Why you should eat PIE for dinner

A few weeks ago I ate pie for dinner.

YEP, pie.

No salad first to make sure I got my greens or protein to keep me healthfully full.

JUST PIE.

And let me say, it was actually the last piece of pie from an entire strawberry rhubarb pie I’d been enjoying all week...all by my sweet self.

This was a major test for me. A grand experiment, of sorts.

After years of believing even the smallest amount of sugar would “ruin my health” and now incorporating more dessert into my life over the last 2 years, I was ready for this big leap.

I wanted to know: Could I let myself eat PIE, whenever my body wanted it, without feeling guilty? Could I let myself have pleasure, over and over again, without worrying about the sugar or the gluten or if it might make me fat?

Most importantly I wanted to know, could I TRUST myself to be alone with my favorite food and in a moment of insecurity NOT go ape-shit and eat the entire thing in one sitting to pretend like it never existed.

I talk to my clients about the big question of trust every day. (And if you’d like to talk about it too, let’s do it.) It takes an incredible amount of courage to trust yourself around the foods you’ve deemed treats or “only for special occasions”.  Though it’s nice to save certain foods for indulgences, this can often become a pattern of withholding. Without even knowing it we begin to tell ourselves that we can’t have this and we shouldn’t eat that and before we know it, we’ve created all kinds of food rules to keep ourselves in line, and then suddenly find ourselves binging on the exact foods we told ourselves not to eat.

What a cycle!

Thankfully there’s a path out of this maddening food merry-go-round that has saved my clients and me countless times.

Here are the 4 essential pieces to enjoying anything for dinner without the emotional backlash.

1)  You can have whatever you want, whenever you really want it-  Seriously, you can. The key is having that pie when your body asks for it.  Saying yes when you want it from that place of pure joy, when it’s the only thing in the world that you can imagine eating, RATHER than stuffing your face with something sweet because you lack sweetness in your life or because you need a treat to counteract the pain in your day.

2)  Choose your wellness-  Both cookies and kale fall under wellness in my book. Wellness is that THING that makes you feel best both in the moment and after.  I’m sure there have been times when all you wanted was a cookie but you ate kale instead because it was the more “responsible” choice. How did you feel after? Proud yet unsatisfied? Antsy and looking for something else?  Then that was not your best choice for wellness. When we can let go of black and white thinking around our wellness (kale is good, cookies are bad), we open ourselves to the possibility that everything is wellness and our choice simply depends on where we’re at in that particular moment.  TWEET THIS.

3)  Ditch the guilt-  There are countless studies to tell you sugar’s bad.  And as health conscious people we want to live as long as possible, which naturally leads us to feel GUILTY every time we eat a “bad” food. And yet we also all have stories about grandparents who lived til 93 enjoying daily danishes and cups of coffee with cream.  The moral of the story?  When your body says YES to pie, enjoy it without the guilt.  When your body says no to pie, honor that without tripping on, “But I’ll never let myself have pie again so I should eat it NOW.”  Nothing sucks the joy out of food quicker than guilt.  Choose your wellness, whatever it may be, and own it, guilt-free.

4)  Trust your body- As I mentioned earlier, when I ate pie for dinner it was the last piece of a pie I’d been eating all week.  What I didn’t mention is that it took me 3 days to approach that last piece of pie.  Why?  Because my body wasn’t interested in it until then. Let me be clear. This was not an act of supreme willpower. Had I wanted pie earlier, I would have eaten it. However in tapping into what it would feel like to eat the pie and have it sit in my tummy, my body kept saying no.  And so I waited until I heard a yes.

Trusting your body means checking in with what’s most real from that nugget of knowing perched in your gut. Your body knows when she requires pie. She also knows when she requires tenderness and compassion. The issue is that we often get those signals crossed. Your only job is to keep the ego at bay, listen and honor what’s most true.

Here’s the deal:  Saying yes to yourself and to what your body wants is no small thing so be gentle with yourself in this grand experiment. See if you can choose your wellness from what your body wants rather than letting old stories, insecurities and food rules hijack the situation.

Let go of guilt. Trust yourself and before the summer ends, ask your body if she’d like pie for dinner.

Lots of love,

Jamie

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