This time of year always seems to be a little bit CRAZY for me. Working in retail, the holidays are definitely not a relaxing time. The heavy workload combined with the change in weather always leaves me susceptible to getting sick and feeling drained. Not to mention the darker afternoons, its no wonder the only think I really end up craving is cheesy, carb-y comfort foods and sweet treats.
Now you know that I never advocate "never" (never have dairy, never have gluten, never have sugar), because I'm not about deprivation or restriction. But the other day I got to thinking... when it comes to food, if we are consistently indulging in the cheesy, carb-y comfort foods and sweet treats - are we just depriving ourselves of something else?
Sleep? Peace? Energy? Exercise? Happiness?
It's not new information, but it's definitely worth repeating. Processed carbohydrates (breads, pastas, cookies, sugar) have now been shown to not only mess with our blood sugar levels and metabolic cycles, but also cause a reaction in our brain similar to cocaine. They're addictive.
And like drugs - we tend to want them in our darkest moments; when we're feeling stressed, rundown, sick, sad, or over-tired. What we really want is all of the things I listed above... rest, energy, exercise, happiness.
Now don't twist my words - I'm not saying never have these foods. But what I am saying is - its worth bringing some more mindfulness about why we want these foods (see previous post: What Are You Hungry For?), and what habits we have around them. Indulging in a slice of NY style cheesecake at your favorite restaurant on your 30th anniversary is different than always reaching for chocolate at 3pm.
Here's a real-life example. You come home from work, with intentions to head to a 7:30 workout class. You're exhausted. Too exhausted to think about dinner, so you throw some pasta on the stove, top it with some sauce and cheese, and pop on the TV. Ahhh, that's the stuff... 7PM rolls around and you realize you're just so freakin' exhausted. Maybe its best to skip the workout, and head to bed early. That is until you get sucked into a 'Friends' marathon and just keep thinking, I too would love to spend more time at a coffee shop than my job!
Now the point isn't that you indulged in the pasta, the TV, or skipped the workout. The point is, you're exhausted, tired, and run down, and actively depriving yourself of the things that are going to fuel you.
So I'm going to challenge you to deprive yourself of the things that are depriving you. Don't go crazy. Pick one thing. One habit that you can grab, ditch, and then breathe a bit more life back into your, well, life.
See how it feels. Then let me know - what did you choose? How did it feel?
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PS - If you missed it - check out this recent feature about me and my growing business + my on-the-go energy bites recipe on Career Contessa.