I would hate for you to have the wrong idea. I know there are a lot of show reels online – people showing the best highlights of their life – so in the interests of keeping it real, I’ll happily confess I’m no saint. I’m no Mother of the Year, no gourmet super-foodie, no poster girl of health.
I don’t want to be any of those things either just quietly, and just as well as that would be setting myself up for disaster. However, I do want to feel great, look my best and live a joyful and happy life, so I do the best I can. I’m into self-improvement, but in a lets-keep-it-real kind of way. In a gentle accepting kind of way, that means I can I try and eat well (most of the time), I try and adopt healthy living practices (most of the time) and I try and stay in the present moment, practice gratitude and cook real food (most of the time).
The rest of time, I don’t. The rest of the time, I’m ‘bad’.
I’m human and I allow myself to be. Deprivation and restriction are not joyful sounding words. I’m not into them at all. I don’t deprive or restrict myself. I don’t advocate that mindset. Instead, I crowd out and then relax.
Crowding out means I flood myself with the good stuff so that when I ‘be bad’, it’s not often and my body is more able to cope. For 90 per cent of the time (or sometimes 80 per cent, who’s counting?), I fuel my body with what it needs. The other 10-20 per cent of my life is negotiable. So I don’t feel guilty when I have a glass of wine, or the occasional hot chip, or an icecream with the kids in the holidays.
It’s all in the name of balance for me. It’s not all buckwheat and spirulina. It mostly is, but not always.
It’s one of the great joys of following a whole, real food diet, of intuitive eating. It takes the pressure off. I use the same principle with the kids – the odd crap-loaded party won’t do too much damage because their bodies are healthy and can process it better than if they were used to daily packaged lunches and snacks.
Being bad sometimes is also a powerful reminder of why I prefer being good. It reminds me how I used to feel before. It reminds me of what it feels like to be lacking – the tiredness, anxiety, night waking and general off-ness.
The summer holidays served up an example of that – the 10-20 per cent expanded somewhat, and so did my waistline. I felt bloated and unwell. Hello!! Reminder!! Almost two weeks back to my good habits (including a break from coffee) and the weight is dropping off and I feel much, much better.
It’s what we do every day that determines how we feel, look and live, not what we do every now and then. So enjoy beautiful, nutritious food most of the time, and then don’t sweat the small stuff.