Responding to a Period of Indulgent Eating with Gentleness

The holidays provide so many opportunities for indulgent eating, and this year was no exception for me! 

I don’t exclude any foods from my diet these days (well, apart from being vegetarian) and over the years I have developed a pretty sane and peaceful relationship with food and my body.  

Still, the ratio of normal food to indulgent food available within arms reach gets pretty skewed this time of year, and that can easily knock things off balance. 

My off-balance moment this season came a few days before Christmas, after a day that for no particular reason besides habit energy and laziness involved eating almost no produce, lots of sugary treats, and lazy, easy things like buttered toast in between. 

I didn’t have any mental chatter or “should” thoughts about the day’s eating, but my body had a lot to say about it. I went to bed lethargic, bloated, and with a general blerrgghhhhh feeling. A blood sugar roller coaster woke me up at an unusual hour too. 

The message was loud and clear, and the next morning, I resolved to have a different kind of day. Not forever declaration, just a day.  

Today I will give my body some love and attention. 

Not “I was bad yesterday and will be good today”

Not “I have to compensate for yesterday”

Not “Ok, my diet starts today”

Not “Time to do a cleanse”

Not “Time to start counting calories” 

It was time to simply orient toward my body’s feedback with love and gentleness. Like a child who hasn’t been getting attention lately. 

I had the thought toward my body: “Oh honey, I’m sorry I haven’t been listening to you lately. Let’s have a date today. You can be in charge today, we’ll do whatever you want to do. I’m all yours.” 

So I listened. That day, without any self-aggression, I naturally gravitated toward yummy oatmeal with nutritious fruit, nuts, and seeds, vegetable soup for lunch, fruit and nuts for snack, and rice and vegetable curry for dinner. With a few bites of chocolate for dessert too of course, because after all, my body and I were on a date. 🙂 

What “should” thoughts come up for you post-holiday? Are you tempted to make big, unsustainable overhauls of your habits and declarations about your new “thing?” 

What if instead you gently let those thoughts go and focused on the 24-hour view of what choices will feel good and serve you today?  

We all know that new years declarations never last, so why not skip all the mental drama and just focus on honoring and responding to what is true for you right now, today?

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