Six years ago I couldn't indulge without purging. Indulging in my mind, meant too many calories and that meant gaining weight and that meant getting "fat." And I didn't want any of that. So indulging meant bingeing and bingeing meant purging. If I ate more that I was "supposed to" (which was largely distorted and completely unquantifiable) then guilt would ensue and gilt would lead to fear and fear would lead to purging.
A few weeks ago I found myself dealing with guilt after having indulged in a lot of really good food. I was hungry, but I ate beyond being satisfied. I indulged. And when I thought back over that indulgence I wasn't completely happy with the decisions I had made. I didn't really "need" that large quantity of food, but I wanted it and it tasted good so I ate. And then I felt a little twang of guilt. It reminded me of the gigantic weight of guilt that I used to feel, it was the same but only an inkling of what I used to feel and with not nearly as much power.
At this point in my life, six years sober from bulimia, I handle guilt from indulging much differently than I used to. Now I know that the fear I felt of gaining weight was distorted. And I understand that my body will seek balance. When I indulge and allow my body to sit with it (instead of purging) I know that my body will seek balance. That I may not be hungry at the next meal time and that's OK. And I may crave healthy, fresh food the next day. And that's OK. And I may feel sluggish because of what I ate and that's OK. And I may have a desire to get out and move and get fresh air because that's what my body is desiring and that's OK too.
I've learned that indulging isn't the end of the world and if I quiet the guilt and the fear then my body will naturally seek balance if I let it.
With thanksgiving just around the corner I think it's important to be able to indulge without guilt. Life is filled with seasons, there's and ebb and flow to what we do and how we live. Last winter and spring I was in "training mode," I rarely indulged and was careful to put in my body food that would fuel it optimally for the demands I was putting on it. And now I'm not training, I'm pregnant and I'm craving HOT things and SALTY things and MORE. And that's OK. I'm not in a season of training, I'm in a season of growing another human being. And even if I wasn't growing another human being, this is a season of celebration and during that time I like to eat GOOD FOOD, without guilt and without fear.
If you find yourself ruled by guilt and fear when it comes to eating. Maybe now's a good time to give yourself permission to indulge. To allow your body to find balance. You may be surprised at how naturally your body seeks to balance out whatever you've indulged in. And you might find that it is OK.
Give thanks! Celebrate and be OK with it.
12 Days of Giving is coming to RunFarGirl.com after Thanksgiving! More details tomorrow.