Chocolate and carbohydrates have been my source of comfort for a while. I have treated them as dear friends. However, this week I was reminded they do not always have my best interests at heart.
Such a shocking revelation, I know. Particularly as we are talking about refined sugars and fat-laden breads and potatoes. I know it sounds like I’m a bit slow on the uptake, but this week I was reminded that my habit of grabbing chocolate or chips was actually stopping me from releasing pent up emotional energy.
A Slave to Salty & Sweet
This week I embarked on a 12 week challenge to get my diet and exercise in order. I had become a slave to the salty and sweet cravings that happen when you eat too many refined sugary foods.
As I navigated my way through the emotional ups and downs of the week, I realised how much I grab for chocolate or starchy carbs during difficult times. And as I abstained from giving into the urge, the tidal wave of emotion surged in intensity. There was nowhere to hide for me. I just had to surf.
This Has Happened To Me Before
This is not the first time I have been aware of the way food numbs emotional discomfort. I recall going through this many years ago when I studied Kahuna Massage Level 1 and 2.
This course was a wonderful week-long retreat spent learning Kahuna massage techniques and philosophy, doing massages, getting massaged, having saunas, and swimming. There was also a vegetarian diet which guided us into a light fast. Needless to say, I didn’t cope well.
As the days went by, the anger swelled within me. I remember resolving for the next module I would bring a camp stove and a packet of bacon. I hatched a plan where I would hunker down between the cars in the carpark and create a feast.
The anger and frustration increased within me until I eventually burst into tears. When I started crying I couldn’t stop. I thought we were going to have to build a raft as the torrential downpour lasted an age and rivers of salty tears ran down my cheeks.
Eventually the tears ebbed. The anger and frustration also subsided. To my surprise, the intense hunger also disappeared. And as the final days of the course rolled by, I did not respond that way or feel hungry again.
Emotional release is another form of detox really. It is a purging of the old emotions that really have no place as I embark on a new journey. Whatever residual emotional pain can too easily colour my experience of future relationships.
This week was a timely reminder that I have an opportunity to healthily allow emotion to rise and release. If I lovingly allow myself the opportunity to feel and let go, I will be a lot healthier in the future.
Anne McCormack is author of the book, Lovitude: Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind and the award-winning, Peacock Dreaming: The Wisdom Of Flowers.
Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Interested in more articles? Check these out:
Focus on the Moment, Not the Emotion
My Wish For You – Stepping Into Mindfulness
Making Me Happy! A Journey Into Mindfulness
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