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