I’ve always been interested in food, in fact it has dominated my adult life.
In my 20’s I started overeating and as a result put on weight year on year. I never considered myself to have an eating disorder but I did – I was a binge eater.
I used food and alcohol to dull my feelings because a lot of things upset me and eating seemed to calm me down, so I did that a lot. Drinking helped me forget but I was always sick the next day so eventually I stopped.
I kept going with the food and when preparing a meal I used to nibble (I still do) almost a whole meal before eating the one I was actually cooking. Then eat more afterwards. It felt like an empty void I could never quite fill and at the end of each meal I would instantly be thinking about what I was going to eat for my next meal… and then snack some more in between.
I am still doing that but recently I have become more discerning in the foods I choose to snack on. I can walk around the supermarket looking at various foods and know exactly which ones I do or don’t want. I am choosing a particular vibration that is offered by the food. I know that when I am light and spacious I am able to read the energy of situations very clearly. I already have a good awareness of what is going on and sometimes find it uncomfortable to be this aware so I eat specific foods to dull this.
For example, the other day I was wandering round the supermarket looking for some gluten free fruit bread and they didn’t have any in. I’ve been feeling very tense and tired lately and I had the thought that I needed a sugar hit. I no longer eat refined sugar but dried fruit has a lot of sugar in it and I homed in on a packet of dates.
I have eaten dates before and I love them, but they are very full of sugar and when I eat too many I get a headache like a hangover. I was intrigued that I should choose dates, which I haven’t eaten for a long time, but the exact little hit of sugar did the trick and my body felt more relaxed as soon as I’d eaten a few.
Sugar in food is a stimulant so it is interesting that I felt relaxed by stimulating my body. Rather like many people settle with a cup of coffee, what are the stimulants doing that make us think we are relaxed?
Another example is when I once again looked for the gluten-free fruit loaf. There wasn’t one in the shop so this time I bought a gluten free seeded loaf and three bananas.
I was on my way to an event, it was early in the morning, and in the car I ate one of the bananas and some of the bread in a sandwich. It felt and tasted yummy but there was a definite addictive quality to the way I was eating it. I felt a bit guilty because part of me knew it was not a good choice for my body, but I was aware that another part of me was being belligerent and going to go ahead no matter what. This is what I call the addictive behaviour.
Interestingly the day was one about healthy living, but I observed that all through the day I was thinking about the bread and bananas I had left in the car and when I was going to have my next banana sandwich. Like a drug addict planning their next fix. Why do we do that?
The part of us that wants to dull our sensitivity is deliberately choosing to work against us and our connection to our inner self, the pathway to our soul. We find this tension hard to bear and distract ourselves at any cost.
The saga of the banana sandwich went on for three days. I had one for breakfast the next day and the day after and now the bread and bananas are no longer there in the house.
What has been the actual effect on me?
The course I attended on the second day was presenting information that could take us to a deeper understanding of ourselves. It was very interesting but I had difficulty understanding some of the concepts and embodying them. I recognised that eating the banana sandwich may have satisfied my comfort seeking taste buds and my need for that denser vibration, but I could feel how much it actually dulled my ability to focus, to live as a connected human being with all my senses working in their full glory.
I also had a slight headache which made me a bit grumpy. I know it’s the sugar in the banana and the yeast in the bread that had that effect on me.
Don’t get me wrong, a banana and gluten free bread may be healthy compared with other choices to eat – say beef burgers loaded with cheese and ketchup – but for my body as it is now, they are not. Our food needs are very individual and we have to discern for ourselves what nourishes and what doesn’t.
I can’t guarantee that I will never eat a banana sandwich again, but what is happening with each food I choose to eat that my body doesn’t actually need is that I develop a greater awareness of the harm it’s doing me and I know that in time I will only eat foods that my body needs and that truly nourish me.
We can never eliminate our awareness, it is constantly evolving, but we can dull it and delay our own evolution. Conversely, we can choose to support our evolution by appreciating and honouring the sensitivity of our body.
By Carmel Reid, BEng DMS CertEd MCMI Personal Development Coach and Counsellor from the UK currently on a long term visit to Australia, Northern Rivers, Australia
Misery, Sugar and Movement
Food Choices – From Eating for Taste to Eating to Nourish
My Body’s Reactions to Gluten, Dairy and Sugar
Compromising our bodies with or without food is addictive, one puts on weight and the other can at times lead to anorexia, so changing our focus to understand how to develop a self-loving relationship with our bodies starts to fill the illusionary ways our mind is deceiving us with and thus True-Love is the antidote to all our issues.
What food we are choosing to eat is a clear indication of whether we are choosing clarity or dullness. How we are feeling when we go shopping can be very revealing in what goes in the basket.
A perfect blog at a perfect moment, no surprise that I am clearly ready to see the next level of what is behind a pattern of behaviour that has been running for way too long. The moment we don’t want to surrender to the read all that is available to us, is the moment of tension that brings with it a choice – to surrender or to resist. The moment you reach for a stimulant and it relaxes you you know the decision you have made!
Fascinating isn’t it Lucy that a stimulant can appear to ‘relax’ us but it can and does, we get an oh so familiar and very welcome feeling of being ‘not quite there’ or ‘totally not there at all. Ah the momentary bliss of comfort that food provides, we know it well.
I know there are foods in my diet that are unsupportive. But trying to be hard and fight myself to give them up really doesn’t work at all. Being willing to understand why they are needed in the first place is far more supportive and I’m more likely to not need that food once the tension has been understood.
If I don’t eat healthy my whole perception of life changes for the worse.
If I do eat something that doesn’t agree with me the dulling or the raciness can certainly affect the way I feel, which then impacts on how I feel about myself and then how I relate to others.
I feel we lack the sensitivity of our bodies as this gets squashed at an early age as we are encouraged to look outside and loose ourselves into the society we have made. There are so many hooks and enticements, to become part of it rather than staying with ourselves and just observing life.
I’m feeling a lot of resistance to refining my diet at the moment . “we can dull it and delay our own evolution. Conversely, we can choose to support our evolution by appreciating and honouring the sensitivity of our body.” Appreciation is key as a few of us were sharing this morning at a meeting…..
What I enjoy about this article is the honesty that encourages me to explore where I still hamper myself – with food, behaviour and/or thoughts – and be willing to unveil the things that I try to avoid feeling. As you say our awareness never goes away – it is always knocking at the door – so we simply need to get to know for ourselves why we obfuscate this.
Reading your post again reminded me how I used to love sugar sandwiches as a child!! I was so numb back then I had no awareness of how they made me feel.
Me too!!! I loved them and they were my go-to food. Interestingly looking back now, they were also the start of all my allergies and intolerances. I had eliminated so many things but the moment I eliminated the banana sandwiches so many symptoms left. In the end I found I was intolerant to bread, bananas and dairy at which point they could see all the other digestive issues that had been hiding.
“The part of us that wants to dull our sensitivity is deliberately choosing to work against us and our connection to our inner self, the pathway to our soul. We find this tension hard to bear and distract ourselves at any cost.” It is often after attending a deepening course that I want to dull my new awakening with foods that don’t serve. At other times I feel full and complete and have no cravings at all. Still trying to feel into why this is so.
Sugars a tricky one because we think we can get away with a little fruit and then before you know it fruit bars are being shoved in the mouth. Then a detox is on the cards when the body complains loud enough where we have to listen or suffer.
Oh yes what food we go for can tell us a lot about our selves, what kind of day we are having and what we are avoiding.
Our body is always speaking to us, we just have to listen and honour ourselves, ‘Our food needs are very individual and we have to discern for ourselves what nourishes and what doesn’t.’
There is a level of understanding and patience in this article that I find very supportive and inspiring. Without being critical, there is the call to raise the standards when it comes to my relationship with food… there is the touch of a gentle parent here and it feels strong and loving. Thank you Carmel.
“I could feel how much it actually dulled my ability to focus, to live as a connected human being with all my senses working in their full glory.” How often have we experienced this after eating lunch and not realized that it is caused by what we are eating? The next stage of our evolution is in understanding why at times we actively choose to eat food that dulls our senses. Are we actively choosing to avoid feeling amazing?
Interesting that you say that, Rowena. I watch myself sometimes and I have noticed that when I am feeling off, I’ll eat to dull, but equally and bizarrely I do this when I am feeling truly great too! What is it about feeling amazing that we can’t handle… it doesn’t make sense?
A great question to ask because it exposes the madness of our propensity to reduce or dull the sparkle and warmth we feel inside. I get that it takes a bit of practise to let the sparkle grow and expand out if we have had years of keeping it locked away. That is what I love about the work of Universal Medicine – it inspires us to build from the inside out and express from this warmth and sparkle, which is, let’s face it, natural and innate in us all.
“The part of us that wants to dull our sensitivity is deliberately choosing to work against us and our connection to our inner self, the pathway to our soul. We find this tension hard to bear and distract ourselves at any cost.” Yes I know this one. It seems to be working overtime at the moment too…..
This is such an honest article Carmel, and shows how our individual journey with food is always changing and evolving. Of course our bodies are also changing and evolving too as we make the changes in ourselves accessing a deeper awareness of how we respond or react to life and people around us. I know from my own experience that trying to stop myself eating something that I am obviously addicted to is not the way to stop it. This makes me rigid and tense and sets up conflicts inside me. I find that to go ahead and eat it and be super aware of how my energy and body sensations is much the best way to learn what supports me. And if I do eat it then not to blame myself, that creates yet more tension. It is a journey of continual observation.
True Joan. Giving ourselves a hard time when we have eaten something ‘naughty’ could possibly be even more damaging than the food itself? Stopping eating certain foods through discipline may work for a time, but not for the long haul. Hence why diets don’t work – people can revert back to their old ways of eating.
Joan what you have written is very wise to use will power not to eat something is using a force which I have found doesn’t work for me. I have to eat the whatever it is until I feel so sick and tired of it I cannot even look at it again. When I can look at a food and have no interest in it then I know I’m not using will power. It does as you say take continual observation of what our bodies are communicating to us.
The more we discern what we put in our body the more we feel what it has always been telling us in response. No alcohol has no hangover, but we did not listen. Avoiding a sugar spike was easy, we eat more. Getting fat was just one of those annoying side effects. Our body has always been one of those huge billboards we drive by, and we learn to ignore them at our peril.
ha ha what a good expression – our body is one of those huge billboards we drive by! It is not subtle at all and yet we become so good at looking away so we don’t have to see what is right in front of us.
“… with each food I choose to eat that my body doesn’t actually need is that I develop a greater awareness of the harm it’s doing me and I know that in time I will only eat foods that my body needs and that truly nourish me.” Yes and it’s not just about what we eat but the quality we eat and even prepare our food in.
I have developed a bit of a ritual around my evening meal. It starts with how I shop for my ingredients; I buy the best ingredients that I can and as fresh as possible. I prepare my meal with care and attention to detail. I cook things exactly how I want them and then place everything on a tray. I feel which room to eat my meal in and then carry my tray to that room. Even though my family don’t eat at the same time as me, I ask at least one of them to keep me company whilst I eat. The whole process feels deeply honouring of me, I love it.
If we eat healthy foods in a manner and energy that is to numb our body then this is a form of abuse, and with regards to what we eat it is the energy we eat in that determines whether we nurture or abuse our body. It all comes back to energy first.
‘Conversely, we can choose to support our evolution by appreciating and honouring the sensitivity of our body.’ I feel that the key point here is in the honouring of our body…when we start to do this our whole attitude towards ourselves changes….and appreciation is a great step towards this honouring.
Eating is a movement that is set in motion by our preceding movements. It’s much easier to eat lovingly if we have been loving in how we’ve been with ourselves up to the point of eating. Eventually we return to a way of being where love is the impulsing energetic driver regardless of the activity.
I love this Alexis – a true ad simple understanding of our choices through understanding our movements.
We need to realise that what constitutes an eating disorder depends on what is truly of service to us or not.
The more understanding and honesty we bring to our relationship with food, the more we learn. The insights into what impulses us are deep and wise and all we have to do is listen to our bodies.
Thank you Carmel, the saga with food can go on for life times as we are addicted to eating nice foods and can tend to overeat instead of eating lightly so we do not dull, then it is simpler to be able to discern what foods are out-of bounds, for our bodies.
We can’t eliminate our awareness but we can dull ourselves and delay acting on it. The food is simply a tool rather than the cause.
Good question ‘Sugar in food is a stimulant so it is interesting that I felt relaxed by stimulating my body. Rather like many people settle with a cup of coffee, what are the stimulants doing that make us think we are relaxed?’ It is because it is quenching an addiction so once the addiction has been fed it stops which feels like the body is relaxing?
Trying to sort out our eating habits from our head and from knowledge never works … feeling our body’s response to a particular food and or what our body feels to eat is a way that truly supports us to bring about change.