Do You Ever Feel Bad About What You Ate?

A few weeks ago I wrapped up the day, having already eaten plenty of food, with a beer, a glass of wine, and two superbly delicious double chocolate brownies.

I remember going to sleep that night feeling good about that. Since I’m a Health Coach, I’ll explain.

Shouldn’t I feel bad about that?

No. Context matters.

Quantity

First, how much did I eat that day? Well, I didn’t track it, but, it was a lot. If I recall correctly, the list included: water, a smoothie, 3-4 eggs, a cup of coffee with butter, sauerkraut, pancakes, nuts, fruit, protein bars, several burgers & hot dogs, cheese, roasted brussels sprouts & sweet potatoes, plus the aforementioned alcohol and brownies.

But how much did I earn that day? Well, I did track that, and it was the most strenuous days I have ever registered:

Screenshot from my WHOOP

Those four activities included: heavy lower body workout (back squats, accessory work, etc.); running, yard work, and chopping wood.

So yeah, it’s probable that I ate a bit more than I needed to. But you’ve got to earn what you eat.

Quality

The very same list of food and drink becomes very different when you note that everything on the list was organic, grass-fed, homemade, and gluten-free where applicable, including the beer, wine, & protein bars.

The quality of your food really matters.

I would rather have fasted with nothing but water after all of that exercise than eat that same list of foods from conventional or highly processed sources.

Live to eat, or eat to live?

I’ve heard it proposed before that you’re either one type of eater, or the other.

I don’t know if it’s true that all people are exclusively in one camp or not, but I live to eat.

I love it. I think about food all the time, even right after I’m done eating.

If you’re like me, then you probably struggle with eating too much, either periodically or chronically, because you enjoy eating food. You sometimes eat for pleasure, sometimes for boredom, sometime because your driving, sometimes for pain, sometimes for … insert emotion or situation here.

First, raising awareness of all of the above can help with that a bit: matching how much you ‘reward’ yourself with your activity level; upgrading foods that you enjoy, like chocolate brownies, with better quality ingredients; noting why you feel like eating right now can sometimes be enough to pause, slow down, or stop it.

There are other ways to embrace this.

Note that I didn’t say ‘fight’ this. You’re not going to beat it out of yourself. This is a part of who you are, and you should never feel bad about, or shame yourself for that.

It is possible to love to eat and be healthy, at many different sizes too.

OK, we’re getting close to the 500 word mark. That’s the point where most people stop reading.

But you’re not like most people.

You’re going to ask me, privately if you prefer, how else you might embrace eating emotionally, or any other questions you may have.

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