December 30, 2012

Cookies vs. Broccoli: Both/And not Either/Or

The inspiration for this post came about a week before Christmas when several dozen homemade Christmas cookies sat about 2 feet away from me on the dining room table.

I love cookies. Well, I should say I loved them. There was a time in my all-to-recent past where cookies had a chokehold on me. I couldn't be near one without eating it. Some days I actually sought cookies out, but those were rare. I would mostly just be in the vicinity of a cookie and wouldn't be able to resist consuming it.

Cookies used to be a regular grocery store staple for me, especially growing up. My mom would buy several packages each week for our school lunches or weekends or evenings--basically whenever.

I have no problem telling you I was a sugar addict, mostly because don't consider myself one today. 

Here's why:

while I do consume sugar, I don't constantly obsess about it
I rarely if ever seek to buy food containing processed sugar (either out or when buying groceries)
I rarely if ever use processed sugar in tea or while cooking
I am 100% aware of the effects sugar has on my body and mental spirit
I don't have negative thoughts/feelings of shame while consuming sugar or sugary foods
I rarely if ever prioritize consuming sugary foods over fruits or veggies

I could probably add a few more but that will do for now.

Oh, and I intentionally eat sugar in front of people who think I wouldn't or shouldn't because I'm a healthy life coach.

I listed those habits because they are in stark contrast to my former lifestyle and nutrition habits--direct opposites, in fact. I sat down and thought about my relationship to sugar now versus just a few years ago and definitely 8-10 years ago and that's what came up. There was no way I was thinking about green foods back then. I thought about vegetables as this annoyance that got in the way of my sugar consumption. I also obsessed about sugar like crazy, constantly wondering about my next fix.

And that was as recently as 2009.

And then I became a health coach. And things changed significantly.

And then I addressed my deepest fears, one of which ended up being my transgender identity. And then things REALLY changed.

I think I really realized how differently my nutrition, lifestyle habits and relationship to food have all changed when I was staring at those tins of cookies on the table and there was absolutely no one and nothing stopping me from eating as many as I wanted. Seriously. I mean, that's really my life every single day--no one is responsible for telling me what to do and how to live my life other than me. I have the power to do whatever I want, eat whatever I want, say whatever I want, and love, learn, clean, color, write, think, walk, dance and dress however I want--the list goes on and on.

The question is: with all this freedom of choice and expression--what do I actually choose? 

Because that is what defines who I am and the life I want to live.

On this particular day, I regarded those cookies and I heard myself say out loud, "yeah. cool. Yum. As soon as I eat something real and something green."

And that's exactly what I did.

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