This week, I saw my friend’s Facebook update rationalizing brownies for breakfast. Afterwards, I found myself recalling a session where I recommended that my client eat ice cream for breakfast.
You’re probably thinking, “Kara is bat shizzle crazy.” Before you decide, hear me out.
My client already had an evening ice cream habit going strong. I don’t judge; I just meet clients where they are at that moment. She also had a skipping breakfast habit. Brilliant! What if she ate ice cream for breakfast, but had to include some fruit and nuts with it? And she had to enjoy it. Like really, really enjoy it. Not just scarf it down or eat it in secret. Because she’s awesome (and had already paid for our sessions together), she tried it.
Guess what happened?
It. Worked. She ate less ice cream overall in the morning because she was more rested, more clearheaded and less likely to be emotionally eating. She also was getting in 1-2 servings of fruit and a serving of brain-friendly walnuts. Because she wasn’t famished, she wasn’t overeating at lunch. Because she was getting more calories in during the day, she wasn’t as hungry in the evenings when the ice cream sirens were sweetly luring her to the fridge. Plus, she slept better without a gut full of fat and sugar so close to bedtime. Ditching the no-ice-cream-for-breakfast rule in her head felt intoxicatingly dangerous and way better than the guilt and shame she felt when she mindlessly stuffed herself at night.
We’re all ticketholders on the Halloween to New Year’s Express train right now. You are likely being bombarded by 99,999 magazine articles, news stories and blog posts about how you can cut calories, deprive yourself or eat by these complex, guilt-inducing rules.
Let’s be real: we are all going to indulge a little this season.
So, I want to encourage you to be “bad” this holiday season. Now, I don’t mean you should be hiding in a darkened corner devouring panettone like a junky extra on Breaking.
Savor the naughtiness. When you indulge, really savor the hell out of what you’re eating. Think of a chocolate chip cookie. Can you see the melty chocolate chips and the perfectly crisp edges? Can you smell that slight bitterness of the chocolate or the hint of molasses from the brown sugar before you bite down? What’s it feel like on your tongue? Is it crisp or chewy? Chew it long and slow while taking in every detail. Do you really need 5 more cookies when this one seemed damn near orgasmic? (If I was a betting woman, I’d say, “No.”)
Critically think instead of self-criticize. As my homeboy, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Finish each day and be done with it.” Be creative with your tomorrow. Eat ice cream for breakfast if it means you get a serving of fruit with it. Or, eat veggie-loaded miso soup with seaweed for breakfast because last night’s dinner was champagne and cupcakes at a holiday shindig. Your body knows what it intuitively needs to function well. Trust that more than the condemning Itty Bitty Shitty Committee in your head or some rules that are probably more a product of your parents than any scientist.
You CAN make it through holidays without the bulge, you smart-creative-self-compassionate-rule-breaking renegade. Now, go have some fun!