30 days cleanse: A lesson in overindulgence

So why are we doing this ridiculous 30 days to healthy living cleanse thing?

Like I mentioned in my other post, we’re trying to get healthier and sometimes that’s harder that we think. We’re taking a good, long look at what we’re putting into our bodies and eliminating a lot of things so we can see how those things affect us overall by eventually adding them back in.

More than that though, I am trying to teach myself about overindulgence.

I learned well from Parks and Rec that you can absolutely #treatyoself and frankly, you should do that from time to time. When you’re doing it every day though, it’s not a treat. It’s overindulging. Just because you can do something does not mean you should do something. I am using this to remind myself every single day.

So far I’ve realized that I was looking at food the wrong way.

Let me explain this through an example about an enchilada.

I love enchiladas. I enjoy going out to eat and eating enchiladas. I realize I am spending a lot of money on something I love, these enchiladas. Instead of cutting back on them, I try to find ways to save that money by eating these enchiladas at home. I focus on recreating or finding a substitute that will satiate that desire for this specific thing. I end up continuing to eat a lot of enchiladas, but now they’re just a little cheaper because we’re eating them at home.

I mean this sounds not that bad, right? Because we’re eating what we want and we’re saving money.

But I am wrong in this. Instead of looking for substitutes for everything, I need to change my mindset and think about what is most important to me. Being healthy is really important along with being less spendy, so I need to find a way to marry these two things together. Instead of trying to find a chip substitute, maybe I should eliminate chips entirely OR eat them significantly less so they’re truly a treat when I am eating them.

Things aren’t a treat when you have them all the time. They become an expectation and it ends up leaving you wanting more rather than being satisfied with what you have. I realized that the “everything in moderation” philosophy that I live by with eating has actually turned into “just one more of these won’t hurt” or “oh, we can try to eat in tomorrow.” I am forever putting off and justifying what I am doing and that results in me overindulging.

A good friend told me yesterday that food is fuel for your body. It is not meant to be “good,” it is meant to feed you and keep you healthy and moving forward. As much as my inner Julia Child frowns upon that saying, it’s an excellent point and I happen to think the sentiment is kind of correct (although I don’t like admitting this).

So tonight when I wanted Raising Canes so desperately, I sat down with my rotisserie chicken/black beans/brown basmati rice/mixed veggies dinner and I begrudgingly ate it. At the end I wasn’t hungry and surprisingly I didn’t feel unfulfilled. I am tired of craving things which are probably making me feel like junk.

We don’t plan to keep these things cut out forever in our lives. We’re cutting them now to figure out how we feel and what we want to do and I hope we feel so good we don’t even really want to bring them back. I hope that we establish better eating habits so that when we go out to eat we can veg out on whatever we actually want and then maintain those good habits at home so we’re not derailing ourselves all the time.

In addition to the food aspect, I have basically broken up with my BFFL Target. Now instead of browsing the aisles and potentially picking things up, I am literally only allowing myself to go in for what I need and not walk out with anything else. I am saying no to a lot of things. The other day I went shopping to multiple stores and I didn’t buy a single thing because nothing was speaking to me. I have cut back a tremendous amount and it is all related to the same principle I am testing out with food. Figure out what you need. Realize what you want is not always what you need. Establish new routines and habits and see how you’re feeling.

It’s a lesson in willpower. I am curious to see how it pans out.

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