Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dec. 20 - Indulgence

Good morning! I wanted to say hello before today's crazy whirl of activity began.

Last night at the party things went pretty well. I have been doing a lot of thinking, reading on a forum, and just pondering why we do what we do and what brings us to have the weight and food issues that many of us struggle with.

I think we will all agree, the holidays can be a very challenging time of year for clean eaters. A lot of people tend to binge on unhealthy food. I stopped for a few minutes the other day to think about why I binge. Generally it is because I am feeling emotional and/or deprived. If you over do it at a party, then you feel emotional, which leads to eating more. This is the time of year that maybe you could step back, be a little kinder to yourself, enjoy a nibble here and there of something you wouldn't normally have, content in the knowledge that at the very next meal you will be going back to your clean eating lifestyle. Enjoying something out of the norm is not a big deal, but saying, well, I am off this eating plan until after the New Year IS a big deal.

I figure if there is a treat I really, really want, I'm going to have a nibble because most of the time, the food I eat is healthy and nutritious. By giving myself that permission, I don't feel guilty and then I don't sabotage myself by pigging out.

Here is what I had at the party last night (along with some observations)

2 tortilla chips
tiny scoop of salsa (the salsa tasted very very sweet, not at all tomato-ey and savory like hm)
1 triangle of white pita
tiny scoop of hummus (tasted like comfort food to me)
2 bites of Polish sausage in a BBQ sauce ( delicious but very rich)
1 teeny nibble of fudge (so insanely sweet but really good - no way I could eat a lot of that anymore)
2 bites of an iced sugar cookie (these used to be my very favorite but I could not have eaten more than the two bites because they were so sweet my eyes crossed)
2 potato chips (yup, chips still taste good!)

So I discovered I still really like salty and savory, but sweet just makes me feel icky. A bite is pleasant, more than that is too much of a good thing. I avoided the punch, the cheesies, the cheese and crackers, and the bacon wrapped chestnuts. I took little samples of the things that interested me and left the rest alone. I felt decadent, not deprived, but know I didn't eat enough that I felt guilty later. Coming back to my clean food feels like a comfort.

My advice to all this season is to treat yourselves kindly, because you deserve no less than that. Give yourself the gift of realizing that you are not perfect, eating clean is not 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Planning an indulgence and keeping it under control may help you to stay on track the rest of the time. See an indulgence as something unique, like dinner at a very expensive restaurant. Enjoy every second, realizing this isn't in the budget for a regular occurrence, and then enjoy going back to the comfort of nurturing yourself through good food.

Happy holidays!

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