Est 6 min read
Confession, I still let the vegetables rot in the fridge. In fact, there is some broccoli and lettuce that have turned into a stinky mess in my fridge, right this moment.
This looks really different than it used to look. First of all, it's not all the time… it's more the exception than the rule.
It used to be on the regular. I would get excited about some new plan or “getting healthy” or feel like I “should” cook more vegetables. I would go buy a bunch of vegetables and stuff the fridge full. But then I wouldn’t cook them. I’d feel so guilty every time I saw them in there. It’d go from a couple of days, a week, then two weeks, and then you know, it's become this swamp soup-smelly grossness at the bottom of the vegetable drawer. I’d have to gather my energy to deal with the mess and throw them out. I’d have all these pangs of guilt and shame.
I’d feel bad about being wasteful but I also would feel like there's something wrong with me. I’d say things to myself like “why can't I just eat healthy” and reprimand myself that I should be eating “healthy”.
How is it different today? I’ve let go of the judgment. I'm fine with the fact that I sometimes let the vegetables rot. That actually happened to me this week. I gave myself grace and recognized that while I want to cook things from scratch and eat veggies, I was just in a state of overwhelm.
Yes, overwhelm still happens to me and yes, I have been eating a lot fewer vegetables than usual because of all of the things happening in my life. I am preparing to travel for almost a month. I need to do my taxes, my business taxes, my mom's taxes, and her late husband's estate taxes. In addition, I’m trying to write a book, run my normal business, life in general, and all the heaviness in the world.
Even when we aren’t busy, with everything that's happening in the world, it's really easy to feel exhausted, heavy, and weighed down. There's this emotional exhaustion that comes with the chronic crisis that we've all been living in and all of these other, big, painful traumatic events happening. That can suck all your energy for anything above and beyond surviving.
Again, I don't judge myself. Number one, I give myself a break today. Secondly, I don't make it about my value and worth. I recognize that my value and worth do not change based on what I cooked, ate, or even if I was wasteful. My coaching is not worse because of this, there's nothing wrong with me because I didn't manage to cook and eat the vegetables I bought.
Another aspect of this pattern that makes it easier to accept is that it's not happening all the time. I’m more realistic about my bandwidth, and I make doing things like food prep to care for myself a priority most of the time. I'm able to consistently purchase food from the grocery store and prepare it for myself and I feed myself regularly and well. Part of that is cooking for myself and making things that I enjoy, food that makes me feel good physically and brings out my vitality.
That said, I want to acknowledge my privilege here because I have access to fresh food. I can afford fresh vegetables (even conveniently prepped veggies that are more expensive), and there's a store that I really like that is really accessible for me and that is within walking distance of my house. I have a lot of privileges in my lifestyle as well, I work from home, I get to design my schedule in the way that I want. I also don't have small children anymore. My kids are grown, and I live alone. I get to make only the things I want in easy-to-make amounts or I make a batch and that lasts me a lot longer than in the past.
To recap- what are the things that have changed? Primarily my viewpoint.
I don't have shame around it and I don't beat myself up about it. It doesn’t define me. I see it as an attempt to care for myself and if I'm not able to follow through- I see it as a sign that there's a lot going on in my life and that I need more resources, support, and to slow down. It's the result of other things getting in the way of my self-care energy and time, and part of that is cooking for myself.
I hope this was helpful. I hope it gave you a little bit of relief. If you're someone who lets the vegetables rot every week and you're feeling terribly guilty about it, try to have compassion and curiosity. And maybe just don't buy them for a little while. If you are still wanting to eat vegetables, if that feels good and satisfying to you, see if you can invest a bit in making it convenient, get the salad bar or some pre-made vegetables. Meet yourself where you're at right now at this moment. Try to let go of the judgment about it and get really curious about why this pattern is happening and why you keep setting yourself up for failure and beating yourself up.
If you need more support or you would like to learn how you can work with me feel free to email me at Tiffany@coachtiffanyrn.com or you can take my quiz to find out what food attachment style you have.
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The first step to healing your relationship with food is reconnecting with the signals your body gives you. One of the ways to do that is by checking in with your hunger before you eat. Here's my spin on the traditional hunger scale..