Look, we all try our best to be healthy. But let’s get real, the day you need my help is not when you’re at your best; it’s when you inhale two brownies without taking your eyes off this week’s episode of the Bachelor.
Let’s get real, you’re not eating with intention!
Eating with intention means making a thoughtful, deliberate choice to consume (or not consume) something.
Generally when we eat things that are healthy, we’re super intentional. We grocery shop, make meal plans and even seek praise online. We’re like, oh hey instagram, look at this green smoothie I drank this morning. Gold star for me!
When we drive to the gas station at 10 pm in our pajamas just because we want some skittles (← totally fictional example, obviously), you probably aren’t going to see a photo online.
However, it’s just as important, if not more important, to be intentional in how we eat and drink “unhealthy” things like sweets and alcohol. The way you consume food and alcohol says a lot about how you feel about yourself.
To make it clear what I mean by eating and drinking with “intention,” let’s consider what unintentional eating and drinking looks like:
- Oops, I had 4 glass of wine so this pizza “doesn’t count.”
- I get a free pass for inhaling those 3 cupcakes because I had such a rough day at work.
- Everyone else is having another shot so I should too.
There’s a general lack of accountability and thought behind these food and drink choices.
Look, I get it. There’s a certain pleasure that comes with not being accountable when it comes to food and alcohol (and bad boys, since we’re being real 😈 ). But, unintentional moments have real consequences.
When you eat or drink without intention, it feels like things are happening to you. You become a bystander in your life and health.
It’s kind of like that cupcake ate you, not the other way around, which leaves you feeling guilty and out of control and takes a toll on your self-esteem.
Being intentional about food and alcohol isn’t always fun. In fact, it means facing sides of ourselves we don’t want to see/deal with/admit exist.
As with any substance, if you’re looking for an escape in food or alcohol, you’ll never find it. Instead, you’ll wake up and still have to face whatever was bothering you. Only now, you’ll feel even more defeated (and let’s be real, probably bloated).
So what’s a girl (or guy!) to do?
The good news is that eating with intention can still involve eating the cupcake/pizza or driving to the gas station for those skittles. As long as you’re making the thoughtful and conscious choice to consume something, you’re eating with intention.
Here are the thought patterns from above approached with intention:
- Oops, I had 4 glass of wine so this pizza “doesn’t count”→ I’m drunk, and I’d like some pizza. (intentional)
- I get a free pass for inhaling those 3 cupcakes because I had such a rough day at work.→ I’m stressed, so I’m craving sweets. If I still want a cupcake in a half an hour, I’ll eat one and enjoy every bite. (intentional)
- Everyone else is having another shot so I should too→ I don’t want a shot, so I’m going to pass. (intentional)
So what are some ways you can eat and drink with intention?
- Understand that being drunk is not a free pass to eat without intention.“Getting away with it” because you’re drunk is not a thing. (Sorry, love!)
- Don’t give into social pressure. If you don’t want that drink/piece of cake/kale salad, don’t have it.
- Don’t eat when you’re stressed/angry/overwhelmed. Take a bath or get some exercise. When you feel calmer, have a light meal.
- Treat your body like a bank account. Which foods deplete it? Which foods help it flourish? Every time you eat or drink something, you’re either making a deposit or a withdrawal. Make sure you’re not going broke!
- At meal times, sit your booty down at the table and just eat. No cell phones, no screens. Chew each bite at least 10 times.
- Don’t second-guess yourself when it comes to occasional treats. If you want that doughnut, have it. Savor it and then move on.
- Lastly, be real with yourself about your true motivations and feelings. You have to be self-aware if you’re going to be intentional.
Join the Conversation!
What are some ways you’re intentional about food or alcohol?