For many of us, once we turn a focus on “health” on full-blast, anything that falls outside the lines we’ve set feels like a failure.
That in order to be as healthy, nourished & nutritious as possible, we have to remain within strict boundaries every single moment in order to truly feel successful. This is something I’ve really been struggling with–I hope if any of you relate, that I can offer any insight into my experience nourishing my mind & soul in moments that maybe nourish my body less. And how quality of life should always win.
I’m fascinated by personality & happiness psychology, and a big fan of the work Gretchen Rubin has done. One of things she pinpoints is that a person is usually either an abstainer or a moderator. Basically what this means is that an abstainer thrives and is successful with their goals when they have black & white standards to live by, whereas a moderator thrives when they get to have a little bit of something they’re generally avoiding.
I am an abstainer through and through, and knowing that about myself, I can apply principles of health that I care about successfully by setting stricter boundaries–it makes making decisions a breeze, because I’ve made the decisions already. For example, I don’t have to wonder and mull about deciding whether or not I’m going to eat a donut; I already decided that I don’t eat donuts, badda bing badda boom, I don’t eat the donut.
Now, if only that didn’t come with any consequences.
While I am strong in my lifestyle and dietary choices because I am passionate about my health and wellness, this mindset can become a very slippery slope. Eventually, the boundaries I’ve set get tighter and tighter, and I’ve unintentionally turned what was once about my lifestyle & well-being into a prison of a diet.
I do not believe in dieting. I believe in building a mindset that makes it a beautiful & easy choice to feed your body what is good & wholesome & healthy.
But a part of that is the acknowledgment of the health of the mind & the soul, which deserve to be treated & released from the worry that any one “treat” will ruin the work the body’s done. It won’t.
Eating a sauce at a restaurant you know could have sugar in it, trying a piece of pita bread at a wonderful Greek restaurant, ordering no-sugar-added ice cream (or regular ice-cream! I avoid this due to the migraine it would trigger, but you go treat yourself to whatever you please) even when you know it’s filled with not so nice things.
Valuing, overall, quality of life.
There are moments–and we know those moments–where eating something you perhaps wouldn’t normally eat is by far the best thing to do to nourish your quality of life. In moments of celebration, on a special occasion, when trying new cuisine. These are beautiful moments to take a step back and give yourself permission to say yes to the nourishment of your mind & soul.
I am choosing to embrace these moments now rather than fear them. Because at the end of the day, I want a life that is as rich & beautiful as possible–and I get that from treating my body well and feeding it the nutrients it needs. But I also get that from, when the time comes, giving my mind & soul some love in the dietary department, too.
I hope this resonates with any of you, and I challenge you (along with myself) to keep fighting for your pretty miraculous life in the way you can best…whatever that may be.
Please, share your stories with me on this topic down below–how do you best honor your quality of life?