Many of us have plans or guidelines that we follow because we generally feel healthier when we do. The big one for me is being gluten-free. The problem is that many of my favorite foods contain gluten. The rest of the year it isn’t such a big deal, but the holidays are a different story.
Like many people, I have wonderful memories tied to childhood meals. I re-live a little bit of those memories when I eat those foods. One of my big comfort foods is stuffing (or dressing, depending on where you’re from). I love stuffing, but it doesn’t love me back. However, for me, I’ve decided (there’s that making a choice thing again) that the joy of stuffing is greater than the negative consequences of stuffing.
No deprivation necessary
I used to feel really deprived and slightly resentful at being gluten-sensitive, yet would have stuffing at the Thanksgiving meal. I didn’t feel like myself for days afterward. I realized that having stuffing felt like an act of defiance. And defiance interfered with my enjoyment. If I’m going to have it, why not enjoy it?
Now, instead of “cheating” and eating stuffing, I mindfully decide that I will have stuffing and I thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t feel deprived. I’m not missing out. And it is totally worth it. Interestingly, being mindful about the decisions I make really cuts down on the negative consequences of those decisions. So now I enjoy it and don’t feel like I’m paying for it for days.
What’s your “cheat”? What would you really enjoy having or doing but don’t –and feel left out because of it? Try it this season. Pick your favorite guilty pleasure that you “shouldn’t” have. Be mindful, and make a decision to have it. And enjoy every moment of it—guilt free!