long-term. After all, that’s what it’s all about: long-term satisfaction and fulfillment in your life.

The bright side of making a stoopid decision is that it gives you an experience to remind you in the future of what not to do, and can help you further appreciate the value of sticking to your normal, high-performing systems and habits.

But I’d still recommend avoiding stoopid.

One thing that will help tremendously is having someone who can keep you accountable and on track toward your highest aspirations. If you truly aspire to world-class performance, you’re going to have to get world-class mentorship and coaching in place.

For more information on said coaching, check out my coaching page.

- Brian Bergford