Let’s launch into another question from someone like YOU…
I’m curious to know what you see as the difference between self indulgence, emotional eating and self care.
Let me start by describing a way of eating that is part of caring for yourself, or in other words eating in a way that’s focused on self care.
In my opinion eating in a way that takes care of yourself is all about ‘normal eating’, which you can read about here.
When you prioritise taking care of yourself in general (e.g. aiming to feel ‘well and ‘good’ in your career, within your relationships, self esteem etc) you’ll start to understand that food is just another way to support you to feel emotionally, physically and spiritually ‘well’ and ‘good’.
…..Rather than eating what you think you ‘should’ and ‘ought’ be eating, when you eat from a place of prioritising caring for yourself you acknowledge your cravings rather than turning away from them.
…..You eat the chocolate because you want to, rather than finding an alternative because you think chocolate is ‘bad’.
…..You don’t prioritise eating for weight loss, but rather eating for enjoyment, pleasure and fulfilment. Food is just another way you enjoy life in the way you want to enjoy it.
Listening to what your body ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ and being ‘ok’ emotionally with that takes practice, however, it’s a far more nurturing, serving, compassionate and liberating way to eat and importantly feel than eating from a place of extrinsic motivation (e.g eating for weight loss and the perceived ‘benefits’ of such behaviours).
Before I round this question out I want to mention a very important point when it comes to self care and eating: People who practice self compassion, liberated and ‘normal’ eating don’t ‘make a big deal around food’. These people understand that there isn’t much value in the long run by shaming, judging and labelling food and importantly basing who you are on what you do and don’t eat (e.g. “I’m vegan so I’m therefore a more worthy person in society because I care for animal welfare”).
What I’m trying to say here is that if you do eat something that you think ‘wasn’t a great idea’ (be it, it makes you feel queasy, sit on the loo, or bloats you), you’re not going to call yourself a ‘fat pig’ ‘hopeless’ and a ‘loser’, because of what you ate. Instead when you make peace with your food and learn that food is not a reflection of who you are, or isn’t meant for the purposes of solving your life’s problems, you’ll be in a better position to accept that you might not feel good or that you’ll be on the loo for a bit, and importantly move on with your life.
Liberating? Hell yes.
Onto self indulgence- indulgence is absolutely fine, if you choose to be ‘ok’ with it (review the previous paragraph if this is puzzling). I personally love a little indulgence around food- such as buying very good quality chocolate because I enjoy it, drinking french champagne when I can afford it/ when the celebration calls for it and enjoying fine dining restaurants.
Is this ‘bad’ that I like to ‘indulge’ my senses and desires? Hell no.
Like with any word you might use to describe eating’ patterns remember the value of learning to eat to feel well and good, and then it doesn’t matter what you eat, how you eat and what terminology you use to describe it.
In other words it is VERY hard to eat to the point of feeling completely stuffed (like you might feel when you binge eat, emotionally eat or eat in a rebellious way), when you prioritise eating to feel well and good.
….Something to think about this week.
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