My mom and I are on a quest to re-instill healthy habits into our lives. We’re just like everyone else in the sense that we try to exercise and eat well but we also enjoy dessert and wine. So we’ve been doing daily check ins where we mention what went well that day and what could go better in the future.
A few weeks back I knew I needed to make a change. It felt like every day I was either going out to dinner, drinking wine, having dessert, or a combination of the three. None of those things are bad or frowned upon, but when they happen all the time it can leave you feeling lethargic, bloated, and generally unwell. Those things (wine, dessert, eating out) are what I call “extras”. They’re great and certainly should be a part of life, but when the extras add up you may be left feeling weighted down. Pun intended.
A few weekends back I had some wine and beer on Friday night. For one, it helps me unwind after a busy week, but also it’s fun to have a drink and catch up with friends or family. I also really love the flavor or full-bodied red wines and crisp IPAs. Seeing as I had a few drinks on Friday I chose not to have alcohol on Saturday. It wasn’t that I denied myself the option, but I checked in with myself and realized that I didn’t actually want any. And so, just because it was Saturday didn’t mean I needed to have some. Thinking back to Thanksgiving I didn’t really want to drink on Saturday based on how my body was feeling, but I did end up having some (okay, a few glasses) wine. This goes to show that in certain situations it can be easier than others to listen to your body and that’s okay too.
Another weekend, I enjoyed some potato donuts from the Holy Donut, aka heaven on earth. Each day I waited until I was hungry and savored the heck out of that donut. No I didn’t only let myself have a few bites or half to limit the calories. I could have done that, but I knew from experience that I would want the whole darn thing. And so I waited until I was hungry to eat it and then waited until I was hungry to eat again. This way it could fit into my lifestyle as food rather than an “extra.” Sure I shouldn’t have a donut every day because of the saturated fat content, but if I want one I know I can have one and not freak out. Or I can have one and not restrict or feel guilty, but rather listen to my hunger cues. During Thanksgiving break I was eating cheesecake and found I was overly full so I left a few bites on the plate. Our bodies are pretty amazing at telling us what they need.
By checking in with my mom each day I’ve gotten used to being aware of what’s going well for me and what feels good for me versus what didn’t feel great. That way I can truly treat each day, each meal, each moment as a learning experience to feel better overall. It also forces me to take a step back and focus on one thing at a time, one change at a time.