Chocolate and sweets have been faithful companions for most of my life… until a few years ago. My journey with giving up chocolate and sweets has been quite a rollercoaster, spanning more than half a decade. I tried to give up chocolate and sweets several times… over and over again… and I succeeded, but it was never permanent. After the self-restraint I always slipped back and indulged in chocolates and sweets even more, as if there was no tomorrow.
I have always had a sweet tooth – wait, I mean many sweet teeth!
Sugar was my way of sweetening up my life.
In summer, when we went to France for our yearly vacation, I would stock up on sweets and brought bags full of sweets back home. My brothers and I were only allowed to eat sweets on Saturdays. Sometimes, when I asked really nicely and with a sweet voice, my mother would allow me to have some sweets on other days as well.
Then I grew older and started to earn my own money – how delightful was that! I could go and buy chocolates and ice cream, whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Who cared about alcohol when I could have chocolates and cakes? Well, it’s not that I avoided alcohol completely… I did start drinking when I was 15 because that’s what everybody did, but boy-oh-boy did that not taste good at all. Good thing I had chocolate to indulge in to take away some of the bad taste of the alcohol!
At some point I realised that I was a chocoholic. Sweets, and especially chocolate, would have a soothing effect on me. Chocolate gave me great comfort when I felt alone, unloved and not met for just being me. What I really craved was to be truly met and deeply loved.
Even when I hadn’t seen my mum all day she would hardly greet me when I came home; she would be watching TV with her headphones on, secretly eating chocolate. I felt incredibly lonely because I felt less important to her than her TV and chocolate. I went into my room and cried for not being met or seen just for being me, a beautiful little girl. So, of course, I ate more chocolate.
I reconciled with my mum long ago and we have had many opportunities to talk openly about this, in addition to everything else in my childhood that I found difficult. We now have a deeper understanding, love and connection than ever before.
The actual journey of ‘giving up chocolate and sweets’ however took many years, going through a lot of trial and error, because it all came from a need to ‘fix’ the problem rather than from choosing a genuine and loving care for myself and my wellbeing. I went through many phases and I would manage to give up chocolate for a few weeks or maybe even a few months here and there, but never permanently.
I would always fall back to being soothed and numbed by chocolate instead of dealing with the hurt inside. I could NOT imagine living my life without chocolate. I remember thinking it would be next to impossible not to have that chocolate sweeten up my life. What would I do with myself?
It was easy to think I would manage to stop right after I’d had a feast! Right then and there I had had enough, I felt sick, emotional, sad and racy, and thought to myself, “that’s it, I’m done”. But I was just like people who have hangovers that tell themselves they will never drink again… until the next weekend, or even the next day. Sometimes I had so much willpower I didn’t have any sweets for several days, but when I went to the store it was as if I had to make up for the days I hadn’t had any sweets. How clever. Of course, then I bought enough supplies of sweets for several days, even weeks. And then I would try to quit again – it was a constant battle, a very vicious cycle.
Through all these years though, it was like I had a little part inside of me that truly never ever gave up and I knew for sure that one day in the future I would not need to use any willpower at all to get rid of my sweet tooth and quit eating chocolate. So I held on to that part in the midst of indulgence. I knew the day would arrive that chocolate wasn’t going to be a part of my life any longer.
I became aware that I was getting more and more sensitive to sweets and I started to feel the effect the sugar had on my physical and emotional health. I would become very emotional before my period, and I could feel the constant underlying raciness inside my body more and more. When I went to bed I could feel my racy pulse and uneasiness inside, which made it hard to fall asleep.
In the end it became very clear that this was a pattern that I no longer wanted in my life and so I started to make choices that helped me heal the hurts that had forever kept me imprisoned, a victim of my past.
I kept connecting more to my body with the help of an esoteric practitioner. With their ongoing and unwavering love and support I am dedicated to go deeper and truly let go of my hurts and my behaviours, layer by layer.
I’m not saying that I’m totally one hundred percent refined sugar free now, but I know I will get there. I am just thrilled to not have the addiction anymore and I feel so much more joy-full and harmonious inside and more mentally stable and less emotional. I’m noticing that there are so many positive side effects from not eating sugar! I have definitely become more aware – more aware of my feelings, more in tune with my mind, my thoughts and reflections. I am learning to truly connect to my body and to honour the signals it gives me.
Chocolate has not been a part of my life for some years now: giving up chocolate for good has allowed me to know that no amount of chocolate can ever fill up the void or drown out the sadness of childhood experiences. I am a grown woman, and what has brought life-changing outcomes has been to take deep care of myself and understand that I am entirely responsible for my own choices.
Published with permission of my Mum.
By Nathalie Sterk, Oslo, Norway