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Now seems to be the time of year when we are bombarded by fitness and nutrition “experts” reminding us not to succumb to temptations. They want to shame you from partaking in any perceived indulgence because it will assuredly sabotage ALL of your hard work, and results.

Wait!  What?  Really??  Everything…down the drain???

freedom-within-framework-exampleMany of us have frameworks that we use to make healthy decisions, especially around our nutrition and lifestyle habits. Sometimes we make the conscious choice to deviate from that framework, and if by sound mind and body you’ve done this, then I’m here to say, enjoy! Where I take issue is when one deviates from their usual path, then beats themself up over it. That’s double dipping in the worst way.

This deviation from your normal is often characterized as a “cheat”. Personally I loathe that term and feel that if you truly perceive it as a cheat then you’ve made the wrong choice and need to investigate deeper your motivation and values around food…as there is a disconnect to be owned and reconciled.

I should clarify that I am not talking about completely falling off the wagon. I’m talking about a serving-sized decision. Do you look forward to eggnog all year? Enjoy a glass. Have you been pining for a piece of your mom’s famous pecan pie? Savor a slice, but make it with intent, and make it quality.

Mexican-Hot-Chocolate1_edited-1For me, the perfect admittedly high maintenance indulgence is a dark hot chocolate from Caribou Coffee. A warm cup of goodness made with whole milk, with one less scoop of chocolate, and no whip on top. When I drink this glorious creation, I don’t try to convince myself that it’s healthy. I don’t evaluate the number of calories or sugar, etc, or more over think about what I have to do to “work it off”

I enjoy it. That’s all. Simple.

I encourage you to choose consciously and enjoy your indulgences rather than beat yourself up about them. To me, this perspective holds true not just for the holidays, but all year round. Make your choices and own them.

Life is about choices and finding balance!

– Written by Michael MSP Pilhofer