Despite the fact that it's not the least bit virtuous.
The worst meal is better than no meal, for the organism.
The above is something to remember when we start getting stressed about how good our nutrition is. I mention this because it's another place I see my clients getting wedged. Sometimes we swap calorie concerns for "nutrition" concerns - and it's true that there is something to be concerned about.
There are indeed some dubious food-esque items for sale out there. They're cheap and cheerful and fast and easy. And if we live on them exclusively we'll get sick.
But if we have them once in a while? It's probably better than not eating, don't you think?
Our ancestors did not have to be reminded of this. For them, it was a self-evident truth. Eating is better than starving, no big surprise.
Some days, everything goes well enough that you can pay attention to your nutrition. Some weeks, you can get enough time to plan thoughtfully, eat the rainbow, and meet your protein goal.
(Some of you will make that happen no matter what. And some of you have three kids and work the night shift. Circumstances vary.)
And so other days you have family emergencies or pantry emergencies or plumbing emergencies. Things ... EMERGE. That is the nature and structure of life. On those days, you eat, you survive, you run away to advocate for better nutrition another day.
That's when I like to remind myself that Delicious, Nutritish, and Non-Virtuous can save me. A bacon sandwich? DELICIOUS, filling, proteinaceous, and sure, full of Red Dye no. 86, but way better than nothing. Grok and his Paleo-era girlfriend would absolutely knock me out with a rock for my bacon sandwich.
Pizza? I consider pizza to be food, and you might like that idea too. Of courseit's not great to eat pizza every day. But that doesn't actually make it a non-food, and something you should feel bad about, like you compromised your virtue, if you ate it.
There are real consequences for the person who eats pizza at every meal: weight gain, ill health, budget problems. Getting shut out of heaven is not a consequence. So you don't have to come down on yourself like the stakes are so high.
Beating yourself up is unnecessary, does nothing to accelerate habit change - NOTHING - and takes precious time away from working to acquire better nutrition.
Just feed yourself and your kids and move on.
Anyway, that's the week! I'll be back next Tuesday with more help, ease, encouragement and the like.
Meanwhile, if you need a little extra support in the form of dedicated, personal assistance, I've got a very nice email accountability-and-coaching situation going. The people in it are finding that the continuity and attention is very helpful for their goals.
If that sounds like something you could use, join me. All the details are right here.
Image: Still Life with Cake, Raphaelle Peale, 1818, Metropolitan Museum of Art / Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund. Used with permission.
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