Friday, February 19, 2016

Mental health day


Continuing to feel much better today. I woke early as usual, several times, but managed to get back to sleep and snoozed until nearly 9 which was wonderful. And for the first time in ages I had a dream where I was in control instead of helpless and frustrated. (I turned into a bull and trampled and gored my attackers.)

It could be unpredictable fluctuations in hormones, but the other thing that is different is that a couple of days ago I gave up on my diet and started to eat whatever I wanted. I don't think it's a huge change physically as I was failing on my diet anyway and eating plenty of treat foods all along - but it is a huge change mentally. I am no longer putting all my energy into resisting the lure of food, fighting temptation, exhausting myself trying to stick to my diet and feeling bad about failing.

The strange upshot of which is that after a couple of days of complete food freedom I'm feeling refreshed and ready to try again! Because I can't just eat whatever I like forever. That is what got me to sleep apnoea and pre-diabetes and diverticulitis etc. I have to find a plan that I can live with for the rest of my long healthy life. And I'm ready to think about that again. After only a couple of days, which surprises me. Normally I take weeks or months between healthy living attempts.

I'm considering continuing my healthy Mediterranean diet plan, which was as good as any I have tried (and was recently rated most easy to stick to, I read), but with a regular weekly "cheat day" but I hate the word "cheat". So a regular "indulgence day". Usually these days off are promoted by diet-inventors as a physical thing, to keep your body guessing. But for me it would be a mental health day, when I can relax and by eating whatever I want, ironically not have to think about food all the time. Enjoying dessert (without guilt) when the extended family gets together for dinner. Not stressing if Tim and the kids make muffins. Going to a cafĂ© for brunch. Sounds like a lovely mental health day to me.

I am still deciding between a sort of "all you can eat" free day when I actively plan treat meals for the whole day, or alternatively a relaxed weekend when I still prepare normal healthy Mediterranean-diet-style meals but also allow some treats on both days (like a cheese platter with guests, ice cream at the beach, not trying to avoid every carb on the menu at a restaurant). Either way, I would be eating clean during the week.

And I'm going to dance my booty off. Literally.

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