And I eat birthday cake.
I was recently at the birthday party for my son’s best friend. I was talking to one of the fathers about my health coaching business. He approached me because, as he said: he just can’t get his habits straight when it comes to eating well and losing weight. While we were talking, someone came around and offered birthday cake, which he declined, and I happily accepted.
He paused, looked at the cake, and then at me. He chuckled. He said something flippant about being healthy. I said, “This is food for my soul.” He didn’t understand. I knew I had lost him. The conversation ended.
Everyone is on a different path. Healthy eating should, yes, have vegetables, fruit, protein, and diversity of whole food nutrition in it. However, it’s important to be able to indulge sometimes without losing your commitment to healthy eating. It’s also important to caretake your relationship with your own mind.
When it comes to diet, most of us are a bit hard on ourselves. We can become obsessed, hypercritical and downright stressed about our daily food choices, which often ruins the whole experience.
I choose to indulge regularly because for many years I was a hardcore paleo aficionado. I was absolutely obsessed. I packed my own food everywhere I went (yes even when I flew somewhere). During my free moments, I was constantly cooking and baking. I was a paleo Mecca for other Crossfitters, for people who hated the fat on their bodies. I even baked and sold my paleo goodies at my gym. My diet required me to be constantly vigilant, and I was.
Part of my recovery from this self-abuse has been to adopt a consistently healthy diet, take my supplements, and…indulge, manageably. The cake I ate at the birthday party IS a part of my self-love regimen. I eat a treat two or three times per week because I trust myself to only eat a treat when I want to. I accept that overall, my diet is healthy. Those treats help me have a positive relationship with food and a self-forgiving mental attitude.
Health is multifaceted, as I’m always saying. Healthy habits come in all forms and are particular to YOUR STORY. YOUR history, YOUR needs, YOUR goals. What others do for themselves is irrelevant to your path. If what they do inspires you, awesome! But you don’t have to be like anyone else in order to be well. You DO have to know yourself and get well-acquainted with your own needs, with what is best for YOU. When you know what you need, you’re better able to take care of yourself. You will be more successful.