I must confess: I ate a cheeseburger the evening before teaching Friend Your Blender, a class all about super easy, fast meals.
And you know what? I enjoyed and loved the whole thing up! No feeling guilty or anything...
How did I do it? I CHOSE to eat and enjoy and love it. I had some last-minute ends to wrap up before heading out. I'd decided I was simply going to order some food or stop and pick something quick up. My first choices weren't open yet. I could hear a voice in my ear whispering "cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger." I realized I was craving something hearty and comforting meal. Probably some of my nerves talking. Maybe my body needed the protein and iron. Either way, it was what I wanted.
My "gotta-walk-my-talk" concerned inner health coach, who was about to teach a class about healthy eating, was having a fit and saying, "No, that's not an option tonight, what a hypocritical thing to do! Make yourself some soup!" But I didn't have any ingredients on hand and I'd already packed up my blender for the class.
So I gave myself permission and ordered a high-quality Niman Ranch burger with a salad on a whole-wheat bun. It was delicious. I felt great. I loved every bite. And then I went off and lead a fantastic class.
And to be really really honest, I feel like I was more true to myself by eating and really enjoying the burger than by denying myself and not feeling satisfied with whatever else I chose. No need for all that fuss and guilt I used to carry around with me. Or the next-day punishment of limited eating. It is an act of self-love to listen to yourself and give yourself exactly what you want.
I don't advise always listening to the whims of your cravings, but I DO find it's really important to know and recognize where your cravings are coming from. It's important to know what you DO really want (not just what your taste buds or instant-gratification self want) for yourself. And when the time is right, DO give yourself permission to "indulge" consciously and with full lip-smacking enjoyment.