“Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love. But: Only perfect love exist. If there is fear, it produces a state that does not exist”
–A Course in Miracles
What’s love got to do with it?
We all know this line from the Tina Turner’s song… It is one of those iconic tunes we can’t forget. But have you tried to apply it to your hunger, your cravings and your food impulses? February is supposedly the month of love. I say “supposedly” because I don’t see why there should be only one month. As a matter of fact, having this single commercialized “love month” causes a lot of unloving things. We find ourselves performing acts of self load with our minds and our food choices. That is what I want to help you with today.
Some people think this is a girl thing. I’m talking about eating chocolates, ice cream drinking wine or some other pleasurable concoction on Valentines day (or the entire month of February). But I know many people that indulge in this, because the emotional root does not discriminate. It goes like this: if you are in a relationship, you eat because you want to celebrate, and if you are single, you eat to deal with the social pressure of having to do something on the 14th. Seeing everything painted in red covered with hearts can trigger feelings of inadequacy based on your relationship status, even if you are in a relationship, the pressure is on to “show” some type of grandiose display. What’s love have to do with this? All I see is messages signaling that there is lack – telling us that something is missing and as a result poor food choices, indulgences and mindless eating happens. As it turns out, Love has a lot to do with a box of chocolates…in a twisted way.
Let’s use this over the top Hallmark thing to practice self study, shall we? I invite you to check your emotional impulses around food this month. I’m not saying judge yourself, or punish yourself, I’m saying “check yourself” as in watch it, notice it, study your triggers and the self talk around it. If you learn during this observation that your emotions are leading your food choices then it is time to do a “Love Tank Check”. The love tank is the space we are trying to fill with Godiva but can only be filled with hugs, human connection or bubble baths. Here is how to check yours:
1. Find out how often you show Love to yourself daily. You cannot count comfort food or emotional shopping here. Look for things that fall under self care. Things YOU do for yourself like complementing your image in the mirror, packing a healthy lunch, exercising, taking a warm bath, etc.
2. Count the meaningful interactions you have in a regular day. These are great conversations, hugs, good laughs, acts of kindness, making calls to friends, etc.
3. Notice how often you make a conscious connection with the higher power of your understanding. These are simple things like giving thanks before a meal, saying a prayer, meditating, reading a page from a spiritual book, practicing yoga and breathing.
Let’s do this right now… How is your tank today? Can you see the red light on? If so make this your strategy: I invite you to aim for at least three deposits everyday, preferably in each of the items listed above.
Focus on this exercise all month long and see the temptation to use cupcakes as fake love fade away. Why do I ask you to do this? Because many of your eating impulses are driven by a need to feel loved and lovable. You are requesting Hershey’s Chocolate to do a job they did not sign up for, nor can they fulfill. The more deposits you make to the Love Tank the less overindulging you’ll do….Let me close by doing a health coach thing here: Are you dwelling on this whole idea? Stop. Just pick one item from the check list and start practicing today. Fill up that Love Tank with meaning not with sugar or alcohol. This is the love on month right? Let’s make it so, but in the REAL sense of the word. May you love yourself so deeply that you feel full everyday!