I went on a chocolate binge?

Assortment of fine chocolatesOk, if you know anything about me the title will have captured your attention. If not let me fill you in – I run raw food workshops, I’m vegetarian on a journey towards being a vegan, I eat ‘clean’ food (most of the time), I create and post raw dishes, I’ve talked about sugar and the effect is has on the body and I’m a kinesiologist who helps women release negative patterns and trauma that are holding them back so they can start creating the life they wish to live. So what’s this chocolate binge all about?

Yes it’s true, I did go on a chocolate binge. I have debated for a while about whether I would write about this or not. Part of not wanting to write was – “What would this do to my image – health, raw food, whole food?” Interesting what thoughts surface! However there was the other part that wanted to share the learnings and insights I have gained about myself and in doing so hopefully give you an insight into why you may crave and binge on sweets. I also want to live authentically and with integrity. So pretending I didn’t ‘do it’, is neither authentic or living with integrity.

Pieces of chocolate. Close-up.

So what happened? A few weeks ago after dropping my kids off to my ex, I picked up some chocolate and devoured the entire bar. The following day I bought a the largest box of Ferrero Rocher – these have always been my go to chocolate in the past – and finished the lot by the evening. Sunday was much of the same where chocolate was concerned. By Sunday evening I was questioning myself as to why I had binged. I hadn’t done that for years. I always find Friday’s hard when I have to say goodbye to the kids for the week, however this has been the routine for years now so what gives.

You see craving sweets, sugar or chocolate is metaphorically about wanting more sweetness in your life. Either, your to do list is so long it feels never ending, so you feel overwhelmed or your not feeling appreciated or loved in some area of your life so the sugar helps the body release the feel good hormones, or you are unable to process the sadness or grief, so having something sweet suppresses these feelings for awhile. Basically I was wanting to change how I was feeling artificially with food – chocolate was my choice and so I was not honouring myself and my feelings.

Alice SpringsWhy such a huge desire for chocolate? I journaled Sunday night and discovered why I was feeling such sadness and grief. The kids and I had come home form visiting my parents in Alice Springs. I’d had a wonderful time where I had just been able to ‘be’. Alice, the landscape, the stars, the expansiveness of it refuels me. It had been 3 years since I’d been back and I hadn’t realised how much of a connection I have with that part of Australia until that visit. I’d spent time with my parents and each of them had independently shown me where things where, including wills and photo albums “just incase something happens to both of us” I had been told. Two days after returning from our holidays, my kids had gone for the week. It was the grief of leaving a place that nourishes me at a deep level, the realisation that my parents are getting older and not knowing when I would see them again and then not having my kids around – the empty nest – all of this increased my feelings of sadness and grief and so I was caught by surprise by the intensity. Through journalling I realised I had not wanted to feel this grief so I had used chocolate to suppress it and to chemically change how I was feeling. For me chocolate not only helps me feel ‘happier’ I feel more ‘expansive’ having eaten it. How I naturally feel when I am feeling creative and enjoying the richness of life.

Illustration of human lungs anatomy

When you suppress an emotion, a feeling, it does not go away – it stays in your body – it needs to be expressed. If you suppress the emotion, the body naturally will try to express it another way. I woke Monday with phlegm on my chest, coughing trying to expel the stuff.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the emotion that relates to the lungs is grief. So my body chose this way to express my grief which I had not allowed myself to feel. I knew I was not sick – just processing. The funny thing is that it lasted almost two weeks, me coughing to get rid of the phlegm from the lungs. Where as, I believe, if I had allowed myself to feel my grief I would have processed it more quickly. I’m not saying it would have been easy, but I know myself well enough that it would have been gentler on my whole body.

The life we live is a journey, not a destination, and it is the experiences that we have along the way that help us grow. I needed to remind myself to take time to honour how I was feeling, let the emotions surface, feel them but don’t hang onto them, then let them go. Since that weekend I have been more mindful of my inner landscape and what I have wanted/needed to do to nurture myself. Take some time this week and tune into your inner landscape. What is it telling you? What do you wish to do to nourish yourself but your saying you don’t have the time. Be your own best friend and listen, then spend some time with yourself.

In good health, Vicki

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