Should you eat “cheat meals”? 

Here’s what you need to know:

EVERYTHING IN A BALANCE

“Okay, Lucy, what the eff does that mean??” I get it.  I think you should always allow yourself to eat what you want and what feels good.  However, let’s reframe this, shall we?

Call it a TREAT, not a cheat. This simple mind shift is what is key.  The word cheat automatically has a bit of a negative connotation, and makes it seem like you are “getting away” with something.  As if you have tricked your body into participating in something detrimental for us.  In reality, your body knows what’s going on! Your body is there with you every bite and is the one who is digesting your food hours after you’ve already forgotten what it was you ate and have moved on to the next thing in your list.  Y You really aren’t slipping anything by your body.  So what if we turned this “cheat” mentality into a “treat” pattern of thought?

Food should be emotionally satisfying. By telling yourself you are treating yourself, you are starting off on a positive note from the get-go! A treat is something that you may not have often, but something you love and look forward to it because it is satisfying–physically, mentally, spiritually.  So when choosing a treat, you should for those things: something that will be good for your body and your mind and your soul. Whatever this means for you.

On another level, eating healthy truly does fuel your body and make you feel good in the long run. So I go by the 80/20 rule. This means you eat your type of healthy (which looks different for every different body) most of the time, or 80% of the time.  The other 20% of the time, eat what feeds your soul and makes you feel human.  The one condition to the 20% treat: you must let yourself fully and completely enjoy it! Don’t sit around and and feel guilty about “cheating”.  Because you aren’t. You are being human.  Life is more than just a diet.  You have surprises in your day.  You have birthdays.  You have bad days.  You have good days.  Don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t stick to a regimen that isn’t realistic or sustainable.  Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to eat the perfect diet.  Let go so you can live a little.  And then show up for yourself so you can keep living in a way that makes you feel best.

Structure helps us set boundaries that will fuel us in the long run.  So by eating healthy most of the time, you are doing a good job of caring for yourself.  By eating however and whatever you want, when you want, you am still caring for yourself.  And then you can get right back to eating in a way that nourishes your body without feeling like you are missing out on life, because you have the option to choose any food you want and any time.

The restriction is what makes you feel the need to cheat.* So give yourself the permission to treat yo’ self!**

Want to talk about how you can treat your self and fuel yourself in a balance? Book an *always* free consultation with me here, and let’s get the conversation going!

 

*Check out Isabel Foxen Duke for more on restriction creating a binge cycle..is
**Parks and Rec will forever be my fav

Why changing my shirt was the greatest act of self love (and how to turn around shitty moods)

THE BAD MOOD

We’ve all been there: Nothing was wrong other than the fact that it is a tired, rainy Monday morning, and your mood wants to match the weather.  Especially if you were over the moon happy a day or two ago, why on earth is this happening?  For me, I notice all the signs on the outside that accompany that shitty feeling on the inside: I didn’t want to get out of bed, I want to eat everything in my fridge, I go through a mini Instagram-scrolling binge, and I try to walk out the door a billion times but kept forgetting something important each time.  It feels difficult to push a single positive thought to surface of your mind among the negative ones filling the space; thoughts you may not have seen in so long that they look unfamiliar.

Have you ever felt this way? You are cruising steady and then all of the sudden, something flips a switch that leaves you standing dazed and confused wondering why the mood changed.  Maybe you turn toward your mind-number of choice (sugar, alcohol, Instagram, TV…) or lash out at a loved one on accident or start crying for no reason.  You know you are in a bad mood, but you don’t know why and don’t want to take the time to figure it out.  It is so tempting to just play along with that negative feeling because it is so much easier to keep that negative energy rolling rather than turning around and saying “No, I will feel good today”.

On my particular rainy Monday, I saw this negative energy snowballing into a larger and larger dark hole I was about to be swallowed up into.  I could see myself slipping and further into it, while my happy mood sat flailing on the sidelines saying, “Stop! Don’t go down this road!”.  The problem was, I couldn’t see any other path to take.

THE TURNAROUND

I decided that if the change wasn’t going to happen from the inside, maybe I could make it happen from the outside.  (I.e. “Look good, feel good” mentality)

I had thrown on the “I’m wearing sweatpants and don’t give a crap” look and knew I was going to feel frump–no matter how I actually looked–if I left the house, and realized I was at a critical point: either wear my sweats and continue feeling bad or go change into something that makes me excited.  So I marched myself back upstairs and put on a shirt that made me feel sexy.

And it made all the difference.

I left the house in a slightly better mood than I would’ve had I stayed in the same clothes (and mindset!).  Once I made that initial move to start feeling better, the ball could start rolling in the positive direction again.

So why was changing my shirt really so important? Because I was showing myself that I cared about feeling good, and I wasn’t going to let anything else in my day ruin my mood.  If you rely on your surroundings to improve your mood (like relying on somebody else to get you out of the dumps),  you may get disappointed because there is no way to control every single thing that could happen to you.  You take your happiness into your own hands when you start showing up for yourself.

And I am not saying that other people can’t make you feel better.  In fact, there is nothing like another person’s loving gesture to you to help you out of a dark place. But we’ve all been in that spot where no matter what somebody else does for us, if we run with our negative emotions, every effort made can still leave you feeling sad.

THE FIX: SELF CARE

The best way to get back into the sunny view of life means taking care of yourself.  Recognize that you are feeling sad and have compassion.  Let yourself off the hook a little bit.  It’s okay to feel sad.  But instead of self-sabotaging, treat yourself like you were comforting a close friend.

Make yourself a cup of tea.  Wear your favorite outfit.  Go do your that activity that leaves you smiling no matter what. Paint your nails.  Hang out with a bestie.  Meditate.  Eat a meal that will make you feel good, not something that will leave you feeling bloated with a stomach ache (greens, healthy fats, fiber, and quality protein rather than sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or processed foods).  Go to sleep early.  Sleep in late.  Move that bod (don’t kill it in a workout, just break a sweat and get some endorphins running!).  Listen to music that feeds your soul.  Have a dance party (with your friends or solo in your room).

Even if it is small, that first action of self love will make each following one easier and easier. 

Remember, you deserve to feel awesome every day.  You deserve to be happy every day.  You deserve to feel confident every day

Love,
Lucy

As Difficult Changes Approach

Spring is both the best and worst time, depending on where you are in life.  As a “would-be” college senior  taking an extra year, watching most of my best friends around me about graduate is one of the most difficult parts of the year.  And it’s not just me. This is a hard time for those graduating too! Don’t get me wrong, in the cocktail of emotions everyone is feeling there is excitiemt for the future, relief for the hard work to be over, and pride for graduating. But these hard goodbyes to people and places, the fear of change, or other tough feels seem impossible to deal with at times. 

This doesn’t apply to just graduation and spring–it happens with any big change happening in life. Can you relate? Maybe you’re going through a breakup, accepting a new job, moving to a new state, or facing any change in your life–good or bad. 
SO WHAT DO YOU DO?  

First, listen to yourself! Feel the sadness or fear, anxiety, and sit with it for a second.  Why are you feeling this way? What may be triggering it? Is it logical? The more you deny your feelings, the harder they will try to rise to the surface.  Once you acknowledge your feelings, moving forward on is easier and faster than denial. 

Second, tell yourself it’s okay to feel this way! If you are feeling it, it is a valid emotion. 

Third, ask yourself 

What opportunities can come from this change?

 This question is a great way to reframe your situation. You can control how you look at your life, starting with how you perceive the little joys along with great challenges. 

So ask yourself where the opportunities for growth can come from in this change. Then get excited about them! Maybe you will have time to pick up that hobby that you’ve been wanting to do. Maybe you’ll have more time to devote to that group of people you wish you spent more time with. Maybe you have the opportunity to meet a ton of new people! 

Life is made up of a cycle of changes, and the more you are able to flow with and accept them, the happier you can be in your everyday life! 

Hang in there, 

Love, Lucy