In any transformation, most of us fall off the wagon at times. Depending on the person, habit, and circumstances, the relapse can be extreme or more subtle.
The love addict thrusts himself into another unhealthy relationship. The smoker picks up a pack. The alcoholic relapses and has too much wine. The pothead gets high. The shopaholic charges something she can’t afford to her credit card. The gambler makes a bet he can’t pay off. The workaholic takes on more professional responsibility. The exercise addict signs up for another marathon despite her injury. The vegan eats eggs.
I am embarrassed to say it, but the last one was me.
Recently, for about a week, I ate eggs more days than not. My body seemed to want them, so I nonjudgmentally obliged. I allowed it. I sat with the dissonance.
I rationalized that there are chickens all over the place here roaming freely, and the eggs aren’t coming from factory farms, as in America. I rationalized that I needed the protein or nutrients after periods of extended fasting. I rationalized that it was nondogmatic intuitive eating.
Could any of these be true? Sure.
Does the veracity of the statements matter? Not so much.
What matters more is what I noticed in terms of how I felt.
I thought about food more often. I felt like an addict again, trying to get my next fix. I felt tired, heavy, and lethargic. Movement was more effortful. I wanted coffee more, and started having a cup daily, which then led to afternoon crashes in energy and mood. I tended to desire heavy, cooked foods as opposed to lighter, cooling raw foods. I felt less spiritually connected, less in tune with my intuition, and less present for consciousness unfolding. I felt more anxious, fearful, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, frenetic, and depressed. I was emotionally off balance. I had more gas, bloating, and poor digestion and elimination. I was more intolerant of the heat and sunshine, which I usually enjoy.
The list goes on, but you can see that I noticed quite a lot of things. For a couple days in a row, I knew I needed to stop, but it didn’t happen, reinforcing the addict feeling.
Then one day, I woke up and made a different decision. I had fruit with homemade raw coconut yogurt and granola. That set the tone for a day of good eating choices.
I noticed how much my standards had lowered in the days I had been eating eggs. I noticed how I had adjusted to feeling subpar. It’s only when you have felt excellent that you can realize the discrepancy between how good you’ve felt in the past and how you feel in the moment.
I did my best not to beat myself up. I showed myself compassion for my choices by resting, connecting with supportive friends, feeding myself mostly raw and fully vegan foods, drinking water, listening to positive audio, and relaxing by the ocean.
I am grateful for this awareness and holding space for myself to naturally gravitate back towards what works best for me slowly, gently, and lovingly. Not out of a place of restriction, deprivation, or punishment, but out of a place of love and compassion.
I urge you to be gentle with yourself in any type of relapse you experience in your habits. It’s never too late to get back on track. Forget the “fuck it” moment, and do what feels good in your body, mind, and spirit. Your being will thank you. I thank you.