I’m pretty miffed right now. In fact, I’m scribbling this post on my Samsung with a stylus, whist being driven over some of the bumpiest roads the GTA has to offer. (Hoping that my printing will be legible enough to transcribe later tonight!) Why I’m not in the best of moods isn’t all that important — it will pass. But, the fact that I could have easily devoured half the contents of a bakery display case at the coffee shop we were just in really is!
When emotions are running high, be it for happy, upsetting, or stressful reasons, it is important never to allow yourself to use food as a celebratory “treat” or as a crutch to get you through a rough patch. It is never a good idea to let that brand of permissiveness take over — or to let that little voice in the back of your head convince you that it’s okay “just this once.” Remember, your current emotional state is always temporary, and it will pass — without the help of chili cheese fries or half a pan of brownies.
And, if you do happen to slip up, as soon as the emotional fog clears, put the fork down and just walk away. Seriously. Don’t let one isolated incident become the excuse for your undoing — or the justification for an entire week’s worth of victory laps past the neighbourhood drive-thru. (We’ve all been there.) Each moment of every day is about mitigating what feels good (or is easier and more convenient) with what your body actually needs to properly fuel it.
So, how did I just say “no” to the bagels, chocolate cookies, and Dulce de Leche cake just now? I have a mantra.
If it has no nutritional value, it doesn’t go in my mouth.
It doesn’t get any more straightforward or simple than that folks. And, as odd as this may sound, just knowing that I have a mantra available to me any time I need it is strangely comforting and empowering.
While I still enjoy the occasional holiday cocktail or couple of bites (literally two bites) of something “naughty” at a friend’s house, the motivation is completely different because I am in control. If I had caved at that coffee shop, however, it would have been about nothing more than me trying to soothe my emotions.
As far as I am concerned, this is what’s at the heart of healthy eating — knowing how to say “no” to the temptations, but also understanding why you need to actively say “yes” to the good stuff, especially when life isn’t going your way.