Every month I do a Q&A for my newsletter and every month I get questions about food (I mean, I hope I’m your one stop shop for all things food at this point 😇) but as I dig into those questions, I notice many of you are asking something a little bit deeper. A common, recurring theme is the topic of indulging, over-indulging, and what to do after indulging. With the holidays in full effect, I thought I’d answer these questions all in one blog post because there is nothing I want more than you guys to feel confident and comfortable at holiday parties and dinners all season (and all year!) long.
First of all, I want you to know you’re not alone! Food-fear is something that so many of us deal with, and if you only knew just how many people ask this same question in my Q&A’s you’d understand this is something we all go through from time to time. So although none of us are alone in food-fear, it does feel lonely. It’s not something we often talk about or share with people around us, and we end up thinking we’re the only one feeling this way. I’m here to remind you we’re all going through this together.
Let me quickly answer some of the questions I get most often: do I ever indulge? YES! I love my healthy routine and emphasize nutrient-dense meals and ingredients, but I almost always have something sweet at night, if not fresh organic fruit sometime during the day. I’m also a big crunch person so some sort of chips or crackers are part of my daily routine, too. But, I still choose the best alternative, which in this case, would be chips made with avocado oil. Either way, I definitely feel like I “indulge” and I don’t think twice about it. I didn’t always feel this way– it’s taken lots of practice and bettering my mindset about balance. It’s what’s made me love sharing healthy meal ideas and encourage you guys to eat what makes you feel good! This also leads me to mentioning how much I enjoy remaking our favorite desserts growing up at home, like my homemade Twix Bars! It forces you to think about and realize what exactly is going in your foods, something that doesn’t always happen if you’re eating a packaged grab-n-go option.
That’s where the next question comes in: Do I ever feel guilty for indulging? No– at least I try not to! There are days that I find myself having a bad body-image day, or negative thoughts about what I’m eating (don’t we all?), but rather than letting those thoughts rule my mind I remind myself that they will pass. Especially on birthdays, holidays, and special events when there are plenty of treats and snacks around! Celebrating should be fun and done with those you love, not worrisome. I pick a few indulgences to really enjoy and then get back to the people and activities going on around me. I have the best time when I’m not focused on what I’m eating or not eating. It takes practice, but when you find yourself having negative thoughts, try not to let them take over. Acknowledge what you’re feeling, and not to let them fester. Do something that makes you feel great to shift your mindset: sneak in a quick sweat sesh, wear your absolute favorite outfit, call a friend to chat, or cook a new healthy recipe. On top of that, know that if you DO overindulge, it’s ok! One evening or one day or one week will not ruin how far you’ve come. The best thing you can do is make a point to eat a healthy and balanced meal your next mealtime.
Finally, what do I do to recover from overindulging? Here’s my little secret… nothing 🙂 This is my theory: I like to live in moderation. If I overindulge, I try to let it go and forgive myself as quickly as possible. Rather than swinging the pendulum too far the other way by overcompensating (restricting food, working out too much, etc) I try to just get back to normal. Staying as close to moderation as possible keeps the pendulum from swinging aggressively back and forth, if you know what I mean, an endless cycle of overindulging and over restricting. If you know you have a big party or event where there’s going to be tons of possibly unhealthy options, try having a small nourishing meal beforehand or a snack with protein and healthy fat to keep you satiated. It’s the same idea as not going to the grocery store starving.
One last thought — I do think it’s important to take a step back from food-fear and think about what it means in the grand scheme of things to be so consumed by these choices. It makes me sad that this is the norm for a lot of women, but I love that we have each other as a community of people wanting to be healthy in ALL ways, including our mindset! That means crushing our workouts, eating nutrient-dense food, but also loving ourselves enough to enjoy food freely and forgive ourselves when we overindulge. Live your life and enjoy it!
I seriously look up to this community — such a special place we have to connect with like-minded people. Comment below what you’re excited for this holiday season or any other tips you have to move out of food-fear. Love you guys!! xx