Yesterday afternoon, May 17th 2018 approximately 2.08pm, I Lauren Olivia Randall, ate a portion of greasy chips. They were delicious and I shovelled them in like they were the last food on Earth. And I have felt horrible about it ever since!
A few nights ago I ate a scoop of Ben and Jerrys Ice cream (cookie dough, yummmmmm) and had zero guilt about it. My calories were down, I was feeling good, I had worked out so I felt absolutely fine to eat A SPOON of ice cream! Even after eating it I felt absolutely fine. I thought this was a new me. Oh my god, guilt-free eating has arrived. Here I am. This is really happening. So I put myself to the test. Yesterday I was feeling good AGAIN. Calories were down, carbs were down, I was watching Sherlock Gnomes (yeah I love kids films so what) and just WANTED to eat some chips. I felt fucking horrible as soon as I was finished. I instantly started beating myself up about it. Went to bed annoyed at myself. Woke up and my first thought was “why did I eat those damn chips”. I literally let a portion of fucking chips affect my entire mood. What a JOKE!
I know some of you reading this will totally understand. You’ll be thinking “I would never have even touched the chips” or “yeah I always hate myself after anything unhealthy”. While some of you reading this will be thinking, “This girl is fucking loony! All this fuss over some bloody chips?” And I am caught somewhere in between.
“Guilt-free” eating is the dream! A year ago my friends asked me (while sipping on my water and grilled chicken at Slug and Lettuce in York) “What are your fitness goals then, what do you want to achieve?” And my honest reply was “to find a happy balance”. A happy balance between my workouts and social life and food and friends and not obsess over what I’m eating and to relax and enjoy eating and training without seeing it as punishment. Not making food consume my life and every thought. And although I am not entirely there yet, I have come a longgg way. I don’t binge or crave like I used to. I occasionally go out and drink with friends. I occasionally go out for dinner and get what I want. I workout once a day 5-6 days a week. I basically eat what I like (which just happens to be almost always healthy) and there has definitely been a positive shift in mind-set about food and the control it has over me.
But I’m not going to lie, it is HARDDDDD. I don’t do all these things guilt free yet. I worry before I eat about how I will feel after. I still let food negatively control my thoughts and feelings. I still have a constant fear of being fat. Or getting fat. Or am I fat? I don’t even know if it’s possible to be able to eat these occasional “comfort foods” happily if I know it isn’t good for me physically.
It is totally normal to be a fitness professional (lol professional, who do I think I am) and be mindful of what I’m consuming and tracking and not wanting to shove bad food or alcohol down me, it is literally my job to set an example and I like to live healthily. I listen to my body and I eat healthily almost all of the time. So the balance is right. But why can’t I eat a portion of chips once in a while and be OKAY with it. I know ONE portion of chips is not going to ruin my life. It is not going to make me gain 60lb. It is not going to come after me in the night with a bottle of mayo shouting “YOU ATE US YOU FAT FUCK NOW YOU’RE GONNA PAY!”. I would love to be able to eat the chips, sit back, relax and think “damn those were some good chips” instead of “you fat piece of shit now you need to go work those off” and worry about it for another 24 hours.
And you wanna hear some fuckery? When we feel that guilt or shame after eating, it raises our cortisol levels (stress hormone) which is shown to increase weight gain around the midsection. So now I’m worried about worrying about it. Great.
Keri Glassman from Womens Health Magazine said it right when she wrote, “If you choose to eat that deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookie, it should be a conscious indulgence, not a guilty pleasure. In other words, it should make you feel empowered and happy, not like you did something bad and need to eat kale salads the rest of the day to make up for it.” A conscious indulgence… sounds sexy. “We don’t feel empowered by eating foods labelled “guilt-free”. There shouldn’t be guilt in the first place to be free from! We feel empowered by eating from an empowered place and listening to our bodies.” BOOM. All about that empowerment!
I love the feeling that I have found myself a good balance, so I cannot wait to write the post about happily eating chips (with mayo) and not spending my life worrying about it!