Sweet surrender - Heart n Earth
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Sweet surrender

12 Jul Sweet surrender


One of my gorgeous clients says:

“I do lots of exercise, and yoga (yay!), and eat mostly well….mostly. But when it comes to 3pm at the office, the bad chocolate is irresistible…yes, that big supermarket brand of cheap and nasty dairy sugary chocolate. No matter how many resolutions I’ve made, I just have lots and lots, and then feeling like crap. I tried moving it away from next to my desk, but my colleagues insist on it being there. Sometimes I don’t even notice how much of it I eat until afterwards, when I regret my big belly that night. Help!”

I hear you there. Loud, crunchy and clear.

It’s so easy to eat what is in front of us. Especially when we are hungry, bored, procrastinating, or emotional.

Know that this is okay. Release any self-judgement, guilt and fear. Easier said than done, but do return to this first step.

Every day, you have a brand new opportunity to live your life without this.

Here’s what I suggest:

1. Why?

This is about pressing the pause button, and zooming in on what is happening. You are bringing mindfulness to these moments in between your 3pm (and 3.30, and 4) craving and feeling regretful afterwards.
Over the next few days, don’t change anything else, but keep a sheet of paper next to your desk and fill in your answers under these columns:
  • Date and time
  • What I ate (or how much)
  • How I felt before I ate it (hunger level on a scale of 1-10?) (Mood/emotion?) (Energy level on a scale of 1-10?)
  • What I felt immediately after (hunger, mood and energy)
  • What I felt 2 hours after (hunger, mood and energy)
If you are having difficulty accessing your hunger – try to take a few seconds to connect with how your belly feels. The physicality and palpable sensations of it.

2. Is it physical hunger? See how you can act on your actual hunger, and nourish your body for top performance.

Keep healthy snacks near your desk.

Aim for whole food snacks (vege sticks with dip, whole fruit, dried chickpeas or beans, nut, seed & coconut mix, or quality chocolate made of whole ingredients with low sugar).

Try to pace your meals throughout the day, and have protein and fat in each meal, so that your blood sugar stays steady.

Next time you feel a chocolate urge, see if you can do something else for 5 minutes before you have your chocolate. Try these: Go outside for a stretch, or a sunshine pause / Have some water or tea / Make a quick phone call or check the latest scores / When you return to your desk, assess if you are still hungry in your belly / If the craving is still there – reach for your own snacks instead of the wrapped ones.

3. If it’s a particular emotion: What is it? What will let you address it? (Hint: Pause and feel into the emotion. What is your body feeling? Your throat, chest, belly? What is your mind saying? Is it necessarily true?) What will not help? (Hint: eating anything).

4. If you are avoiding, hiding or procrastinating: See what you can do for a 5 minute break (as per point 2 above) and then return to your desk, ready to smash out the task for the next 25 minutes only. (Perhaps a tomato timer can help here. Eating anything will not address an issue, nor make your tasks go away. I’ve tried this.).

5. Motivation: Can you release the “need” to not eat “bad chocolate?” We all slip up, and do what may not be ideal. The sooner we let go of any guilt, or stomach-hatred, the better. See if you can re-frame your goal. Is your goal to concave your belly, or to feel healthy and at ease in your body? Is your effort to resist something (which makes that urge so much stronger), or to nourish your body and feed it so that it can support you in all you do?

6. Balance: When you do enjoy a treat food, slow down and savour it in its complete experience – feel it with your fingers, examine how it looks, its shape and texture in your fingers. Feel its texture in your mouth, on your tongue, between your teeth. Taste little by little as you slowly eat it. Stay for the afterglow of chocolate bliss!
Let me know what your reasons are (as per point 1), or what works for you.
x Anna

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