I’ve come a long way when I consider the white knuckles and tears before I walked into the gym back in December. My weight has fluctuated over the past year. I lost 22 lbs, then gained back about 16 and recently lost 10 again. This isn’t good for my body or my health. There’s no sense beating myself up, what’s done is done. My only choice is to move forward in the right direction.
Here’s where I’ve made progress. I have more confidence and for the most part I feel better about my body on more days than I don’t. I’ve learned that the number on the scale does not affect my value or worth in the world. I’ve given myself permission to accept myself exactly as I am right now knowing that I’m still taking the steps necessary to move towards my health and wellness goals. I still slip up and I feel less guilty about it when I do. I’m certainly not perfect and I still have a long way to go but I am still moving forward. These are important steps for me, albeit baby steps, but steps in the right direction, nonetheless.
A couple weeks ago I attended The Yoga Code by Jackie Dumaine. There were 26 beautiful souls in attendance, who were all smaller than me, practiced yoga and a lot of yoga instructors. Deep breath in – keep moving forward. In the past I would have wanted to hide and been completely self conscious. I was aware that I was the biggest person in the room but I also felt I belonged there. A huge realization for me. While the scale isn’t always moving in the direction I want it to I am making progress, in leaps and bounds, in the area of self love and being accepting of the skin I’m in. High five to me!
About mid-day Jackie introduced us to a Chocolate Meditation. A CHOCOLATE meditation! A few things went through my mind when we were given a tiny wrapped piece of chocolate.
“I’m doing Whole Life Challenge, I shouldn’t eat this”
“I bet this will taste delicious”
“I am going to feel soooooo guilty for eating this chocolate!”
“I wonder if we get more than one piece?”
“Why am I wondering if we can have more than one piece?”
“Melsha sssshhhh, let’s see what she tells us to do with this chocolate”
“chocolate is bad for me”
All this is running through my mind before Jackie directs us to savor the chocolate. She spoke about creating space for eating with an awareness that satisfies. My interests were peaked. This isn’t exact because I was in a meditation but the chocolate meditation went something like this:
Close your eyes. Deep breath in. Hold. Release.
Deep breath in. Hold. Release.
Feel the chocolate in your hand. Be aware of how it makes you feel.
Deep breath in. Hold. Release.
Rip open the package, bring the chocolate up to your nose and smell.
Deep breath in. Sense the smell of the chocolate. How is your body reacting?
Take a bite of the chocolate. Let it sit on your tongue. We are all still sitting with our eyes closed. Tears begin to roll down my cheeks.
Swirl the chocolate around your mouth, let it touch all your taste buds. Make sweet love to that chocolate. A silent ugly Oprah cry begins for me. Why am I crying? What is happening to me, this is chocolate for frig sakes! Doesn’t chocolate make everyone happy?
Deep breathe in. Take another bite. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take another bite. I sat in a silent cry. An sense of overwhelm came across me. I couldn’t understand why I was responding to chocolate in this way. As I wiped my tears I realized that I can’t remember a time that I ate anything chocolate for pleasure without some sort of guilt. And it’s now clear that I’ve been using chocolate as a numbing tool. What else have I been numbing with?
After the tears stopped flowing I realized that I was satisfied with a tiny bite of a tiny corner of a tiny piece of chocolate. It was damn good chocolate. If I could be satisfied with a tiny piece of chocolate why have I found it necessary to eat an entire king size bar? Oh right, I was using it to numb. It’s been a couple busy weeks so I haven’t completely applied the chocolate mediation practice to other foods that I “shouldn’t” eat. I’ve tricked myself into thinking I’m enjoying these foods when in reality I’ve been using them to numb.
As you know, I’m an emotional eater. I used this Chocolate Meditation to help me get through the emotions of the anniversary of almost losing my daughter. I can honestly say that I DID NOT emotionally eat once that day. I am so proud. Such a break through for me. I’m interested to see how my relationship changes with food now that I have this new tool. I’d like my meals to become a savory journey instead of shoveling it in. I want to fuel my body not just feed it.
Chocolate Meditation has changed the way I see and taste food. If I put it into practice it’s going to change my entire relationship with food – a respectful, healthy and vibrant relationship with food. I look forward to that day.