I just ate a really yummy cupcake. It was triple chocolate. It was a mini cupcake, the perfect size. There was a time when what I would be feeling right now was guilt, despair that I wasn’t really eating as well as I wanted to – how did I get lured into that sugary chocolaty treat when I knew I didn’t really want it?
But here’s the secret, I did really want it this time. It wasn’t sitting there as a decoy when I wanted an actual meal. It wasn’t an impulse decision. I decided last night that I wanted to eat it today, and when I was ready I enjoyed it – every last bite.
There are a few reasons why I’m totally fine with my decision to eat a yummy treat on occasion, guilt free, and I want to share them with you. This is especially crucial during pregnancy because you’re going to crave things, possibly things that your mind is telling you aren’t that healthy. So, here’s how I have come to be able to have my cake and eat it too.
- I eat well most of the time. If you followed me around for a week and paid attention to what I eat, you wouldn’t see cupcakes and cookies and candy every day, or even most days. I nourish myself with water, greens, whole grains, an assortment of colorful fruits and veggies, and amazingly delicious sources of protein and healthy fat. When I’m feeling well fed, I can treat myself to a little soulfood too.
- I’ve trained my body to lose its sweet tooth. To some extent, this happened without me trying and I think it was a result of way too much sugar when I was younger. Cravings come from an underlying need that your body has, and when you feed it well, the cravings, including those for sweets, diminish.
- I do what brings me joy. This isn’t to say that I sit and binge eat chocolate because chocolate brings me joy. Indulging in what I know is a special treat, makes me feel like I am taking care of my needs and myself. Eating healthfully brings me tons of joy (and energy, clarity, health and so much more).
Here’s another funny little story about my sweet tooth. When I was pregnant, I had two major cravings – pineapple, and Sour Patch Kids. There was a week where I could not get enough pineapple, and I let myself eat it. I figured that my body knew what I needed most, and I trusted it.
The night I told my husband that I wanted Sour Patch Kids, he turned to me and said, “No you don’t.” I insisted that I deserved them because I was eating really well and it was okay to be a little bit off track. I bought the big bag (it made more sense financially), and I didn’t open it for a week. It took me a few more weeks to make my way through the bag. He was right, I didn’t really want it, my body didn’t really need it. Letting myself have them allowed me to ration in a way that once would never have been possible. I share that to remind you that you body is magnificent. Listen to it, trust it, love it.