The Importance of Indulgence
Damn, I miss bread.
As little as 8 months ago, I was diagnosed with an illness called "Leaky gut". Glamorous sounding...I know. Basically, I had spent SO many years eating things I was unaware that I was sensitive to, that I stopped being able to absorb minerals and nutrients into my body properly. As a result, I was given a LENGTHY list of foods (containing most of my favorites) that I am no longer allowed to eat, including yeast, wheat, and dairy. Serious bummer.
For a while, I handled this situation pretty poorly. I would go a decent amount of time without consuming foods I am intolerant to, but once I felt better, I would indulge in them again to reward myself (what kind of logic is that?!). I would then suffer serious physical consequences and promise myself that I would never do that again, only to later over indulge a few weeks later. And on I went like that.
One day, I had made myself so physically ill and suffered such a serious break out of acne, that I think I finally snapped. I was so uncomfortable in my body, I knew I had to find an answer that would help me sustain my progress and continue to maintain the right kind of eating. In all reality, it wasn't about my skin or the headache and stomachache that would follow, it was about my long term health and my need to regain the ability to absorb all of the minerals and nutrients that my body needs to survive. I needed to stop being short-sighted.
What I did today
I decided to take a break in between my copious amounts of school work to reward myself with a treat. Until as little as a few weeks ago, I would have reached for something that would inevitably make me sick, but not care enough about myself to worry about the consequences of my actions. Not anymore! My roommate, Natalie, had told me about an interesting little sweets shop she had been to not long ago, that made soy ice cream treats and gluten-free, vegan baked goods. Although it was quite far, we hopped in the car and took a trip out there. Boy was it worth it! We shared a blended, fluffernutter flavor soy ice-cream, and a vegan, gluten-free brown sugar and pecan donut. I have to admit, they were some of the best treats I have EVER had. Why was I torturing myself for so long by eating things that made me ill when I could have been exploring my options, discovering new trendy hang outs, and best of all--respecting my body and its needs?
The answer is, I didn't care about myself enough to make the effort, or even to consider the long term ramifications of my actions. I didn't believe that my health or self was worthy of care.
So what's the lesson here? Well, it's simple. Indulgence is necessary.....sometimes. We all need to allow ourselves to indulge in things from time to time in the things that bring us relaxation, joy, and respite from our day to day grind. However, we have to be sure to keep those indulgences in balance with our needs. Only then, are we truly practicing self care. You know what they say, everything in moderation, including moderation. Will I allow myself a gluten-free donut every time I desire it? No, because then it loses its value as luxury in my life. It is loving to allow ourselves luxuries---occasionally---and only those things that will ultimately bring us closer to our highest potential. Today, I felt like a donut would help me celebrate my hard work and bring me satisfaction...and it did! But only because it was healthy for my body, and something I permit myself to have at the right times.
"I am a beautiful and divine being and I deserve to occasionally indulge in things that are good for me physically, mentally, and emotionally as part of living a balanced life."
Today, I also indulge in the love and kindness I receive from all of you!! How will you treat your deserving and divine self today? Namaste. xo