Is it okay to indulgeHey Tracy,

I hope all is well. Your blog has helped me so much with the mental emotional aspect of this crazy thing called our body, but I’ve had a dilemma on my mind…

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I realized I have developed a really unhealthy restricted mindset for food.

I felt like it was a sin to even think about having some of yesterdays “treats” at our family feast. I know people say avoid sugar and gluten at all costs! Even though there is value to that, I hate that fear! and it is not practical.

I see many of my family members and friends who are strong and healthy who don’t live in fear of foods that can cause issues. I guess what I’m asking is if I’m doing my best on a regular basis to keep good digestion and real foods in my body, is it okay to indulge in whatever food you want once in a while?

I had the thought of being at my future wedding and denying my own wedding cake because of all this fear, that is not cool.

I’d appreciate your opinion Tracy, do you allow yourself to “indulge” once in a while?

I feel like god made us to be strong and there is a lot of people who in their life right now have to survive on subpar food. Rather than be neurotic about being organic every damn meal all my life, I feel like a burger and fries can be so empowering when the time calls for it.

The Answer is YES!

HECK YES! I do indulge.

I used to not because of the exact same guilt and fear that you feel right now.

But yesterday at Mother’s Day, I had a pretty big slice of cheesecake. And every time I go and visit my parents now, we have dessert. And I eat it. And I like it. And I enjoy it without guilt or fear.

And you’re right, it’s way more practical that way, because I don’t have to spend my time thinking up ways that I can avoid taking part in the fun. I can just relax and enjoy my family.

Tracy Raftl and her mom
Me and my mom at my wedding. Yes I had a piece of cake at my wedding.

Sometimes I have moral dilemmas in my heart about what I say here at the Love Vitamin. I say “Yes. Eat healthy so you can clear your skin”. And well, I do believe nourishing food is very important to healthy clear skin.

But then, of course, with acne victims, it’s like… there’s this humongous dose of fear involved, which makes it complicated. And no matter what I say, it’s not going to stop people from being afraid about it.

As you say, regular people just go around eating healthy, and it’s no big f’n deal. And they’re happy and strong and don’t live in fear. They just eat food, they don’t agonize about it, and when they indulge, it’s like…. whatever.

But Then There’s Acne, and All That Fear…

But then when you’re eating healthy because of fear, there’s a whole ‘nother level there. And it gets super neurotic. And then truthfully I feel really guilty about that because I in no way want to contribute to this neuroticism where people are stressed out about having a single piece of cake at their own damn wedding.

So I’m in a bit of a bind with this. Healthy food truly helps people with their skin, so I don’t want to just go “Yeah go ahead and eat McDonald’s every meal and who cares”…

But no matter how much I say “Yeah eat healthy but seriously relax a little about it”, people aren’t really going to do it. Sure they might indulge, but they’re going to feel guilty about it.

The only true way to get over this is to work on your emotional healing, and release that fear – because, really, as much as you may want to deny it, unhealthy food isn’t the problem. Fear is.

I feel like I’ve finally healed emotionally from this whole acne thing, which is the reason that I can now break the “rules” and indulge regularly  – without getting scared about it. Emotional healing is a personal journey, with no one path to success so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this, but next post I’ll give you some ideas.

Find That Balance

At the same time, you need to dance your way into your own little balance that works for you. Find that place where you are eating healthy food most of the time, but that you are not feeling deprived or jealous of “normal” people …

You have to find that sweet spot where you can go away for a weekend with friends, have a beer with your colleagues, enjoy Christmas dinner at your family’s house, use a processed condiment with your dinner, or heck, just have a chocolate bar one night because you damn well felt like it ….and feel totally cool about it.

Seriously… it’s gonna be okay. You have every permission to enjoy life to its fullest. When you get nervous, harness the spirit of the “normal” healthy person who eats healthy without making it into a big deal. Remember that that’s a thing that exists. That can be you.

Your skin is likely to be every bit as good if you generally eat well but relax about food than if you stress about every little morsel. The stress cancels out that extra effort.

Health is an accumulation of all kinds of little actions over time – it’s not about being perfect, it’s not just about food, and it’s not going to all unravel at a moment’s notice because of one thing you ate. I completely agree that a burger and fries can be so empowering when the time calls for it. Absolutely.

I’M TELLING YOU *me shaking you vigorously* the joy and happiness that you get from eating with friends and family gives you 10 health points, where as that one slice of cheesecake you had maybe minuses you a measly two.

Don’t worry, you’re in the clear.

Do you think you have an unhealthy relationship with food because of acne? I want to say I’m sincerely sorry if I’ve played any part in this.