I have a good friend who believes that cake should be a food group and another who’s theme for life is to eat cake for breakfast. I share their love for cake. The fluffy layers with sugary frosting even better if topped with sprinkles for extra joy, OH MY! The first bite brings me joy and sometimes peace. Often when stressed throughout the years I would stop at the store and buy a piece of sheet cake. I appreciated that stores caught on to those of us that truly just wanted a piece of cake and started selling individual slices. Those slices would usually provide me a comforting treat for a couple of days.
As I continue to practice my physical wellness recovery, I have been stuck by the All of Nothing mindset that plagues the fitness field especially when it comes to diet. This idea that a piece of cake is cheating rather than being a part of a wellness practice. The thought that if you cheat then all of your progress is thrown out the window. How could it be when you are practicing the healthy habits the majority of the time that a moment of comfort or celebration brings all of that to end.
Enjoying the cake or the pizza does not mean that you have to start over. I am speaking to humans who are not preparing for a fitness show but those of us who are seeking a better overall wellness practice. The All or Nothing mindset is actually damaging to my emotional and mental wellness which in turn impacts my desire to continue my physical wellness. It is not a hard cycle to recognize. Here are two thought cycles that I have recognize in myself.
Thought cycle negative spiral
- Well, I ate this piece of cake and therefore my diet is ruined
- Why did I do that, I’ve been working so hard and now I’ve messed it all up
- I guess I shouldn’t even bother, it’s clear that I don’t have the mental mindset to do this fitness program.
- Well since I’ve already cheated, I might as well EAT ALL THE THINGS!
Thought cycle mindful wellness practice
- I feel like celebrating today, it was a hard day and some cake would taste really good
- (While practicing some mindful eating, I savor the cake and really enjoy it) That was so yummy, I love cake. I think I’ll have a little kitchen dance break – Yeah cake!
- I’ll make sure to track that in my Fitbit and well that took me a little over my calorie count for the day, but I can plan a little better tomorrow.
- Now back to the happy cake dance party!
Obviously, this is simplified but I call wellness and burn event recovery practices for a reason. You are not meant to achieve perfection with them. You are meant to learn, evolve, and change your practices as you grow, develop, and transform. Humans will have different wellness needs during different points in their lives.
Stop being so hard on yourself and Eat the Cake and have yourself a cake dance party.