Many of us have a complicated relationship with food. We’ve been led to believe we fall into one of three categories; A ‘healthy eater’, an ‘unhealthy eater’ or the third and most common category the ‘healthy eater who continually hops on and off the wagon’.
Firstly, what is this wagon? Who’s driving it? Where is it headed? And if you keep falling off it why the hell do you keep hopping back on? It’s clearly unstable…
In this instance the ‘wagon’ is of course referring to our diet. My problem with this analogy is that on top of the wagon resides this idea of diet perfection and down below on the cobbled and rickety pavement lies a box full of cronuts, a bottle of merlot and a bucket full of guilt. You’re forever battling the rocky terrain, falling off your apple (or kale) cart and having to hop back on until the next time you fall.
It’s a vicious and completely unproductive cycle.
But never fear, I have a solution.You, my friend, have just stumbled across the golden ticket. You are about to uncover the one trick that guarantees you never fall off the ‘healthy eating wagon’ again. It’s a technique that turns ‘healthy eating’ into just ‘eating’, and the reason you’ve never tried it before is because there has been decades of misleading messaging telling you otherwise.
If you truly want to eat well, live well and be well, you should be incorporating treats and indulgence foods into your healthy lifestyle.
But there’s a catch…
You’ve got to do it guilt free. Guilt is a food group all of its own, and it’s the only one I advocate everyone remove from their diet.
Unsurprisingly people’s first response is usually fear. “If I tell myself I’m allowed to eat chocolate biscuits I’ll eat them all the time, right? ”
Here’s the thing with deprivation and willpower; it’s useful for awhile, but it’s flipping exhausting. We often reach breaking point and end up bingeing in retaliation.
It’s what I like to call being human.
Our less evolved ancestors went for long periods of time without food (i.e deprivation) and when they finally found it again they gorged on it, because scarcity.
But here’s the difference between our ancestral folk and the modern day you – You are not in scarcity. There is no lack. There is plenty more where that came from.
So, if we tell ourselves we’re absolutely allowed those chocolate biscuits and when we eat them we do so without guilt and can 100% be in the moment enjoying every mouthful, we take the forbidden and lack mentality completely out of the picture… Yep, at the end of the day we’re all still Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden.
So please, make indulgence an integral part of your healthy lifestyle. Let go of the concept of perfection and get it ALL right ALL of the time. I like to call it Inspired Eating, and at its soul it’s about recognising that there is a difference between healthy eating and having a healthy relationship with food. I encourage you to work on the latter and instead of constantly striving for perfection, start embracing good enough and see how dramatically your health changes with this one small mindset shift.
Just remember, it’s more than okay to indulge…
Jordanna Levin, creator of The Inspired Table, is a holistic lifestyle coach whose focus is to heal people’s ‘complicated’ relationship with food. She believes food should inspire and nourish, not be a source of stress and anxiety. Through her coaching programs, cooking workshops, inspiring speaking gigs and popular food blog she’s rewriting decades worth of misleading messaging and creating a new movement of mindful and inspired eating.