Thursday, October 11, 2018

Cravings

I have been trying to just stand apart and observe my relationship with food this week, and what I see is that my emotions are a mercurial thing, they ebb and flow and swirl at the slightest change in the wind, and when they are roiling, I crave the narcotic of sugar: I read an article about an activist who is dying of ALS, and find myself craving an oatmeal raisin cookie. I listen to the news, and suddenly I want a key lime crumble yogurt. I hit a wall in my writing project, because I don't have enough detail and will have to interview my subject again, and anxiety flares, and I just want a slice of Milk Bar pie. They call it crack pie for a reason. Sugar numbs me, distracts me, blurs the edges. But it does so many other things besides, not the least of which is move the needle on the scale in the wrong direction. This feels exactly like addiction.

I'm remembering a man who lost more than three-hundred pounds by meditating. He said: "I had to gain control not of my hunger, but of my craving." Those words gonged in my brain. What yawning space inside me am I trying to fill, or anesthetize? I lost fifty pounds in the last year, and need to lose more, yet I can't seem to get my head back in the game. I am writing this in the hope of a new beginning. Yes, I know I can begin again in this second, that it's foolish to wait for circumstances to be perfect, for stress to abate. Stress never abates. And so I'm reaching for a kernel of motivation; seeking to unearth resilience; to vanquish despair and make the good choice. Thanks for letting me share.

In other news, I'm seeing images of complete devastation along the coast of Florida, houses reduced to sticks, forests kneeling all the way down. Difficult to believe that the steady, comforting rain outside my window right now is the remnant of yesterday's monster. This earth school is hard. But then it gives you colors like that tulip, which I think I should paint, and wouldn't that offer an infinitely more nourishing form of distraction, and perhaps a deeper soul comfort, than sugar.


10 comments:

  1. Food is my drug too. Some days I can do well and other days not at all. Over the last couple of years I find myself turning to food over and over again. I was going to a support group but it just wasn’t working for me anymore. I was 2 pounds from my goal weight and started a new antidepressant and gained 15 pounds in 6 weeks. Since then the scale is moving steadily upwards. For the longest time I was following my “diet” meticulously and was still gaining. At this point I just gave up. If I was going to gain I might as well enjoy it.

    The world is full of darkness but there is a lot of light as well. A lot. You are proof of the light.

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  2. Sugar, yes . . . and fat and salt and creamy things . . . Like Birdie, some days I do well and other days poorly. One thing I have discovered recently is that I overeat when I do not get enough sleep. I don't know why it has taken me this many years to make the connection.

    Is that tulip really real? What a gorgeous thing it is.

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    1. And huge kudos for the loss of that weight - that is a wonderful accomplishment! Lots of dedication and persistence there.

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  3. Ah- I've definitely consumed my share and yours too of sugar and everything else in the last few days. There is such a definite reason why we do this, speaking in terms of evolution but it does not serve us now in this time and place. Still- it's mighty hard to convince the brain and body of that. And people who live in poverty and whose lives are stressful every second of the day? Oh hell yes- they are going to eat whatever simple carbs and fats they can get their hands on. It only makes sense.
    But you should be so very, very proud of losing fifty pounds and yes, you can get back on that train. I know you can. Now- can I?

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  4. That tulip is just sublime. So is the background. I love that!

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  5. Sending love to you. Hoping that you find relief from the craving for sugar in whatever way works for you. My experience is that it is possible. As you know, the key for me was not to eat sugar at all. For me, sugar is addictive. The withdrawal from sugar was daunting but worth going through to find peace at the other side.

    This earth school is hard, isn't it? Thank you for sharing all that lovely color. I remembered this as I looked at those colors,

    "Color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

    ― Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art

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  6. Additional experience: The craving for sugar did not leave entirely until I also stopped drinking alcohol. For my particular body chemistry, alcohol triggers an insatiable craving for sugar. Sugar triggers a craving for more sugar.

    I would love to be able to enjoy wine and eat sugar the way some people can, but that's just not in the cards for me. The freedom from craving is a gift I never thought I would receive.

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  7. You could always start smoking! (KIDDING)

    Sometimes I indulge my sugar craving by eating something sweet yet more nutritious than pie -- like a piece of toast with jam or something like that. Like Ms. Moon said, the craving is an innate stress response that, sadly, comes with our human genes.

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  8. earth school is hard (it's also easy and everything in between) and, I have read that the reason we have such a high planetary population is because this reality, Earth, is a very popular place for soul work.

    I don't suffer from food cravings. I have the opposite problem, eating enough to overcome my metabolism (and it's not like I don't eat, I do). I guess. also I lost any interest in sweets I ever had after menopause. saw a show once about food craving and eating and they did an experiment with a member of the audience. the guy was saying the smell is a big part of satisfying a craving and if you can resist eating and just smell whatever you are craving for a few minutes, then you might find after those few minutes the craving is gone or diminished. they did it with popcorn that a woman in the audience said was the thing she couldn't resist so they had her hold a box of popcorn while they guy continued talking for a few minutes, I don't remember exactly more than two less than 5, you could see it was hard for her to resist at first. when the time period was up the guy told her she could eat the popcorn now if she wanted and she found she could easily say no. don't know if it would work for sugar. maybe try smelling a donut a cupcake.

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  9. Well at least you are aware of it. That's a first step. It's just a vicious world out there, sugar (cornstarch) is in almost any processed food so unless you cook your meals from scratch, shop with magnifying glasses and that sense of being an obsessed nerd or eat like a monk, it will get you. Don't be too hard on yourself.


    But losing all that weight! Wow! Brilliant.

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