The oxford online dictionary defines the word mindful as ‘remembering somebody/something and considering them or it when doing something’
The word indulgence is defined as the ‘state or act of having or doing whatever you want; the state of allowing somebody to have or do whatever they want’.
When put together, the words mindful and indulgence could form quite the parallel oxymoron; contradicting each other to no end. Yet they both fit perfectly together. Are they completely contradicting each other though? Can someone be mindfully indulgent?
Indulgence is very often used in a negative way. Take foods and fluids we consume for example. Indulgence is associated with a dessert or wine not that it is bad to have these and is a topic for another blog. However, indulgence is just a word and can be used in a positive way too.
Why not say indulge in some ‘high fibre’ foods or ‘calcium rich’ drinks? After all, indulgence is to have or do whatever we want. So, if I want to have a full bowl of veggies ‘I am indulging in a full bowl of veggies’ or I am being mindful that eating vegetables is beneficial to my gut and so I am mindfully indulging in a full bowl of veggies. These words though contradictory by meaning is now ceasing to be contradictory of each other because we are indulging in a bowl of veggies to improve gut health. It will be a mindful indulgence to take care of our gut health.
When we stop stigmatising words in association with foods and drinks, we will be truly free to indulge in a plate of delicious chocolate creamy rich cake because we felt like it. We are being mindful of how we feel about having that cake and fulfilling what we need or want at that point in time. Only then can we identify why our body is craving that plate of cake or bowl of veggies.
To be able to understand why we eat the things we eat we must first stop either incriminating or glorifying the contents on our plate. Food and drinks should not be labelled as “good” or” bad”. The only label it should have, is its' name. E.g. ‘chocolate cake’ without adding the sentence ‘I know it’s not healthy BUT I feel like it today’ or I’m already having unhealthy meals this week so why not indulge in cake too and I can start eating healthy next week.'
You can eat veggies for dinner, fruit at snack and yoghurt as dessert or you can have pie at lunch, hot chips for snack and cake as dessert. It doesn’t matter. What truly matters is considering why we are doing the things we do and that it is alright to do them freely without feeling guilty or attaching labels if we know why we are doing them. This liberation will direct your cravings and appetite to truly meet the needs of your body.
When we know, we can do. Try it.
After reading this there may be some questions like...
'Easy said but I have diabetes or poorly controlled blood sugars or I live with heart disease or just suffered a stroke; how do I not label foods as 'bad' or 'good' for me?'
If you live with chronic disease(s) and would like to know more about mindful indulgence with chronic conditions you can speak with me. I do Telehealth consultations as well as some face-to-face for those who prefer that mode of consultation.
Have a lovely week dear readers !!