It’s Monday morning and the week is stretched out in front of you. It feels like the last weekend flew past and next weekend is a marathon distance away. The working week ahead might feel like a daily grind of meetings and family commitments. In terms of food, how do you plan ahead?
For some, the idea of ‘reward’ becomes a means of making it through the week or day. The thought process goes something like this:
“I’m going to eat really healthily this week and my reward will be a takeaway this weekend” or “ I only ate a salad today so I’ll reward myself with a glass of wine when I get home”.
The cycle of restriction and reward becomes part of your daily and weekly routine, cementing the concept of being ‘good’.
Working towards ‘good’ allows you to indulge, to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Over time this way of thinking can become destructive, working towards your ‘reward’ can become a reason to avoid ‘bad’ food, or food that you perceive to be ‘bad’. The ‘reward’ may also become greater than planned, the Friday night takeaway becomes Saturdays leftovers or even Saturdays dinner out. The ‘reward’ begins to out weight all the food you have avoided.
Instead, what if there was no need to ‘reward’ or ‘restrict’? That everything held a balance and food choices for the week were made in the knowledge that your food was just ‘normal’?
This isn’t as far fetched as it might sound.
Plan ahead for your week with the understanding that you do not need to go for long periods without eating or being ‘good’. Allowing yourself to have food in moderation, whatever or whenever that may be is okay.
Knowing that you can eat regularly and enjoy various types of food throughout your day and week creates a line rather than a circle.
Removing the element of ‘reward’ eliminates that pressure to over-achieve. Instead, plan, relax and look ahead to to each day as it comes rather than face the marathon week that you’re previously accustomed too.