January 19, 2016
Back in mid-December my husband wanted to try this challenge, have you, where we wouldn’t eat any sugar or drink any alcohol for 30 days. We were both totally on board to do it – it came up right in the mist of holiday parties, I mean, SUGAR AND DRINKING galore! But when we tried to find a start date, different events kept pushing the date back further and further.
The impetus for the idea had come from an article my husband had read about the benefits of eliminating sugar and alcohol from your diet and how hard it is to socially explain to people that “No, I can’t just have one drink tonight!” So, it’s really a two fold challenge because you’re not only challenging yourself to restrict, but others are challenging you too! Tough stuff!
So here I am one month later and we still haven’t started!! Hahahaha!!!
But what has happened is that I have paid much more attention to two things – the Hows and the Whys. I have a much better perspective and a consistent awareness on HOW much sugar and HOW much alcohol I consume on a daily and weekly basis. I have also learned WHY I’m consuming them.
Just having the intention to eliminate these items has shined a lot of light on my food/drink issues. Every time I eat a cookie (or 6) or have a drink (or 4) there is a greater sense of awareness around it. Each time I choose those things I think of that 30 day challenge we intended to do. Each time I have sugar I ask myself, “Why am I eating this?” Each time I pour a beer or order a glass of wine I ask myself, “Do I really want this?”
Instead of beating myself up about not doing this challenge, it’s so cool to notice the gifts I’ve already gotten from a simple intention.
So, “WHY am I eating right now? I’m not even hungry.”
Even as I’m writing this today, I’m getting stuck, I’m feeling vulnerable. I’ve gotten a few more snacks than normal. But, I’m present, and I know WHY I’m wanting to fill up with food. Now, my awareness around it will impact my choice the next time I’m in a similar situation that makes me vulnerable (my trigger).
Basically, what I’ve learned is sometimes there is a need to numb or take the edge off versus sometimes having a very genuine experience with food or drink.
It’s the difference between eating the whole bar of chocolate cause you’re stressed, invalidated, and feeling sad or mad versus having a piece of chocolate cause it tastes so good.
It’s the difference of having a glass of wine at 4 pm because your kids are driving you out of your mind (I’m not judging – I’ve definitely done lots of that) versus having your favorite bottle of beer after the kids are in bed while you watch your favorite show on TV.
So my point here is, I’m sure this “challenge” is great and many people may WANT to do it and they will probably feel great during and afterwards. I think that’s amazing and kudos to them – FOR REAL! But, if I’m staying true to myself in this present moment and listening to my information, I’m currently feeling pretty good and pretty healthy. And what I’m seeking is sustainability. I want to practice healthy, sustainable habits that will keep me feeling great for years and years to come. And in my practice, I will trip, slip, and flip, but I’ll always go back to practice again, because I want a healthy relationship to food and drink!
Here are 5 Practices to Develop a Healthy Relationship with food and drink!
- Pay attention to when you are hungry (your cue to eat) and when you are full (your cue to stop eating). How hungry are you when you sit down to eat a meal? Are you eating past your sensation of satiety?
- Notice why you’re eating, and why you are drinking. Is it boredom, stress, anxiety, guilt? Is it because everyone else around you is drinking? Giving your habit a name, saying out loud what you are doing will bring about change. Identify if it’s a numbing strategy.
- Chew your food until it’s in liquid form. This will slow down the process of eating and you will start to notice that you get full faster than you think.
- Forgive yourself when you trip and slip, it’s just practice, and it takes a long time to instill new habits.
5. FOREGO no more
- When we restrict or limit ourselves from certain foods or drinks (alcoholics omitted) then we set ourselves up for over indulgence – binge eating and binge drinking. If it’s legal all of the time, we truly have permission to enjoy all foods at anytime and then we inevitably have permission to pass.
Practice, practice, practice, FORGIVE! And then practice, practice, practice and FORGIVE some more!!
In health and healing,