Clients tell me all the time that their joy in life comes from eating. They think they’ll be bereft of happiness if they aren’t able to eat what they want, when they want.
But how true is this? What I’ve found is that these kinds of short-term happiness jolts are more than outweighed by the guilt and negative self-talk that results.
This makes sense when you think about the energy behind the thoughts.
Negative catabolic thoughts and emotions release the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals that literally cannibalize your body. They break down your immune system, stress your heart, and impact your muscles. Over time, this catabolic energy can cause everything from painful trigger points in your shoulders, to inflammation, to heart attacks. It can even impact your metabolism making it easier to gain and harder to release weight.
Positive anabolic thoughts and emotions allow your body to work for you down to the cellular level. Choosing a more constructive anabolic reaction releases endorphins and body supporting hormones that help your body heal, rebuild, and flow with physical energy.
Just like thoughts can be anabolic or catabolic, food can be anabolic or catabolic, meaning it’s either supporting your body or it’s hindering it. And sometimes what we think about our food can make it more or less anabolic or catabolic.
For instance, if you eat something “healthy” but you resent it and feel deprived, how anabolic is that going to be?
If you eat something “bad” but feel totally satisfied and appreciative and content, how catabolic is that going to be? What if you feel guilty about eating that same food?
The greatest potential for joy comes when our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and actions are all in alignment.
This is why following your eating plan and choosing an orange—most of the time—over a piece of cake or cookies results in a bigger and more sustainable jolt of joy. And when you do choose the piece of cake, it is important to totally and fully appreciate the experience of eating it.
What can you do today to go for the bigger joy you get from sticking to your plan to achieve what it is you really want in life? What difference does that make in your ability to reach your goals? How does that impact how much you enjoy life right now?
Together we can do it!
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