Tuesday morning you walked into Panera ordered a cookie and coffee and enjoyed both without a terrorizing thought because food was not your enemy. You knew that food was fuel so when you were satisfied you were able to stop eating and sipping guilt-free. It was a victorious moment worth savoring.
But it hasn’t always been that way. It used to be every time you decided to indulge, you couldn’t stop. It was as if you were trying to make up for all those years you deprived yourself. Food wasn’t your enemy anymore but it was still a beast. So you embarked on journey number two: learning that while food is fuel, food is also fun.
Oddly enough, having fun and enjoying food have a lot in common.
Parties are fun, but you don’t plan a party when you’re overwhelmed with emotions, so don’t eat a party when you’re spinning with emotions. If you’re a ball of feelings you shouldn’t be filling your plate (with food or activities for that matter). Food is not the same as emotion neither can food take the place of emotions.
Sometimes you have to be intentional about having fun. When I take this same approach to food I find that I am less likely to pig out on treats at parties. If I’ve been intentional to enjoy food and make myself nice food it removes the urgency and “last chance” mentality that often initiates bingeing. So treat yourself throughout the week.
Fun doesn’t happen all the time, that’s what makes fun, well…fun! So, in the same way you schedule fun activities, vacations, and coffee dates…schedule fun food. One of my personal training clients LOVES to bake for her family and LOVES her homemade muffins. Instead of limiting them she decided she would only bake one batch every Wednesday and share them we the family who babysits her kids. In this manner she was still able to do what she LOVES and have treats without depriving herself or her family! Scheduling her baking day allowed her to look forward to her treats and encouraged self-control, because she knew baking/treat day was coming again – every week! When you have an assigned treat day or time you know you’re not depriving yourself, you’re just postponing, looking forward to, and keeping them for a special moment.
Food is fun but not required to have fun. It used to be that whenever I went to a party and there wasn’t good food I was disappointed. And whenever there was good food I ate WAY TOOOOO much and felt guilty the rest of the night. Until one day I decided to go to parties and not eat food and have fun anyways! It wasn’t easy the first party, or the second, or even the third. But eventually, I learned to have fun without food and do you know what? I enjoy food even more and have more fun than ever before! Food and fun are not dependent on one another, good together, but not dependent.
Food is fun. Food is not emotion neither can it replace, restore, or refresh emotions.
Food is fun. So, plan your fun food just like you would plan a vacation.
Food is fun. But in the same way too much fun dulls the excitement, so does food.
Food is fun. But when your fun is food, the fun becomes a fatty leash of guilt.
Food is fun. But fun can be had without food. Fun and food are not dependent on one another.
Food is fun. When you understand their differences you will be able to have a party at Panera guilt-free!
P.S. Don’t forget, food is not your enemy, it’s fuel.
PC: Kyla Zanardi