If you’ve been around the site for more than a few minutes at a time, it’s not hard to see that this girl loves dessert and treats. Yes, I eat a healthy and balanced diet. And by balanced, I mean that I’m sure to add indulgences here and there. One of the biggest questions I get from you guys is, “how do you indulge and truly enjoy all foods, including sweets, without feeling guilty?”
I’ll start by saying that it didn’t come easy. After years and years of eating disorder habits, there was a lot of undo-ing to be done. I had told myself for so long that there were good foods and there were bad foods. Unfortunately, the list of “bad” foods were miles and miles longer than the “good” foods. During my eating disorder, there weren’t many foods that I allowed myself to eat without guilt. So the day that I decided that I needed to stop ruining my life and start getting healthy, I was a little concerned at how exactly I was going to make this happen without beating myself up over every little thing I was eating.
It took training. It took hard work and discipline in the beginning. It took time. But it is 100% absolutely worth it. I am now able to eat the foods that I really want to without thinking twice about it. No hesitations. No questions. And best of all, No Guilt!
So how did I do it? At the beginning of my journey to a healthy life, I was very disciplined to workout. I wasn’t crazy excessive about it. But I was sure to counteract the treats I was eating by incorporating exercise. If I wanted to eat 500 calories of ice cream, I worked out enough to burn those 500 calories. I specifically worked out to counteract EXTRA treats. Not my meals. Not my daily nutritional needs. But the extras. That’s where I started. Yes, it was a bit rigid. Yes, it was disciplined. But it was training me to live a life where treats were ok and manageable.
I didn’t have to do this forever. Soon I wasn’t having to workout calorie for calorie. Eventually it just became a habit. I worked out most days of the week, and if I wanted to have a treat, I did. I started getting used to certain workout regime. After a month or so, the calories I was consuming and burning didn’t really matter anymore. I learned that physically and mentally I would be just fine if I ate the foods I wanted to eat, just so long as I stayed active.
Where am I now?
This is what indulging looks like for me today. I eat what I want, when I want it. Most of the time, it’s fruits, veggies, grains, and whole foods, with a bit of dark chocolate, or a cookie, or a couple scoops of frozen yogurt. I don’t freak out if I didn’t work out that day. Hell, I don’t even freak out if it’s been over a week (because come on, we ALL have those weeks when we just can’t get those workouts in)! I just know that I will be okay no matter what happens. And if I ever get to the point where I start to feel not okay, a good workout and a great mood can be just minutes away if I make it happen!
There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the foods that you love. Food is delicious. There is so much pleasure that comes from trying new wonderful and tasty foods. There are no bad foods. All food can be considered good food. It just may take a little training!
Maybe just start with one food that you’d like to move from the BAD list to the GOOD list. Incorporate it and then work it off. Train your mind to realize it is okay to enjoy!