Transporting you back to about this time last year….
It is cold and dark outside. But we are sitting on the couch snuggled up under a woolly blanket. The fireplace is gently crackling in the corner and i have a lovely warm cup of tea in my hand. Bliss.
The only fly in my ointment, is the cramping currently going on in my stomach. You see…maybe, just maybe… I have consumed an entire family block of chocolate. The first mouthful was AMAZING, it was the perfect cure for a long day. I was thinking about that moment for most of my afternoon. As I packed off the kids to bed, I was already imagining the sweet taste in my mouth. It just feels like the reward that I deserved.
But after that blissful mouthful, how could I possible stop? I ate another…and another. It was still tasting wonderful. Next thing I know, three quarters of the block is gone. Now I am feeling a little ill. Yet, the pull of the taste in my mouth is still drawing me in. And another thought has started in my mind “I really need to stop doing this, it is making me feel ill…tomorrow I will not do this. But now I have this chocolate left over, I better eat it now”. In order to reduce the guilt, I find myself eating faster (do I think I can trick my brain?!?). I’m not noticing the wonderful taste anymore, infact, I am not really enjoying it exactly…but there is still some kind of pleasure in just throwing caution to the wind. And then it is gone.
So, there I was, in my blissful moment….feeling sick and annoyed at myself.
I had been in this place so many times, you’d think I would know better. Unlike Tequila, which I can never drink again after a particularly bad night which resulted in a lot of vomit (we won’t go there), I just keep coming back for more. Nothing seems to put me off. Sure, I had been on the rollercoaster of “eating well”, then “eating bad” in waves throughout my life..my weight going up and down like the sea.
Fast forward back to today, and you might understand why I included Step Number 3 in my Top 10 Steps to WorkLife Awesomeness – NOURISH YOURSELF
Things did change a little after this moment. A friend from work was studying to become a integrative nutritionist, or something of the like, and I was one of her early guinea pigs. I was trying to give up Diet Coke (unsuccessfully), so decided to give that challenge to her (I was a totally addicted, 7 cans a day kinda girl..for years…I know…terrible). Anyway, she told me something revolutionary… don’t try and “give up” Diet Coke. Instead, tell yourself you can have it whenever you really really feel like it. Remembering you are “allowed” to have anything else you want instead of Diet Coke, even chocolate, if you want to. But if you do decide to have the Diet Coke. Drink it slowly. Enjoy every single mouthful.
And guess what… I realised I don’t actually really LIKE Diet Coke. Sure, i got pleasure from drinking it. But the pleasure was coming from more of a place of “reward” and “habit” than from the actual taste. And so I stopped drinking it.
I applied the same theory to other food in my life and realised that focusing on how food was nourishing me, how food was making me feel and what I actually really enjoyed, I was pleasantly surprised about how I could make far better choices.
Now…don’t get me wrong here. I didn’t go on some hippy trip and never eat badly again. Infact, I eat junk food in truck loads with the best of them. But you’ll also find me drinking green smoothies, because they don’t taste too bad and they make my tummy and my mind feel awesome. I can see how changing my mindset about food, and thinking more about how I can nourish myself, helps me to function at my best. My food philosophy is about finding the balance.
So…yes, I did go to the movies last week and eat a whole Tomato (yes, just bit into it like an apple, as my friends tried to take photos of me because they couldn’t believe i was in the movies eating a tomato!?)…because I really really felt like that tomato. It was refreshing and delicious and I loved every mouthful. It was then swiftly followed by a bag of chocolate I had carefully selected at the lolly shop (and had been looking forward to all day)…and I also enjoyed every single mouthful.
How are you nourishing yourself today?
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