Friday, February 19, 2010

Food choices, guilt and punishment

There are many "voices" in my online life who are constantly reminding me to live with a spirit of acceptance about the present state of things, to not "beat myself up" over choices but to accept and move on, to live mindfully. They state those ideas much more eloquently that I can, but that's my best attempt at summary. (Thanks to Steph, Cindy, Mark and Margarita for their positive influence.)

Where I struggle most is in the area of food, and food choices.

I want to embrace the idea that I can make choosing and eating food a positive experience, and I'm inspired by things that Cindy and Mark wrote recently.

But it's very hard for me.

I'm not sure what exactly set off this most recent bout of self-sabatoge in the area of food... Maybe it was something to do with completing the 1/2 marathon, and feeling like I had "arrived" at some mythical place where I could just put whatever into my mouth and it would all be good? Or was it the Paleo Challenge that we are doing at our box? Sometimes it seems like the moment I "have" to do something, it becomes a chore to make the right choice, regardless of whether or not I was making the right choice previously.

So yeah, the food I've been consuming in the last few weeks hasn't always been the best choice. And I am trying not to beat myself up for it, or punish myself for making less than optimal choices...

What makes it so hard is that my body itself seems to dole out it's own brand of punishment, even if I can refrain from negative and guilt-ridden thoughts. Lately it seems that even the tiniest of mis-steps on a given day results in catastrophic gut and digestive issues. I'm relieved that I don't have any (noticeable) stomach pain, but that final step in digestion is not at all pleasant (and obviously signals that there are bad things going on in my intestines).

This is depressing, because I thought that I had finally ended my history of crappy (hah!) digestive issues after my first few weeks of eating Paleo. Now I feel like I will never have a healthy gut, and I'm just very overwhelmed and defeated by it all.

I wish I could live the 80/20 lifestyle, and be healthy and happy when 80 percent of my choices are good, but it seems like I have to be completely perfect. And if I'm not perfect, my intestinal tract will dole out punishment...

And that brings me back to the "have to" = rebellion idea. Because I will get sick, I have to eat strict Paleo all the time, and therefore I don't want to. But this doesn't make sense, because it was improvement in the area of digestive upset that helped me stay true to Paleo when I first started...

Maybe there is something more complex going on here, it needs more thought on my part, and more writing. Especially since I'm not even sure I made a point with this post; it was just important to me to write about this issue so I can start working through it...

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had the answer for you, but I struggle with 'spinning out' on the food-side part of things a lot too. The best I can do is get myself back on track each time, and never stop lifting! I figure eventually my muscle mass will allow me to eat 2500 calories a day and still look good.