Robin Rhine McDonald
To treat yourself or not?
We've all been there. You've had a tough day, and you found yourself in front of your comfort food of choice thinking, "I DESERVE this!".
This thought fuels your urge to overcome your discouragement from the day with what you know will be a fantastically satisfying experience in your mouth.
You then purchase the food that has been calling your name and proceed to consume it in its entirety.
The first 3 bites are everything you'd hoped it be and so much more.
But by the time you finish, it sits heavy in your stomach. You're upset with yourself for over indulging, and you're still left with the feelings from your challenging day.
Am I the only one who's done this?
I want to unpack this a bit.
The first aspect of this story reveals that you have a certain kind of food that you feel you wouldn't otherwise deserve or be allowed to consume if you weren't having a hard time.
What if that food was ALWAYS something you deserved and didn't have to be a something you associated with "cheating" or having as a "treat"?
Perhaps, if that food wasn't forbidden, it wouldn't end up being consumed in excess when you're in a "naughty" mood.
The second aspect of this story that I want to highlight is the underlying desire behind eating the delicious food of choice - to feel better.
By choosing foods that upset our stomach, cause our blood sugar to spike and crash, or make us feel even more drained, we make our hard day into an even more difficult one.
The challenge is, when we are having a hard time, it's tough to make choices that will actually serve us. When our bodies are stressed, it is hard wired to crave carbs and comfort!
Yesterday was a particularly hard day for me. I was feeling very stressed, and I even shed a few tears in defeat and discouragement. I had to drive from LA to Oceanside, and I was EXTREMELY HUNGRY.
All I wanted was to drive down with a giant California burrito in my hand to feed my stress and sorrow.
Instead, I ordered a salad from Sweet Green, my favorite salad place. It was hearty, packed with veggies, protein, and healthy fats. It tasted fantastic. And while I had to enjoy it in the parking lot instead of in one hand on the road, it was exactly what I needed.
My body didn't have to deal with added stress because of the inflammatory food I put into it, and my mind didn't have to sort through all of my unsettled feelings about indulging in a burrito.
A big reason my mind didn't have to deal with that is because I knew that I could have a burrito WHENEVER I want. I also knew that fueling my body with nutrients would support me in feeling better than I was and actually being able to come to a restful place.
My encouragement to you today, or rather, for the moments when you're considering that indulgent treat - ask yourself these questions:
Why do I feel that this food is a treat? Am I being restrictive in what I consume?
Will this food actually support me?
Is there a way to enjoy this without going to an extreme?
What does my body actually need right now?
The honest answers to these questions will likely guide you to a decision that will get you to where you want to be - feeling GOOD.
Speaking of feeling good, I am sharing more about what it looks like create a FEEL GOOD healthy lifestyle in my upcoming program, "The Feel Good Fall Experience!"
Click here for more information.