It’s the weekend!
I live in Los Angeles and there is always so much to do, on any day, but especially weekends.
Movies in the park, museums, beaches, coffee shops, restaurants, concerts, conventions, flea markets–too much to even mention it all!
L.A. is fun and full of a lazy, sunny energy that I’ve grown quite accustomed to. It’s not unusual to spend a Saturday “hiking”, as we call it, through Griffith Park, or riding bikes down 4th Street at sunset.
Sometimes weekends are spent picking through vintage treasures at the Pasadena Flea Market (although I personally find the best deals at Goodwill and Craigslist), or watching a Marilyn Monroe film at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (it’s not spooky, I promise!).
Weekends are fun. Sometimes they involve tasks that aren’t all that exciting, but in general they are days to relax, be outside, be with friends and family, and to create memories.
When I was caught up in the obsession of dieting and bingeing, my approach to the weekends wasn’t nearly as romantic (or boring, if you are the type of person who skydives or trains lions).
I didn’t dislike weekends, but I did find myself more focused on how I would maintain perfectly healthy eating or how I would maintain and hide my binge eating. When I was dieting, I was constantly threatened by events and people that might prevent me from eating, what I deemed, healthy foods. When I was bingeing, I wasn’t focused on much of anything besides eating as many “off-limit” foods as possible, and then recovering from feeling sick, tired, moody, and depressed.
It was difficult, nearly impossible, to approach life with curiosity, compassion, and creativity in those days.
I look back on all the time I spent being obsessed with food, either not eating it or eating too much of it, and it makes me sad that I habitually chose to place so much emphasis on what I was eating as a means to provide my happiness. It was narrow-mided and I often felt anxious, worried, and lonely for it.
I don’t think it’s wrong to spend time ensuring you can eat healthy during the weekends. I think it should definitely be a part of how you plan meals and outings. Eating healthy makes you feel your best, and gives you energy, and can contribute to a sane and creative mind. Eating healthy makes things like taking a long hike (or, rather, a rocky walk) or a bike ride much more pleasurable than if you did not eat healthy. It makes life easier and better.
But the obsession with eating, whether it is rooted in perfectionism, hedonism, or gluttony, can negatively effect your life. It can take over it.
Of course, we all have the right to choose how we want to approach this. You might resonate with my experiences and also seek to make your life about more than food, or you might resonate and disagree.
A challenge I have for myself is to approach the weekends (all days, for that matter) with an attitude that is ready to relax, ready to connect with people, ready to find beauty and inspiration in what I see and do, and ready to express love and creativity, and compassion to others and to myself.
It’s hard to get so wrapped up in perfect eating and self-sabotaging bingeing with these goals in mind.
It’s much easier to enjoy life, and much easier to enjoy the journey of healthy eating this way.
But this takes practice and time if you’re not used to it, so if you choose to makes these goals a part of your own life, show yourself patience and kindness when you seem to revert to old ways. Keep at it. Keep eating the kindest way you know how, keep choosing acceptance and love for yourself and others, and keep participating in the world around you.
Let me know–how do you approach the weekends? Has your diet or the way you eat ever prevented you from relaxing and creating positive memories, either by yourself or with other people?
Special Note – If you are currently eating in extreme ways, such as strict dieting or binge eating, and it is something you wish you would stop but feel you can’t, email me! Let’s chat more about it because I KNOW there is always a way out of these destructive habits. firstname.lastname@example.org
Image from DustJacket.