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Indulging Without the Guilt

Posted on Posted in U-centered-ness

It’s been a month since I last checked in with you wonderful blog readers, my hope is that this blog finds you enjoying summer as much as I am!  For the last month I have been preparing for travel, traveling and recovering from gallivanting around the Midwest.

Being self-employed, I had the unique opportunity to take 3 weeks off and meander through the Northern states to visit friends and family and enjoy the long conversations, delicious food and beverages that lend themselves to time away from your normal routine.

I overindulged in a few too many cheese curd baskets and festival foods (fried chicken) and am now on my very own cleanse and health initiative to get my body back to its normal healthy and happy state.   My favorite meal on the road, is below, a goat cheese Mediterranean plate and old fashion, for lunch, Wisconsin style from the “Barn” restaurant.

Delicious Mediterranean goat cheese plater and old fashion for lunch
Delicious Mediterranean goat cheese platter at “the Barn” restaurant; click on the picture if you are headed to the Dells and want to try a new restaurant.

It’s a good thing I have life coaching practices in my pocket to help me through the challenges of getting back to a goal-oriented state, from a period of leisure and a general lack of mindfulness.

Which brings me to the topic of today’s blog, learning to let go of guilt and manage your indulgences wisely.  We all love to indulge in lazy time, cheesy pizza, shopping sprees, a cocktail, over-analyzing an issue, excessively worrying, procrastinating and a million other totally indulgent human behaviors AND that is totally FINE.  It’s when we stay too long in that indulgent state that we start to get in trouble.

Why? Because when it’s been too long since we checked in and became mindful about our indulgences, we begin to think we don’t have the power to change anymore.  We start to believe that change would be TOO hard to make the effort worth it.  That if we have to mindfully make different choices each day about something, it’s just not worth the energy.

I’ve been in trouble with this a few times, i.e. worrying incessantly about something out of my control, endlessly procrastinating because I’m not sure what the next step is and needing to have 3 cocktails because I feel like it’s not a fun night out without a sufficient buzz.  Stuck in the tailspin of beliefs that staying in these habits would make me feel better than what it feels like to change.

Often when we fall into an indulgence that feels too hard to break away from, we start to feel guilty.  We know that there are better choices to make, but we just can’t muster the energy it requires to truly change the behavior.  The mountain feels unbearable to climb and our baby steps meaningless.

Yet, the guilt only serves to work against us and slowly eat away at our confidence to make better decisions and take back control of our actions.

What if we took a different route to handling our indulgences?  What if we accepted that we are human and that we may fall down every once in a while, but that we are also human in a way that makes us powerful creators and over-comers of our setbacks?

No one can be a powerhouse of strength and action all the time.  We need the occasional indulgence to appreciate and celebrate that part of our humanity.  However, our indulgences should not define us and relinquish us from the responsibility we have to mindfully create a life we fully enjoy.

Changing our behavior can be challenging, but we don’t have to make it harder than it is by making our occasional indulgences mean that we are powerless.  Today you have the power to take action toward that goal you’ve been procrastinating on or to stop worrying about what the outcome will be in X situation and to simply enjoy a walk, while listening to your favorite podcast or song list.

A new recipe for this week, egg white frittata with veggies
A new recipe for this week, egg white frittata with veggies

In my little world, I’m getting creative with new recipes that provide more energy for the calories they provide.  I’m also doing my normal workout routine, but realizing that for me—my food choices are still where I have the most power to make a positive change in my health.

What lever can you pull this week for a new positive change in the face of a recent indulgence?