After falling into overindulging again and feeling awful for it, I am trying to find out why it happened and what needs to change.
I had another weekend of “overdoing it”. It was a long weekend away from home, with a lot of drinking and a lot of delicious-very-high-in-calories foods. I was happy while eating it, I felt no guilt whatsoever. In my bliss there was no moderation.
Looking back, I can identify a pattern: “It's your cheat time so eat what you can because you don't know when will be the next time you can do that”.
Now I'm back I feel awful. I feel the consequences of all those “cheat weekends away” on my body.
I've done so well those past 6 months, I like what I see in the mirror most days and that never happened in my life before. Now I'm paranoid about losing what I have.
Balance. Balance is what I suck at. I have let nutrition and fitness dominate my life instead of enhancing it. “It's permanently in your mind” said a friend of mine. She's not far from the truth. "Overdoing it" is not exclusively about overindulging, it also applies to being obsessed by getting everything right.
My perspective on what's healthy or not is starting to shift. Constantly obsessing over food is not. Eating mostly real and nourishing food is. Finding balance by also occasionally eating not-so-healthy food I love is. It is going to be a learning process. My fitness diet experiments led me to where I am now, I know what worked and what didn't work so far and by making mistakes I am evolving.
No more cutting food groups, no more “cheat weekends”, my objective is to find a balanced sustainable way of being healthy. I know it is not going to happen overnight but my ability to spot mistakes and acknowledge progress gives me hope for the future.
Reading Nia Shank's articles made me think a lot about the vocabulary we tend to associate with food like "good/bad" "clean/naughty" and the emotions - especially guilt - attached to it. I recommend reading The Huge Problem With Guilty-Pleasure Foods".
And if guilt and being slightly obsessive sound familiar to you, "The Ugly Side of Health and Fitness" is also a good read. It did ring an alarm bell for me.