I’ve been struggling with my eating since I got back from a vacation last week. During my time away from home, I slipped back into eating some foods that I hadn’t been eating because it was easier to eat them than to refuse. I didn’t speak up to my relatives when they served foods that I don’t regularly eat anymore. I wanted to taste that pizza crust and homemade sauce on the pasta. Those jelly beans really did help me cope while sitting in the backseat of the car while being driven around on a “three-hour tour” of sites that really didn’t interest me. To be a good guest, I needed to keep quiet. Somehow, allowing myself foods that I don’t normally eat made it all tolerable. It seemed okay, since I was on vacation. This isn’t my normal routine.
Some of my elder relatives treated me like a child, so I coped with my discomfort and anger in the same way that I did when I was a child. I rewarded myself with food. Aha!
Now that I’m home, I’m struggling to get back on track. I know what is good for me. I cooked some healthy meals and have been eating more healthfully. But I continue to choose to eat some foods that aren’t good for me.
I read a really great post on Medicinal Marzipan today, one of my very favorite bloggers: On Ice Cream Sundaes, “Treating Yourself Well” + Self-care
The article really spoke to me. Just last week, I was feeling some anxiety about my cat’s surgery. I actually ate an ice cream sundae – a peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen. My rationalization was as follows:
1) it was on sale that day for $2.49
2) one peanut buster parfait a year is reasonable
3) I deserve it today
4) it will make me feel better
I could really relate when the author of the article talks about how eating an ice cream sundae is about rebelling against the rules and relaxing at the same time. For me, it was about comfort too. It was my way of handling my anxiety and stress.
But that sweet treat wasn’t really a healthy way to handle my feelings, just like eating during my vacation to cope with family situations wasn’t good for me.
Life is hard. Food tastes good. And certain comfort foods really do help me feel better sometimes. But habitually eating unhealthy foods isn’t good for me.
I’m not going to beat myself up here. I’m simply reflecting on my eating behavior, learning from it, and moving forward.
I’m looking for progress, not perfection. I think my awareness will help me have a better week with healthy eating an get me back on track.