How to Guiltlessly Indulge During the Holidays
I promise you, this post is not what you think it is. Read on if my devil’s advocacy has peaked your curiosity.
Do you ever really want to bring up a conversation, but have no idea where to start? Bingo! That’s about where I’m at. Every time I sign into Facebook or Instagram or whatever SM platform, I’m seeing this topic being covered forwards and backwards. Which then begs the question, what on earth can I add here that you haven’t heard that would ACTUALLY HELP you?
So, when I don’t know where to start, I actually head straight to the dictionary. Oddly enough, reminding myself of the pure definition of a word always helps.
I hopped over to dictionary.com earlier and searched for the word ‘indulge’. And you know what I realized, I like the definition of this word sooo much that I actually wanted to share it. Here you go:
- to yield to an inclination or desire; allow oneself to follow one’s will (often followed by in)
- to yield to, satisfy, or gratify (desires, feelings, etc.)
My first thought after I reading both of these was this: I LOVE THIS WORD.
For some reason, I had it built up in my head, that this word was going to have a definition that made me feel negatively about it as a whole. But it didn’t. In fact, it made me feel POSITIVE. What can I say? I like words that make me feel like that. How could ‘following your will’ or ‘satisfying’ or ‘gratifying’ your feelings and desires possibly be a bad thing?! Ya know what I’m sayin’?
It got me thinking about, why I even thought this word was going to make me feel negatively in the first place? Where did that even come from?!
And then, it dawned on me. The context in which I see this word pop up the most is in the fitness industry. It’s usually thrown into a sentence that says something like “…if you indulge on that piece of chocolate cake at your nieces birthday party, just be sure not to skip out on your 3,000 calorie burning workout afterward…”, or “…indulgences like pizza and tacos are reserved for cheat days…”. Ummm…WTF! No wonder my default setting was to think that such a pleasure-able word was going to strike me down like a bolt of lightning. Yikes!
Lucky for us, now that we’re solid on what ‘indulge’ REALLY MEANS, I think we can move on to the original question around GUILTLESSLY INDULGING.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if ‘indulge’ means that I’m ‘following my will’ or ‘satisfying’ and ‘gratifying’ my feelings and desires, then despite what the fitness industry says, FOOD is certainly NOT THE ONLY WAY I can accomplish ALL OF THAT.
- Go outside and soak up a little sun
- Barefoot walk
- Drink Sloth Propeller
- Eat a square of 80% dark chocolate
- Text my best friend
- Hug and kiss my husband
- Stretch my ankles
- Cook delicious, nourishing food
- Support a local cafe
ALL of those things satisfy and gratify my wills and desires. Which means I’m participating in the act of indulging ALL THE TIME!
Could it be that having a broader definition of what it means to ‘indulge’ – one that doesn’t just make you feel bad about wanting a crumb of christmas cookie – one that allows you to feel like you’re indulging on the regular prevents us from ‘over-indulging’ and ‘binging’ the rest of the time (and especially during the holidays)?
These are the questions I’ve been asking myself ever since my date with dictionary helped me reframe this loaded word.
So here’s what I think. The fitness industry, among others, has reframed the definition of this word to such a degree that it’s MADE US THINK that the word ‘indulge’ means to ‘over-indulge’ + ‘binge’.
THIS IS A NON TRUTH.
NOWHERE in the dictionary def does it even elude to ‘chugging a liter of soda for breakfast’ or ‘shoving donuts into your mouth until your face hurts’. This word is about taking a step back, getting introspective and being honest with yourself about what you really want out of life. BY DEFINITION, this word is one that is meant HELP YOU SPREAD JOY from your fingers to your toes! And, isn’t that what this season is supposed to be about anyways?
Can you see why this is such a big deal?
So go on. Ask yourself this:
WHAT IS IT THAT I DO ON A REGULAR BASIS THAT GRATIFIES AND SATISFIES MY WILLS AND DESIRES AND FEELS LIKE AN INDULGENCE?
- Do you get a monthly mani/pedi
- Do you attend a vinyasa flow twice a week
- Do you meditate for 10 minutes every morning
- Do you read Lord of the Rings every night before bed
- Do you sip on my Sloth Propeller before you hit the books
If the above question is stumping you, then maybe the next question to ask is this:
HAVE YOU FOR SOME REASON PULLED-AWAY FROM THOSE THINGS IN ORDER TO NOT FALL BEHIND WITH THE STRESSORS COME ALONG WITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON (gift shopping, gift wrapping, travel planning, deadlines…)?
It’s probably these things (or the lack thereof) that you’ve listed above and do on a regular basis that lead either to satisfaction and gratification from a true ‘indulgence’ or the urge to ‘over-indulge’ and ‘binge’.