I believe in balance and enjoyment when it comes to food and nutrition. I'm thrilled by food and by the pleasure of eating — I often do a little happy dance when mealtime comes around!
I know that rigid diets can threaten true digestive health, but I also know that there are certain foods that I just can't eat. Over the years, I've discovered that gluten, dairy, corn, and refined sugar wreak havoc on my sensitive digestive system.
But I'm human, and sometimes I eat them anyway.
This can be due to error (like cross-contamination at a restaurant), but often it's due to choice. How many times have I mistakenly ordered a dish that arrives coated in a cream sauce that I wasn't expecting, but eat it anyway? How many times have I chosen leftover birthday cake or brownies for breakfast? Even if they're gluten-free, these treats are usually loaded with sugar, and I end up short-tempered and riding the blood sugar roller coaster all day long.
It happens. And when it happens by choice, I know I've screwed up.
When I consume foods that are wrong for my body, I don't just experience digestive upset, I also suffer the consequences of brain fog, malaise, and depression. My symptoms usually strike a day or two after being exposed to a food that doesn't work with my body. Thankfully, they usually only last about 24 hours, but during those 24 hours I'm a wreck.
I lose productivity because I can't focus. I feel anxious because I'm not getting my work done. I don't have the energy to move my body in ways that usually thrill me, so I sit more and move less, which ends up making my back hurt and my body feel sluggish.
Unfortunately, the people who suffer the most are my family. They are the "lucky" ones who get to see the full extent of whatever I'm feeling. And let's face it, when I feel crappy, I'm a crappy mom.
These are the moments that remind me of WHY I (usually) make healthy choices in the first place. I am learning to be aware enough — and to be soft enough — to see "screwing up" for what it's worth rather than only what it wreaks.
The value of making a "bad" choice every once in a while is that it shows you:
1. How far you've come.
2. How much you don't want to go back to where you were before!
Whether you're dealing with food sensitivities (like myself), sticking to a fitness program, regularly meditating, or whatever else you're honing in your personal wellness journey, it's likely that you have fallen off the wagon, screwed up, or made a poor choice in the past.
Just know: it's OK.
Be patient with yourself.
We all screw up. That doesn't mean we should GIVE UP. Remember: building self-love requires building self-trust, which means showing up for yourself and again and again and again. No matter how many times you screw up, keep forging ahead. Enjoy the journey, even the bumps in the road. You've got this.
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