It's OK To Indulge

Debbie Gisonni
 


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Indulgences come in many forms—cleaning services, massage therapists, hair colorists, gardeners, or even a quiet bath. Ironically, the indulgence that women are always meant to feel horrible about is one that was not only permitted but encouraged in my family—eating your favorite foods. In an Italian household, food equated to life, comfort and happiness. Given today’s obsession with dieting and the ultra thin body, the consumption of one chocolate caramel could send a Goddess packing for a week-long guilt trip.

If I see one more ad about a “low-carb" food, I’ll gag. Low carb to the 2000s is like low sugar in the 90s or low fat in the 80s—pick your craze and the media will eat it up, so to speak. Yes, I do understand the health risks of being overweight and under exercised, and I don’t condone poor eating habits or couch potatoes, but I do believe that excessive restrictions only leads to more problems. Moderation in eating is the key. Sometimes denying yourself that one special treat can result in a major food binge later on.

Another way I choose to indulge myself is spending time with my Goddess friends—a totally delightful treat for me. Some women have a difficult time making this a priority in their lives, mainly because they feel guilty if they don’t spend all their free time with their husbands, partners or children. While the role of the nurturer is a commendable one, if you don’t nurture yourself, what have you got left to give to others? Getting out a bit on your own will make you a better mother or lover. Some of my friend’s husbands have a hard time when their wives go out with girlfriends. The husbands feel rejected and abandoned, and frequently try to make my friends feel guilty for having any fun without them. Needless to say, these couples have been in and out of therapy.

It’s perfectly okay to indulge as long as you’re not hurting yourself or another person. And, never allow yourself to feel guilty about it afterwards as that negates all the enjoyment you received, which was the objective in the first place. Life should be enjoyable. If we constantly deny ourselves that which feeds our body, mind and spirit, we can never be happy. Indulgences give you something to look forward to after a long day or difficult week. Like a personal mini vacation, they give you a quick mental health break by allowing you to do something that makes you feel good or frees up a little time. Famous chef Julia Child said, “Life itself is the proper binge. " Sometimes you just need to have your cake and eat it too. And…don’t forget the ice cream!

5 Ways to Indulge:

  • When you’re receiving a service such as a massage or hair cut, keep your thoughts on the pleasure of the experience, rather than on your “to do" list.

  • Within your budget, hire people to do chores if it allows you more quality time with your family and friends.

  • Regardless of your diet, if you absolutely must have something that’s not on it, and it won’t cause you physical harm, eat it and enjoy every bite. Go back on the diet the next day, guilt-free!

  • If you have children, trade babysitting time with other mothers so you can have time alone or time with your partner.

  • Always indulge in moderation, or it will lose its special feeling.

    Excerpted from the book: The Goddess of Happiness, A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss

    Debbie Gisonni, aka The Goddess of Happiness™, is an author (The Goddess of Happiness: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss and Vita’s Will: Real Life Lessons about Life Death & Moving On), speaker, happiness expert and columnist for iVillage.com. Contact: http://www.goddessofhappiness.com

    Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Debbie Gisonni

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