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Mindful Bytes: Special Occasion Math

I’ve posted this on Connect Canada before but it got such a great response I wanted to share it with you, along with some new thoughts on the subject.

The following is the most common mindset for those on health journeys searching for moderation:

“If I eat really clean from Monday morning to Friday morning, I should be able to ‘enjoy myself’ on weekends and special occasions!!!!.”

For me this Mon-Fri mindset was exactly what my goal was. It sounds sustainable. It sounds like how healthy people live. But that Mon-Fri mindset underestimates the impact of emotion on our health journeys. Emotion and eating usually comes from the negative side of the spectrum. We stress eat, we eat to numb the uncomfortable feelings we have. But in this situation the emotion comes from the celebratory side of our use of food. The good times that revolve around food, when we’re off work or during special occasions.

That celebratory emotion distorts how often we think we’re “enjoying ourselves”. We think we’re eating well 5 days out of 7, right? That’s about 70% healthy eating and 30% indulgent. And if you’re nailing all your health goals with that ratio I’m in no position to suggest a change. But if you’re struggling, let me break down the math for you: (if you don’t like math, just trust that I’m good at it and scroll past).

In a 365 day year:

  • There are 104 weekend days.

  • Let’s say 3 weeks for the December holiday season given when get-togethers and food gifts start showing up (3 weeks is 15 days excluding weekends which are already counted)

  • Let’s say 7 days for l