You could say that I have a cookie problem.
How could cookies be a problem, you might ask? Well, as I’m sure you know, there is a bit of a stigma around cookies not being a “health food.” This plays into my cookie problem, but there’s more to it than that.
I love cookies. Love them. Specifically chocolate chip cookies. This love of cookies means that I bake them a lot. It also means that I eat them a lot. But that’s not my cookie problem. My cookie problem is that baking and eating cookies often pushes me back into my old diet mentality. When eating said cookies, I find myself thinking “I’ll make better choices tomorrow. I’ll eat healthy tomorrow. I’ll do better tomorrow.”
These thoughts then trigger my inner rebel. “But I don’t want to be better tomorrow– I want to eat cookies and enjoy my life.” I usually rest my case there, but the next day, eating my cookies, I have the same conversation in my head. “This will be the last batch I make for a while,” I say. Then “nope. I love cookies. I want to eat them and enjoy my life.”
My inner dialogue all boils down to being “good” and making “healthy” choices versus enjoying my life.
The old me would have picked making “healthy” choices.
The NOW me usually picks enjoying my life.
Since I started this blog, I’ve been on a quest to find a way of eating that works best for me. I’ve experimented with inflammatory foods (as I advise all of my clients to do) to see how they really affect my digestion and my body. After many years of experimentation, I’ve determined that wheat and gluten do no impact my digestion in a negative way. Thus, I have decided to include them in my diet in moderation. I still eat a mostly paleo lifestyle, but when I want something like pizza, bread or cookies, I make them with wheat flour…because that’s how I really like them. And really liking what I’m eating is very important to me.
A diet is only sustainable if you actually enjoy what you’re eating.
If you don’t enjoy it, then it’s not sustainable. Why would you force yourself to eat food that you don’t like for the rest of your life? That would be torture and totally not worth it.
So my cookie problem is that the cookie itself brings up this inner dialogue about being what the world deems as healthy so that I can look a certain way versus eating what I want and enjoying my life.
Honestly, I have bigger things to worry about these days.
But my point is this. I have been a health coach for ten years. I’ve worked through my diet sh*t over and over again. I’ve coached many many clients to work through their diet sh*t and I STILL have this conversation with myself all the time.
Even when you’re anti-dieting and/or eating intuitively, you WILL think these thoughts from time to time. There’s societal pressure pushing you in the diet direction. There are your own, learned behaviors from the years and years that you dieted.
You will have this conversation with yourself even when you’ve decided to give up dieting for good and making sustainable changes from a health-focused perspective.
So be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself and be forgiving of yourself. Acknowledge those thoughts and let them go. Stick to your path. Eat what you want. Eat what you love. Make lots of cookies and enjoy your life.