If you struggle to stick to a diet, or just want to feel better about yourself, then this post is for you.
Recently a client asked me “what do you do when you really feel like a treat?” To which I said “I eat the treat!” Long gone are my days of agonising over what to eat as a treat or what to eat on my “free day”. OMG it used to do my head in. I honestly don’t know how my husband put up with my years of excessive dieting and working out...
You know the saddest part? I missed out on enjoying so many things because I was obsessed about what I was going to eat or not eat. But I’m beyond proud to tell you, that I’m a completely different person today. I fought my demons and I won. It can be done and I can tell you how!
Now your demons might be different. They might drive you to over eat junk food or to binge on sugar or alcohol (I’ve had that demon too but that’s a whole other blog post. This post focuses on food demons only). But I believe if we change our mind-set and remove the negative connotations from these items that we take away their power. Because the food doesn’t have the power; you do!!
Let me give you an example. Someone I am very close to has a life-long sugar addiction (no, not my hubby though he is very fond of the odd Tim Tam). This person craves super sugary things like ice cream or chocolate and will often full on binge on them. My suggestion to him is to allow himself to have the treats. “Just eat the ice cream” I tell him. “I can’t do that” he says “I need to cut it out, not eat it. What sort of health and wellness expert are you?” Well, I’m the modern kind who understands how us humans work when we’re told we’re not allowed something.
So, here is how to let go of your food demons: focus on loving yourself first and treats second. Love yourself enough to believe you deserve to be healthy. Eat a balanced meal of vegies, protein, fat and carbohydrates first. And if you still feel like a treat, have it, eat it slowly and truly enjoy it!
I can tell you now, that there is a massive difference between sitting down and slowly enjoying an ice cream after dinner, even if it’s every single night. To sitting in a car stuffing your face with Mac Donald’s ice cream sundaes as quickly as you possibly can on your way home. One is good for your soul. The other makes you feel like crap. I know, because I’ve been that person, sitting in my car, shoving junk in my face and feeling like I just couldn’t stop. If only I’d been as kind to myself back then as I am now.
Do you want some homework? Yeah, if you’re reading this then you want homework. ;-) Your homework is to focus on eating three great meals a day full of nourishing ingredients from all the food groups. And if in between, you feel like a treat, then have it. No guilt, no shame, no punishment dieting, just enjoying life and one of its pleasures.
The benefit of this kind of eating is twofold: lots of good calories keeps your metabolism cranking, burning fat and giving you loads of energy. And telling yourself you’re “allowed” a treat if you want one is an amazing act of self-love. You’re telling yourself you deserve to look after yourself AND have a treat if you want it. Win win. And, I should add here, that after a while of eating healthfully whilst allowing yourself to also eat treats, eventually you feel like treats less and less. You may not believe me now but give it a month and see how you feel?
To quote the ever insightful Dory: “When something is too hard…There is always another way.” Diets do not work but loving yourself enough to nourish and treat yourself right, does.
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