In accordance with Rule #2 for living and I’mperfect Life, eating for pleasure is part of living a happy, healthy lifestyle. I apply it to my life like this…

1) Eat foods that nourish me MOST of the time

2) Eat foods for pleasure SOME of the time

3) Eat foods I enjoy ALL of the time

This is part of my #noshame agenda but when it comes to eating for pleasure it’s important to recognize a few details.

First of all, there is NOTHING wrong with eating for pleasure, it’s completely normal behavior. The problem is that oftentimes we don’t understand what that really means.

What is eating for pleasure?

Eating for pleasure is eating something you truly enjoy at a time when you can truly enjoy it.

Sometimes that means eating a donut or two on a Sunday morning with a hot cup of coffee.

Sometimes that means having a junk food and movie night with your family in your living room.

Sometimes that means sharing a dessert with a friend after dinner just because you both agreed that it looked amazing.

It can also mean enjoying a celebratory meal or even indulging a craving for something as silly as a candybar.

Knowing the difference…

Eating for pleasure does not mean buying a dozen donuts then eating all of them as fast as you can in the car before you get home.

It doesn’t mean eating fast food because it’s convenient.

And it doesn’t mean eating in order to FIND joy in food because very little else does that for you.

It’s also important to recognize when your excuses for eating for pleasure become your excuses for eating, period.

What got me to 328lbs was always having an excuse to eat something for pleasure,”just this once.” (Read more HERE)

Excuses, justification, validation– all can seem completely legit in the moment but the effects add up quickly. So here are a few guidelines to help you TRULY enjoy your food when you’re eating for pleasure…

How to Truly Eat for Pleasure

1) Recognize the difference between “occasional” and “often

2) Be sure it’s something you truly enjoy and eat it consciously

3) Enjoy it and then move on recognizing that it’s NOT a failure

4) Stop before you feel full, remembering that there’s no pleasure in feeling uncomfortably full

Which brings me to reminding you that there’s also nothing wrong with throwing away food! So let the server take it before it’s gone and DON’T take it home. Eating it later doesn’t make it better, “Starving Children in Africa Do Not Want Your Leftovers!” And don’t bring your indulgences in your home where it not longer becomes a pleasurable meal or experience, okay?

Eating for pleasure sometimes allows us to live real life and eat real food. As long as we can do that in a way that makes us feel good– physically, mentally and emotionally, we will never fail. So enjoy your indulgences as long as they don’t make you feel sick; don’t leave you feeling guilty; and don’t cause you to give up on yourself.

Enjoy your REAL FOOD, REAL FITNESS, REAL (I’mperfect) LIFE!