Category: Food

What to do when you have a bad week

Sometimes you just have a bad week. As much as I want to eat freekeh and quinoa and kefir and fruit and veg, sometimes I just have a bloody bad week. I always wonder if I will be the kind of lifestyle hippie that doesn’t have bad weeks, because my health and diet regime isn’t a regime – it’s just my life. But I’m not a lifestyle guru. And I’m not a twenty-something hipster with the metabolism of an Olympiad. I’m a 46 year old late adopter trying to be healthy and happy. And sometimes that means I just have a bad week.

“Bad week” means when things are just a bit rubbish on a lot of fronts. I’m tired, it’s cold and dark at this time of year, I get bills I wasn’t expecting, I’m reading too much into things people say and do, I over think things I’ve said and done or not said and done. And before you know it I want a thousand hash browns and five bottles of wine.

Well last week was just that kind of week. I managed pretty well considering. I stayed away from chocolate and wine (mostly) and kept to some simple eating habits. But all I felt was deprived and miserable.

Then My Mate Laura messaged on Saturday morning to say that she and My Other Mate Alice we’re going for a grown up coffee date and did I want to come. Frankly I wanted to stay in bed and binge watch Suits, but I asked her to tell me when she was leaving so I could put a bra on and get myself over there.

Best. Decision. Ever.

We drank coffee and ate carbs. We laughed a lot and cried a little bit. And then we had more coffee. There were lots of things I was supposed to be doing, there were other places I was supposed to be, I had a list of chores as long as my arm. There were things I wasn’t supposed to eat and drink and things I was. But you know? Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to let that go. Sometimes letting go is more important than all the woulds and shoulds and supposed-tos.

Life is to be enjoyed. We should delight in the world and each other. And when we’re having a bad day or a bad week, we can just go with it. It’s not about trying to make the bad feelings go away. It’s about letting the bad feelings happen, acknowledging them and then riding them out. And to do that, we need to get ourselves out of bed, put our bras on and go and meet our friends for a grown up coffee date.

Tomorrow will be better. Next week will be better. I can eat vegetable lasagna and stir fried tempeh next week. This week I need coffee and hugs. And that is in no way a bad thing.

Give yourself permission to live

My Mate Shaz is the bomb. She is funny and sweet and normal and kind and real and warm. We all have that friend who we text when we’re stuck on a train and busting for the loo (not necessarily based on real events….). She’s the person I text when I’ve done something dumb. She’s the person I text when something weird happens. She’s also the person I text when I feel like a total flop as a parent. And I count myself one of the most blessed people alive that Shaz in not my only Mate like this.

These friends are the most important thing in the world. They are your community, your family, they are your “people”.

So when Shaz asked me to meet up for lunch, I only had to think for about….er….a nano-second. In the picture, you’ll see I opted for something vaguely salady but which also came with hash browns, haloumi (always a massive fan of squeaky cheese), and hollandaise sauce.

Well, that’s not very healthy and simple and hippy-eating righteousness. No it was not. But I never intended to eat like a Tibetan monk when I went out for lunch with My Mate Shaz. That’s because sometimes you need to give yourself permission to live, to indulge, to enjoy, to delight.

I have a love-hate relationship with food. But one thing I have long known is that food is social. It brings people together. We engage over food, we talk, we laugh. My food choices today were not about having an excuse to blow out. I wasn’t trying to trick my brain into moving my boundaries. At the same time, I wasn’t trying to emotionally blackmail myself into making healthy choices.

My choices today were about Having Lunch With My Mate Shaz. The choices were yum, no doubt. But they were purely a mechanism by which me and Shaz came together to talk and be slightly inappropriate and giggle. It was just a framework in which to delight in friendship and act way younger than we actually are.

Life is about having healthy attitudes and discernment. It’s also about living and having a generous spirit and an open smile to the world. The two are not incompatible.

I loved every choice I made today. I reckon it’s taken 10 years off me (that’s what I think anyway. My kids do not think so, but what do they know?).

Live life. Love life and laugh always. Have joy and be silly. Find your People and treasure them, because we all help each other on this journey.