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Is it self-care or self-sabotage?

Is eating a piece of pastry or having a glass of wine self-care or self-sabotage? It depends on the underlying need or desire. Is it the need to self-soothe, comfort or self-medicate? Or is it the desire to celebrate life and enhance it?

So, basically there are two fundamental questions: “Is this treat (or meal) a life-enhancing activity, or is it a behavior, which creates a negative spiral and enforces old negative patterns, resulting in guilt and shame?”

Many of you know that I don’t believe in “All or Nothing”, “Black and White”, “Good and Bad” thinking. Diets are obviously designed to create a split: You are either “good” by resisting treats and so-called comfort foods, or you are “bad” and consequently feeling like a failure or a hopeless case if you “fall off the wagon”.

I’d like to propose a third dimension or space, which I will call: “Good enough for now.” Sometimes the best we can do is make a decision based on our energy levels, external demands, what’s in the fridge, eating at a restaurant or airport etc. Sometimes the best we can do is to go for the less than optimal choice, but it can still be good enough!

This is also a form of self-care because it gives us permission to be less than perfect. Mindful self-compassion remains to be the most useful, effective and powerful strategy when it comes to emotional eating.

We can learn to trust ourselves by tuning in to not just our physical hunger, but also to our need for a quick low key decision or solution, which will get us through… just for this moment. Self-care is multi-dimensional and complex - just as we are!

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