When it comes to eating for pleasure, it’s important to be aware of these distinctions:
Short-term pleasureable eating, versus Long-term pleasureable eating
Carving out room for both allows us a nice balance between nutritional spontaneity (what do I feel like having?) and longer-term self care practices (what will help me feel well in the long-run?)
Short-term pleasure at its best: You learn to trust and listen to your body’s wants and desires in the present moment. You are in your body and experience joy and satisfaction with eating. You are present and engaging in your senses and life.
Living in short-term pleasure without consciousness: You may only “feel like” eating the same 5 foods everyday or you may make all your decisions about food based on your emotional state. Eating is reactive with little thought to how you’ll feel afterwards or over time. Neglect may lead to imbalance in the body. Eating may be a way to protect from difficult situations or painful feelings surfacing.
Long-term pleasure at it’s best: You know what strategies need to be in place over time for your body and mind to feel supported and well. You really start noticing how things make you feel over time and take this into consideration when choosing what to eat. You take a stand for feeling well.
Living in long-term pleasure without consciousness: You may become too fixated to “sticking to the plan” and live from heads agenda, actually ignoring the body. Your diet might look good on paper, but your inability to have food spontaneity from time to time creates anxiety. You may miss out on the joy of eating. Managing eating may be a way to protect from facing difficult situations or a pre-emptive way to make sure painful feelings do not arise.
Hanging with the opposites
Can you see how both long-term and short term pleasure are helpful for your eating? And also, without consciousness, how either energy can simply have it’s way with you?
Your Mission: To find the balanced “sweet spot” between honoring what you want right now and long-term strategies that are worth it to you.
I’ve learned this myself and it’s been invaluable to me, an ongoing conversation, and I can track pretty clearly where my clients land on this continuum and what practices to integrate to better balance things out and relax the whole internal system around eating in general.
No need for the knee-jerk back-and-forth between these two eating styles…
Thanks for reading.