Hey Beautiful, Sassy People!

This week in our Coffee Chat, you heard Lindsay and I chatting about Indulging.


Indulgence is one of those terms that people in the bariatric world tend to avoid and ignore. We don’t want to talk about it. We want to pretend it doesn’t happen and keep this façade that we are perfect…the reality is – we are not. Nobody is.


Sure, we can fake perfect for a period of time. But eventually cravings hit, events happen, and indulgences occur – even to the most disciplined bariatric patients.


Indulgence means something different to each person, so part of figuring out what works for you, in your journey is deciding what indulgence means to you. Do you allow yourself a regular indulgence? What specific foods will you allow? How often? What are your limits around them? Creating these guidelines around your indulgences can help minimize guilt that often occurs after we indulge.


For myself, I limited my indulgences in an extreme way during my loss phase. However, I didn’t limit all foods. I chose “trigger” foods for me that contributed to my obesity and I felt would be a slippery slope back there. I did not allow myself ANY baked goods, pasta, take out or ice cream during my loss phase. ZERO. Not one time in 10 months. I knew these foods were things I could not handle in moderation and I had to set firm boundaries for myself. Now that I’ve been in maintenance for over 3 years, I occasionally eat these foods, but definitely still limit my consumption. I do not keep ice cream in my house. I refuse to use services like Skip the Dishes or Uber Eats for take-out. I only do high protein pastas (lentil, black bean, etc.) and I limit baked goods (cakes, cookies, cupcakes) to the birthdays of my family members.


When I do indulge in these things, using these guidelines, I do so guilt free and it has never impacted the scale. When I stray from these guidelines (and I have occasionally), it makes me feel awful mentally and I have sometimes seen the scale creep, because old habits die hard!


When you make yourself guidelines for indulging – think about several things:

  • Which phase of your journey are you in? Maintenance or loss? How will these guidelines be different in each phase?
  • What are your “slippery slope” foods? What things can you have in moderation and what things can you not even be in the same universe as?
  • How often do you feel you can consume these foods? What are the limitations around this? Is it weekly? Monthly? Annually? When a certain family member visits, etc.
  • How will you hold yourself accountable for this? (i.e. I don’t use those delivery services and ice cream doesn’t come in my house)
  • Who will support you? Ask your friends and family to support your guidelines. Share them and request that they support you. Sometimes the people in our lives don’t know HOW to support us and that’s why they don’t. If you make it clear to them, it’s easier!


Take some time to really think about this. Put pen to paper and make some firm decisions on what this looks like for you.


Here is a hard truth for you: If you are early in your journey, it’s easy to think “I will never indulge” and I’ll be honest – if any of us had that kind of will power – we probably wouldn’t have become obese in the first place! Be real with yourself. This is a lifetime journey – set yourself up for LONG TERM success by considering and then overcoming as many obstacles as you can.


For those of you that are further out: It is never too late to put these guidelines in place! Create a plan that works for you and STICK TO IT! You’ve done it before, and you can do it again!


Until next week,

Indulgence Mindfully,