It’s The Silly Season… A Journey Of Obsession To Enjoying Life And Eating Out
BACK IN THE DIET-OBSESSION DAYS
‘Tis the season of the grazing board! For many this can be a scary time but it really shouldn’t be. In fact this was a feeling I was desperate to say goodbye to when I was in the depths of diet obsession. You know… Constantly feeling like you’re either on a diet or off a diet, like you just jump between being super healthy and going balls to the wall, eating and drinking everything that comes in to your vicinity. I cringe just thinking about it, but let me tell you I remember how crappy it feels.
And you know what’s even worse, in these stages I wasn’t even getting any of benefits of being healthy! That’s the irony of it all.
Today, the reason I am so motivated to live a healthy lifestyle is because I like to wake up every day happy to be alive and excited for the day ahead. I want to WANT to socialise, to WANT to go out and go to parties, to WANT to do fun things and laugh with my friends and generally just be in a good mood and move forward in life. That’s why I look after my health. But back in the diet obsession days – I was so stressed about food and so self-conscious (a ball of self hatred) that social occasions either involved me shrinking into nothing because I couldn’t join in on the fun* or it was me trying to fit in by doing what everyone else was doing (eating, drinking etc) but feeling totally off centre and out of control and therefore waking up confused and feeling like shit.
Yes my diet may have been perfect on paper with not a drop of alcohol or sugar passing my lips, but here’s the kicker – I felt more depressed, more socially isolated, more self critical, more anxious and not that I like bringing up weight, but on an aesthetic perspective I wasn’t even as fit and healthy looking as I am now.
I remember looking around the room seeing these girls who just exuded positivity and happiness and were able to be fluid with life, and wondering why even though I tried so hard to do everything right in terms of my health, I just didn’t look or feel like that was the case.
Fast forward to now, after a shit tonne of self reflection and trial and error, one of the best parts of the way I live my life is the ability to still go out and enjoy myself and enjoy food which we all know I LOVE. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to live a lifestyle that prevented me from enjoying food out and socialising (aka meal plans, macros, weighing food etc) – I don’t like being told what to do and I like to be fluid with my eating habits.
That said, I know that if I’m not looking after myself, I start feeling depressed and down and in that state I have no desire to go out and socialise anyway.
So for me it’s important I stay in my centre and do what’s right for me.
In the midst of lots of social occasions and celebrations at this time of year. This is how I approach it, although to be honest this time of year is no different to the rest of the year to me so it’s actually what I do all the time!
Also, this is what I’ve found to work well for me, it may not be the case for you, but I absolutely believe you can find what your “code” is – I guess that’s what I’d call it? Tune in and think and self reflect! Next time you are out and you find yourself feeling regretful (or feeling amazing) afterwards, go deep, journal and find what it was you did that had that effect – then test it out next time! We’re all on a journey, health is circular and there is no beginning or end.
THIS IS MY CODE WHEN IT COMES TO THE GRAZING BOARD…
Next instalment will be how I eat meals out but this post was getting too long so I’ve stuck to my tips for grazing boards and cocktail parties
First, if I’m not hungry or I don’t feel like food, I don’t eat. Simple as that. Otherwise I find I get bloated or bad digestion. You know I like to eat full meals and I’m not much of a snacker, this is why.
Second, I like to have a drink in my hand whether it’s alcoholic or not (depending on what I feel like at the time) – something nice to sip on so you don’t have that need for consistent hand-to-mouth action.
Third, if I want the food… I enjoy the food! And listen I am not about to tell you to have a tiny bite and that’s it – I don’t do that – I want a decent amount haha amirite.
Fourth, I pick what really looks good to me and fits in with the way I eat. So on a grazing platter it’s generally olives, nuts, cheese, veggies and fruit… Controversial opinion alert – brie and camembert are the last options I go for… Give me goat’s, blue, pecorino, manchego any day over those! But basically I stay away from the breads and crackers, overly processed meats and also dips unless they are homemade – most store-bought dips are not only legume based which I try to avoid, but they’re also made with vegetable oil and weird ingredients – I also have a weird thing about eating garlic things when I’m out socialising haha I keep the garlic breath for when I’m at home.
ONE MORE THING…
Please remember, the energy you bring to any situation involving food is really important. If it’s one filled with fear, self-doubt, self-hate, giving up or anything negative, it doesn’t matter what your actually eating but it’s going to be a negative experience with negative outcomes.
Regardless of what you’re actually eating, make sure the experience is filled with gratitude, happiness and interest! What you eat literally becomes you and we are so fortunate to be able to choose what we eat in the first place, let alone taste all the amazing things mother nature has to offer.