Indulgence and Balanced Living – you can have both!

I recently enjoyed a fabulous girls weekend away at the Hunter Valley. And if you’re not familiar with the Hunter, it is known as the ‘Wine Country’, also famous for its amazing food – mostly cheeses and chocolate. Totally my ideal weekend getaway location!

A year ago, a girls trip to the Hunter Valley that involved 3 days of unlimited wine, cheese and chocolate would have set off my anxiety like you wouldn’t even believe. This was because I was stuck in the mind set that certain foods are ‘good’ and certain foods are ‘bad’; and wine, chocolate and cheese most certainly did not come under the ‘good’ category! I did not for one second believe I could eat any of these foods and still maintain my ideal physic or a healthy body for that fact. They were ‘bad’ foods that I feared, I would not allow myself to eat them, end of story.

Yes this mind set resulted in a lean physic, but did that physic equal happiness? Hell no. I constantly felt restricted and deprived and never satisfied. I’ve always had a major sweet tooth and loved my chocolate but I wouldn’t allow myself to have it. Honestly, I have never been so miserable in my life as I was for the 2 years of my eating disorder.

But now having pulled myself out of that terrible disordered eating and mental state, I understand and practice a balanced way of living that is much more sustainable and enjoyable. Leading up to the Hunter Valley weekend away I felt relaxed, calm and so at peace with my body. And for once, I was excited to eat ‘imperfectly’!

You can indulge and enjoy the foods you love and still maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I’m a huge advocate for the 80:20 way of eating – eat healthy, wholefoods 80% of the time and indulge in whatever foods you love 20% of the time. This way you never feel deprived or restricted, and you allow yourself to mindfully enjoy the foods you crave and love. From experience, I find this approach has helped to stop my binging because I don’t feel the need to eat all the foods all at once; I know I can have more later.

These occasional indulgences will not result in weight gain I promise you! Your body responds to what you do most of the time and it can handle these small indulgences. What it can’t handle is the terrible restricting than binging than restricting again cycle. Trust your body, it knows how to metabolise and digest these foods when eaten as part of a balanced diet.

I placed complete trust in my body over the 3 day Hunter Valley weekend away. I ate my normal 3 meals a day and snacked in between when I felt I needed it, made the healthiest choices I could with what I had in front of me (luckily all the Hunter Valley food is sourced locally and is so fresh!) and allowed myself to freely indulge in many glasses of Moscato, wine and cheese tastings, plenty of locally handmade Hunter Valley Chocolate and of course dessert each night at our beautiful dinner locations. Because if you look at the bigger picture, I’m not trying to achieve some incredible lean, body builder physic. I just want to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and most importantly, live a healthy happy life free of restriction! I didn’t want to look back on the weekend with regret or sadness, feeling like I missed out.

After being back for a couple days now, I can tell you all the wine, cheese, chocolate and other amazing indulgences have impacted me in no way other than making me feel so incredibly happy, fulfilled and grateful for the weekend I had. I don’t weigh myself anymore, but my clothes fit exactly as they did before. I trusted my body and it did its job.

Indulgence is a part of life. And it definitely can be apart of a healthy, balanced life because, as I mentioned, the body responds to what we do MOST of the time, not occasionally. I love and thrive off my healthy, wholefood based diet that I eat 80% of the time, but I just as much enjoy my occasional indulgences of Moscato, vegan chocolates, gelato and cheese platters! Eating these things doesn’t make me any less healthy or balanced in my way of living. But what it does make me is a whole lot happier and satisfied in my life.

Be sure to join me over on Instagram (@eb.fiitness) for daily motivation, recipes and fitness tips! xxx

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