Something that I have been reminded of this week is that there is a big difference between indulgence and honouring. I've wandered off track with my eating this week, old Gollum grumbling to me all the way and telling me that I deserved treats, I deserved not to deprive myself, because I was falling down on other fronts, why not go ahead and have a big party in my mouth to make me feel better? Why not have a holiday from the scale whilst I was at it?
Interestingly none of this behaviour made me focus on what is most important to me at all. Rather it had me withdrawing and engaging in navel gazing behaviour (which wasn't exactly self loving...). Plus it gave me a charming 1.5kg increase in scale weight, which I'm none too thrilled about. In other words, indulgence is not what it's cracked up to be. In fact the very concept of indulgence is the opposite of what it implies, it can be life sucking. Look around next time you're in a Food Court at the local shopping centre. Look at the results of those who decide to indulge themselves on a regular basis. Do they look happy? Probably not. Healthy? Unlikely. Heart attack waiting to happen? Watch this space.
So it's time to whack the paddle in, watch my intake by logging my meals and focus on eating mindfully. I have to admit that I had been thinking that I have been deprived, but in reality, I've had to grow up and reframe my definition of what deprivation actually is. Every time I think of "deprivation" I tell myself, that by indulging, I'm depriving myself of the lean and fit body I've grown to love. Where is the "deprivation" in looking and feeling like a million bucks? Where is the deprivation in not worrying that my clothes fit me and that I don't have to worry about what I look like? Where is the deprivation in knowing that in this condition I'm really kicking butt in the gym and teaching RPM?
There's a bit of tough love in this post but so often we mistakenly get scared of ourselves and our normal biological functions. What if we said "no" to seconds or "x" food - would this cause us to break out or binge or whatever? The power to decide is within ourselves. The trick is realizing when it's your Inner Gollum having a go at you. It is normal to experience hunger. But so many of us treat hunger as if it's a disease state. If you get excessively hungry, it can be annoying but it certainly won't kill you like starvation can.
When I think of some of the thoughts I have had of being deprived, I am also clearly forgetting that I'm one of the lucky few that live in a first world country. Next to my fellow humans, I want for nothing. I'm grateful that I don't really have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I must note here that I don't believe that there is anything wrong with having a treat meal every now and again - but make sure it really is a treat, rather than a trigger for you, eat mindfully and savour each mouthful and be grateful that you can even contemplate a treat in the first place.
Meanwhile I'm off in my old canoe paddling away - I have a date with my best self later in a week or so and I'm looking forward to welcoming her back!