Ice cream and fruit salad.

A dear friend of mine discovered that her ex, who had been keeping in touch for booty calls, was in fact out and about with another girl, she decided to tell him he was a dirt bag, not good for her and had blocked his number.  We messaged…

I’m so pleased to hear this Eloise. It was totally the right decision to block him, without a doubt. These messages from the Universe – the booty calls, the you having a gut feel that the relationship was toxic, him making you feel you had to meet his ‘standards’, you seeing him with another girl, the sickness and possible hatred of yourself for thinking / hoping this person cared for you in the same way you did / do for them. They are all Nature’s form of telling us NO! Don’t go there and yet we continue on reassuring ourselves with ‘everyone has their blips, everyone has to work through things, everyone has to make compromises’.

The truth is NO and yes!

Compromise to whether you have one side of the bed versus the other, who does the washing up if one does the meal, where to go for dinner tonight and holidays. And it should be equal. Someone gives and receives in equal measures.

It should NOT be a compromise of you as a person, your confidence, your soul, virtue and what you stand for in life.

And unfortunately more often than not its the latter that we let people get away with and have full on arguments over who last did the washing up!

I spent most of my 20’s wallowing about a relationship breakup. It was the end of the world. I was never going to be married and have children. Neveeeeeer.

I repeated those same stupid mistakes – being in relationships that compromised ME, and as a result I am not married and do not yet have children. But right now I am the happiest I’ve been since childhood and my teenage years and I know that when I find someone it will be someone who values me for ME. I so wish I knew this in my 20’s. That it wasn’t some patronising sentence about ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’ and flippant comments such as ‘there is someone for everyone’ and that one day I will meet the one.

This may well have been the case and they are all indeed true. But I can see that unless you are truly you as an individual it is rare for a relationship to have sincere love and longevity.

And it’s these mistakes in life that make us recognise what IS good for us. Prime example – imagine your rat bag Casper is a bowl full of yummy icecream.

You take a mouthful, oh man this is good. You spend your evenings taking a spoonful. You read the nutrition label and you know it’s not good for you (you start to see things in him that really don’t make you feel comfortable). But still, the odd spoonful every night is ok. Right?  It can’t be doing you too much harm.

You pile on a few pounds and you start to feel self conscious. (The more time in the relationship the more you realise you don’t feel too great).

Some nights because you don’t want to go out and people see you a little podgier, you sit in and eat an entire tub full of ice cream which was suddenly on offer at the supermarket, you love that you can get this dedicated time with the icecream – hell yeah I can eat icecream. (Basically all you want is to be loved and you long for a whole night together and can’t believe your luck when he gives you him for an entire night).

You start to feel sick after all that ice cream. You don’t go out anymore as you have lost your confidence in your appearance, your self esteem, you don’t know what you want anymore. Something isn’t right and you aren’t too sure what it is. You go to the doctor, he says you’ve got to cut out the bad stuff in your diet. You say ‘I know, but it’s not so bad, I only have a bit each night, but why am I so down?’

This is the kind of conversation you have with friends. When you admit the relationship is bad but it’s ok you’re in control.

The doctor won’t tell you that by eating even little bits of icecream and keeping a tub in the freezer and not going out and being you is what is actually the problem. How can he? I mean seriously? Keeping ice cream in the freezer and staying in watching TV is making me self conscious and hate myself? No way?

Yep, keeping his number in your phone, keeping him at arms length is always permitting you to go back. Hopeful that the next spoonful of icecream will stay with you and offer comfort but not provide that sickie hate myself feeling.

We all do it. The trick is to learn – just like we do with food, what is good for us, what is bad for us and what to limit our exposure to or to not have in our lives at all. So that we can continue to be the person we are within our hearts.

I so wish I had known this. Not just known this, but understood it, years ago.

To continue the whole analogy stuff.

Also with diet. If early on you discover that icecream really plays havoc with your system, yet all your friends always eat icecream and encourage you to do the same. (Your friends may be flitting from one relationship to another and encourage you to do the same) yet you know you like fruit salad. (You know what is good for you but feel under pressure to conform to the ‘norm’. Yet eating fruit salad makes you feel weird. (Not because you feel good inside but because it’s different to what everyone else is doing).

Well, try and recognise that the weirdness you feel is different to the sickness you feel with ice cream. So even if your friends aren’t forcing you to eat ice cream, but it feels odd having fruit salad, even though you know you ultimately feel great with fruit salad. Keep with the fruit salad, recognise that it’s great for you.

It will make you happy.

Every now and then you might be tempted by icecream and you may soon realise that it really doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Or that fruit salad has made you feel so good about yourself that you can now be around ice cream and not feel awkward and feel strong enough to say ‘no thank you’.  You don’t need a desert every meal time, you can pass on the ice cream and then ultimately hold out for that fabulous fruit salad.

The same goes with life in general. Try ice cream if you want it. But recognise what doesn’t make you feel good and try to avoid it. Better still recognise what makes you feel good and do that.

Why am I only just realising this at 38?


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