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Food & Happiness

I'm a doughnut feen. I know that processed sugars do nothing good to help me in my fight with depression and anxiety- that's been scientifically proven- but sometimes I just have to have one.

So here's where I try to find balance... I refuse to deprive myself of something I want to eat (like a dough

nut) but I watch how often and how much I eat of such "treats". I hate elimination diets because they aren't plausible to keep up for a lifetime. I don't believe in the crazy fad diets out there. At all. Eventually the cravings will win, a "cheat day" will occur, and then the feelings of failure or self disappointment kick in. 80/20 is my goal. 80% of the time I try to fuel my body (and therefore my mind) with nutritional foods, but 20% of the time I say to hell with it and eat my doughnuts, my chips, my ice cream. That ratio I can keep up for life, without growing resentful of not being able to eat what I want, without counting calories, without becoming obsessive. And I can trust that I'm not harming my body and mental health.

Obsessive control over food and appearance is often a manifestation of mental/emotional instability, weight gain (or loss) is often a symptom of depression, anxiety and eating disorders often go hand in hand... We eat to reward ourselves, to console ourselves, to celebrate. Food is powerful. And also dangerous. It is a necessity that has a massive affect on our lives. But it can - and should - be an aid to putting ourselves in the right place physically so we can be in the right place mentally. If you're fighting with your food - with your body - take a step back. Appreciate all the work your heart and lungs and limbs do for you day in and day out. Remember that even though you may be hurting, you're still here, breathing in the life around you. Don't be mad at your body on days when it struggles... give it good food, lots of water, a salt bath, and a long nap. It'a doing the best it can, just like your mind. The road to health is long, because it never actually ends. But the journey can be good. It can. Believe that it can.

Nuts, berries, greens, and beans I know are good for us on so many levels, so eat up! But if you need a day on the couch with a sappy movie and a pint of ice cream, I say that's a version of self care just as legitimate as exercise, meditation, or healthy eating.

Happy Saturday.

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