Just days in to my fresh start, I was confronted with my first test in my effort to strike a balance between the foods I long to have as a treat, and the healthful foods I need to have. The test: a cupcake.
In the past, I’d have adhered strictly to the “avoid it like the plague” mindset ~ which for me, would have been the wrong decision! I know myself fairly well, and if the past was to be an indicator of future behavior, I’d have ended up focusing on what I was forbidden to have all the more and looking at the more healthful fare with a side eye glare for quite awhile.
So this time, I opted to embrace the cupcake.
Yes, it’s a lot of ’empty’ calories. No, it’s not the ideal for weight loss in and of itself. But, for me – it was better to give myself a small indulgence, and adapt the rest of the days’s eating to come in to line with that.
I enjoyed the ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ cupcake – and then enjoyed a quite large, filling, but low calorie salad with a wee bit of chicken for dinner.
I was able to strike a balance between the foods my body needs with the treats I want to enjoy on occasion.
The most amazing aspect of this for me was that I probably enjoyed that salad just as much as the cupcake, because I didn’t feel deprived.
I didn’t go to be hungry or have lingering thoughts of that cupcake — or of other sweets that I’d convince myself would be ‘edible failure’ if I were to consume even in modest amounts from time to time.
I’d have ended up stoking those thoughts of deprivation for days – and then likely caved to the temptation, gorging on far more calories than the avoided item would have possibly contained … and then ultimately quitting, because “I failed anyway!” (silly mindset, but again, it’s what I’ve done previously and would in all probability do again).
Was it the most optimal food choice? I can’t say that it was. However, I can say that for me, it wasn’t the worst thing I could have done and it helped me see this new eating lifestyle (I’m avoiding diet, because I want this to be a new way of eating for the long haul) doesn’t have to be about deprivation or struggle – it can be one more of balance and weighing my options.
Which, after all, is the point of adopting a new eating lifestyle, isn’t it?
Realistically, I’m not going to go another 60+ years (I plan on living in to my hundreds 😉 ) without consuming another sweet treat.
What I do see as being realistic is striking a balance, and taking accountability for my choices: if I eat the cupcake from time to time, well, then I will have to balance the rest of the day’s intake to address that choice.
For me, I feel this is a reasonable balance ~ a balance that I believe will enable me to meet my weight and health goals for a lifetime 🙂