What is YOUR Snickerdoodle?
I love cinnamon. In my coffee, on my meats, in my power green shakes, on all the baked goods. It’s my favorite power spice. Even better, combine cinnamon with sugar, flour, butter, love (and the best recipes probably sneak in essence of unicorn and magic dust) and you’ll create one of my favorite vehicles for cinnamon. Today, my inspiration draws from the happiest of all cookies -- the simple, the glorious, the Snickerdoodle. Simply saying it out loud makes me smile. If you’ve never experienced a snickerdoodle, I recommend looking into it pronto.
Anyway, I haven’t eaten a snickerdoodle in months, since I don’t regularly partake in cookies. Correction, I don’t regularly ALLOW myself to eat the cookies, at least without the blacklash of guilt, self-judgment, and promise to “get back on it” tomorrow. This is all a mindset, and I’ve become more and more aware of the fact that this mindset does not work for me and does not work in creating the sustainable and healthy lifestyle I desire. In the past week even, as part of my assignments from my Precision Nutrition coaching program, I’ve realized even more clearly the sneaky ways that I compromise my own enjoyment.
This past weekend I had decided to practice self-permission, to allow myself to enjoy the things that I love, as a way to let go of my long-standing default either to restrict or to indulge with guilt. Over the past few years of practice, lots and lots of practice for sure, I’m definitely more liberal, more loving, and more forgiving, but my old ways do creep in. With any change of deep set behaviors, it’s a process. “Lara, loosen the eff up” is a common self-reminder that keeps me fresh.
Instead of giving to my worry about to-dos, work, “clean eating,” I let go, and physically took myself outside of my usual home-Peets-Whole Foods -work-gym bubble and traveled two hours away with the lady. We enjoyed the sunshine, watched plenty of live music, and I actively and consciously made CHOICES (with some mild hesitation) to eat and drink exactly what I wanted.
I purposefully choose not to switch to healthier alternatives I wouldn’t truly enjoy or make compromises justified by what my ego tells me what I do or do not deserve. I simply asked myself twice if I truly wanted said item, made a decision, and enjoyed. All the while, I allowed resistance to enter when it did, and mindfully and critically examined my impulses to say no, restrict, think about body composition, talk about my belly fat, or feel guilt.
So on top of the ambience and good company, my list of pleasurables included pulled-pork nachos, pizza, coconut milk ice cream, cabernet, blood orange cider, fish tacos, and my beloved and perfectly crisp and chewy snickerdoodle. Believe me, this was not an easy practice for me, especially when you consider the obvious increase in caloric intake and the implications of such. Still, I decide what is to be for me, and I viewed this as a necessary step on my path to moderation, balance, self-love, and overall life mastery. Tough decisions, but someones gotta do it.
Come Monday, my body definitely felt a little sluggish from some of the food and dranks I had welcomed in. I was smiling though, as I truly enjoyed the weekend and had accepted my choices. I also did decide that I wanted some vegetables and that I’d ease back into the regular and healthier foods I naturally and happily eat.
And then my manager dropped a bomb on my good intentions. At 9:00 AM after a quick business talk and just before I could leave the office, she proceeds to open an unassuming little white box right in front of me. “Oh, would you like a snicker doodle?” she says to me just as my eyes lock onto the stacks of my heavenly golden favorites.
Holy eff. Seriously? I already had my snickerdoodle and friends yesterday. Am I going to snickerdoodle it up again today? I haven’t even had any vegetables, or protein. Or breakfast. This cannot be right, Lara. You’re already puffy from the weekend. You don’t need another one of those.
And after one more look at my lovelies and one more second of hesitation, I got a glimpse of clarity. I smiled, said “yes.” Took and cookie, said thank you, and strutted my way through the gym (where I am one of the personal trainers on staff), with my exposed and clearly visible, snicker doodle in hand. I knew it was “unnecessary” and even superfluous, but I decided. Snickerdoodle for breakfast.
Call it rationalizing or whatever you my like. I hold that “the greater powers that be,” the universe, life, will always throw at you the exact thing that you need.
Yes, I definitely needed (ok ok wanted) a cookie. I said yes to cookies this weekend, and the universe brought me more (Teehee). Yes, I do see that my body in fact did not need a cookie. What I needed was another opportunity to push backpractice loving thoughts. Does loving action require that we eat the snickerdoodle, pizza, extra piece of cake, whole bag of chips, or your food of choice. Of course not. But, the loving action means choosing not to revert back into punishment and restrict mode. Instead, sometimes it means to choose to eat the damn cookie, slowly and mindfully of course, to own it, love it. To loosen the eff up, let go and see with our own eyes that you can eat the thing and everything WILL be ok.
What’s your snickerdoodle? Why do we hesitate to accept more of what we enjoy? When is it more important to say eff it and eat the damn cookie? When we weigh in about what’s the more beneficial choice for us in any given moment, especially around food, it’s important to consider our motivations. Which is truly the more loving thing to do. Yes it may not instantly or logically lead to a flatter stomach. Sometimes eating the cookie, indulging in the less “acceptable” choice, pushing back against your own self-judgments, might give you the perspective you need to allow yourself the more valuable experience of true enjoyment and pleasure.