This is most certainly going to be a process…
What triggered the need to set up Simple Healthy Living was when my husband Tim said to me ‘our relationships towards food are very different’. Tim isn’t one to comment on such things and it highlighted to me just how borderline possessed I am with diet mentality.
It’s so tempting to attempt to be the ‘perfect’ mindful eater… to have the skills to only eat when I feel gentle hunger and stop when I am satisfied. However, today has been messy and I’m currently working on being okay with that.
It’s become very apparent that my biggest trigger for overeating is guilt. ‘I shouldn’t have had that fifth Miniature Hero… I’ve blown it so I might as well eat the whole tub’. That’s currently the situation that I find myself in.
But you know, perfectionism doesn’t belong on Simple Healthy Living – it makes things complicated. Humans aren’t perfect so why are we pretending to be otherwise?
I think working through the guilt is going to be such an empowering experience for me – when I look back over my time of overeating, it is predominately guilt with the odd bit of boredom thrown in.
So why do I feel guilty? The extra roll of chub that’s going to form? The size 10 clothes feeling like they are fading into the distance? Being the ‘fat’ one in the group?
Weirdly the biggest thing that I’m inherently aware of is my posture?! I feel like the heavier I get, the weaker I become and the slouchier (apparently that’s a word?!) I feel. It’s a bizarre thing to focus on but that’s the reality in this very moment. I do also have a skirt I am DESPERATE to wear, but just not as desperate as I was to get into my wedding dress.
And what foods trigger the guilt? There only seems to be one food… milk chocolate. It’s my biggest vice. I can put down the crisps, the ice cream, the cake and even the sweets. If I buy biscuits I tend to eat the packet in one sitting, but I can easily live without buying them. Chocolate however, holds a power over me that I cannot explain and I have no idea why.
I give myself permission to eat chocolate even when I’m counting calories. Yet the restriction on only 100 or 200 calories is enough to push me over the edge. This isn’t something new.. I have ALWAYS had issues with chocolate. This year I have really noticed a compulsion with even purchasing the chocolate – the process definitely starts at the checkout.
Do I enjoy the taste? Not always. I have been known to devour a packet of Cadbury’s Buttons and not even taste them or think ‘I don’t really want these’, yet I still eat them. Today however, I really enjoyed the taste. Hormone dependent maybe?
I can’t envisage being totally neutral with chocolate – I’ve been in a relationship with it for about 27 years – it’s a tough nut to crack. BUT if I could not feel an overwhelming compulsion to buy it (especially at the petrol station), then I’m definitely onto a winner.
And I’ll tell you something else… acknowledging in this article that I feel guilt when eating chocolate has in itself been an incredible experience. Clearly saying it ‘out loud’ is perhaps just one more small step to having a better relationship with food and a better relationship with myself.