What does a Fun & Food Indulgent Weekend Look Like for Me, a Food & Body Image Psychologist?

IMG_8009I’m sitting here this Monday morning, drinking my green juice and bathing in the joy of experiencing such a fun-filled and indulgent weekend I just had! I’m not going to lie, I am pretty mentally exhausted (brain fog) and my gut is a bit sore from the over-indulgence of rich, salty, sugary and fatty foods, and not to mention, the moderate amount of alcohol I consumed – Hence, the green detox juice! My poor GI tract needs some extra love today! 😉

BUT…I sit here with NO feelings of: guilt, need to punish myself for overconsumption of calories by overexercising, embarrassment, shame, stress or anxiety. I am not sitting here beating myself up about how bloated my “stupid” belly is, how I don’t have willpower, how i have to isolate myself from everyone for the next while or trying to figure out what to eat to make this bloated belly go away as fast as possible. NONE of it…but 7 years ago, I probably would have experienced all the above and more. Instead, I feel free, happy, peaceful and so nourished, even though I have a bloated belly and tender gut today and even though I probably put on 5 pounds over the weekend (and I really don’t know b/c I don’t weigh myself anymore)!  But it’s NOT a big deal, because it’s just water weight. I know and have learned how to trust and honor my body’s wisdom to reset itself into balance again. And I fully give myself permission to let my body do it’s thing and take it’s time! 

Let’s back up so you can follow along: One of my best friends, Alanna, who originally resided in Edmonton, and now lives in Calgary, is getting married soon. She was thrown a Calgary bachelorette party this past weekend, and also having another bachelorette party this coming weekend in Edmonton!

Our good friend Cindy who resides in Calgary, planned Alanna’s Calgary party, and we decided for me to come down to surprise Alanna for it.  I came down Friday with my husband and our sons (1 and 3 years old), to stay with Cindy and her family.

Our amazing and supportive husbands had a blast with our kids, while Cindy and I started our night festivities!

Here we are, on our way to surprise Alanna at her place. Alanna had absolutely no idea what activities were in store for her that night!

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Crouching down at her doorway as she makes her way to greet “Cindy” 🙂

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SURPRISE!!! Alanna’s fiancé and Cindy are both snapping away photos in the background as I surprised her!

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Our first activity of the night was painting pottery pieces and having delicious appys (crackers, chicken hummus dip, chips with guacamole and tzatziki dip, and of course, champagne). How did I manage my relationship with food? Stick mostly to the crackers and chicken (protein), had a bit of champagne and sipped on my water. I mostly took in nourishment through the creativity and fun conversation.

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Here’s the chocolate cake with cream cheese icing Cindy and I made for Alanna- a mini-Alanna!  Cindy didn’t have any icing sugar, and instead, added coconut flour and a little bit of regular sugar to the cream cheese, and in my opinion, that would be much tastier (and healthier) than any sugar packed icing!  And don’t you love Alanna’s sparkly pink cowgirl hat and tiara veil!? LOL, gotta put some Stampede spirit in there!

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After painting, the whole group headed out for dinner at a Latin Tapas Place, where we delightfully shared and savoured the different dishes, and I sipped on a glass of grapefruit and mint wine throughout dinner. Alanna and I shared a Kalua speciality coffee to go with our dessert, the cake that Cindy and I made (but mostly Cindy made) 😉 I chose to eat and drink mindfully throughout supper, and enjoyed the conversation.

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Next stop: Dancing! I chose not to drink a lot (as did everyone else). Alanna and I had a couple more drinks for the rest of the night. We enjoyed each other’s company rather than having the alcohol be the focal point of Alanna’s celebration.

The following morning, Alanna’s fiancé had us all over for a pancake, bacon and egg brunch. It was delicious. I did have a hang over, as the last time I probably drank was a few years ago! So even though I didn’t drink a lot, my body is sensitive to it! Nothing plenty of water and a healthy breakfast couldn’t take away though! Taking digestive enzymes also helps.

Afterwards, all the families headed to the zoo. I indulged in coffee (no kombucha available!) as I was still feeling zoned out from the night before.  I had packed protein bars for snacks.

This picture doesn’t do it justice for capturing the gorgeous and vivid colours of one of my “Power Animals” – the Peacock!

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After the zoo, we were famished, and we headed back to Cindy’s place and ordered in amazing quality sushi. sashimi and other delicious Japanese food. There aren’t any pictures of the food, because at this point, we were all just so hungry as we had waited waaaaaay.too.long between meals (I remember I even made a comment out loud that I was too hungry to take photos of the food! LOL), we just powered through the meal like primitive animals, and not much talking was had. We all were thinking the same thing- EAT!

Haha, so yes, I didn’t eat the sushi very mindfully. And I didn’t beat myself up for that! Like I tell my clients, it’s not realistic to eat mindfully or regularly every single day. It’s about the overall big picture of what my relationship with food looks like – one weekend of what I would call my version of “excessive indulgence” is NOT going to ruin my body, my health or my life (as I may have felt once upon a time!)

Yup, so today I feel bloated, brain fogged and tired, but I still feel overall in control of food and my body, rather than feeling like food controls me.

Today, I continue my day as if I would a regular Monday, and take extra care of my digestive health so that my energy and brain fog can lift and return back to it’s usual level and clarity! 😉 You can read one of my blog posts on the difference between a diet and a cleanse here.

I wrote this post in hopes of helping those of you who feel trapped in yo-yo dieting, and find yourselves beating yourself up for indulging/ cheating/ binging/ had a “bad eating” weekend (which I would just call indulgent and fun weekend)– please be gentle with yourselves!  Food is part of celebration, and we should be celebrating important events in our lives! I’ve learned how to bring food to the background and the other aspects of celebration to the foreground (conversation, laughter, activities). Zoom out into the bigger picture and see that life is about enjoying things in moderation- INCLUDING experiencing events of “excessive indulgences”! Black and white thinking does not allow room for excessive indulgent events – it’s all (excessive, binging, eat your face off) or nothing (strict, rigid relationship with food and exercise). Life is not meant to be black and white, it’s meant to be colourful, and so should be your relationship with food and your body! 🙂

If you’re struggling with finding this natural balance of living in moderation when it comes to food and/or your body image, I’d love to help you. Contact me below! 

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