When in pursuit of a new goal, sometimes perfectionism gets in our way.
It doesn't matter if the goal is to eat healthier, or to keep our closets clean (my most recent goal after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - which by the way, I'd highly recommend). Perfectionism only gets in our way.
Here's what I mean. You're shopping, you're cooking, you're basically a healthy-eating machine when your best friend calls to say she'll be in town for the night asks you to meet for dinner. So you meet her for dinner, and drinks, and more drinks. And the next day, feeling like you've ruined your healthy-week-mojo, you order Chinese food. And the next day, feeling like you may as well start over on Monday, you order a pizza and drink half a bottle of wine. You get the idea.
So how do we avoid these downward spirals?
The key is to allow yourself to indulge from time to time in whatever it is that feels indulgent to you. Giving yourself permission to indulge is what makes the journey of healthy eating enjoyable and sustainable. But there's a difference between an indulgence, and falling into the deep end of processed food wasteland.
Fresh bread from your local bakery topped with whipped organic butter and crunchy sea salt is an indulgence. A week's worth of fast food drive-through dinners is falling into the deep end. Try to stick with real food options like fresh breads, gourmet cheeses, high-quality chocolates, and home-made sweets even when you're indulging and you'll have a much easier time staying on track in the long-run.
It's also helpful to know when you should take a break. Here are a few signs that it's time to cut yourself some slack:
It feels worth it and you'll feel like you missed out otherwise. For example, you're at your very favorite restaurant, or you're sharing a meal with a dear friend or family member.
You're at Grandma's house. First of all, it's likely home-cooked. Second of all, Grandmas don't like when you turn down food.
You're feeling restricted. You never want healthy eating to feel like a diet or a chore. At first it may feel like a lot of work, but it shouldn't feel like you're wearing handcuffs. If it does, it's time for a break.
And what better time for a break than over the long holiday weekend? Enjoy every second, my friends!
Cheers to you,