Do you also succumb to the mystical powers of Chocolate?
Let me share something!
It might seem ordinary to share this as my first real blog post, but I figured that if anyone is willing to read my blog, it would only be fair to appear as the real me, the one with struggles and defects. Not a clean and polished version tailored for social media. I realized that the steps I take on my inward journey, have to be about authenticity. If I’m not honest with myself about who or where I am right now, I won't have the possibility to change and grow.
Now that this is out of the way, let’s get back to Chocolate.
It so happens that three weeks ago I came to terms with a “little” aspect of my life and I made an important decision. It may not seem too significant for you, but it is for me.
For those who know me well, you know how much of a ‘’chocoholic’’ I was.
I could not imagine my life without savoring that sweet tasting oh-so-good treat. I generally have a relatively ‘’healthy diet’’, I don’t binge eat ‘’junk’’ foods, no this, no that, but... only a little bit of chocolate…..everyday.
I would be restless if I didn’t have any, and I would make myself feel better by telling lies: oh it’s the only ‘’bad’’ thing I eat, I usually don’t eat desserts, I don’t have any health issues, everyone has a weakness, so on and on. I’ve always defended my love for chocolate!
Many attempts of cutting down had failed. The more I tried to eat less, the more I thought of it. I would make the decision, but a day later I was on it again. Then I just embraced it... I thought that since there is no other way around it, I would just enjoy it. But deep down, I hated the fact that I had such a deep bondage with chocolate, that I could not rid of a simple food item. I’m sure there are different concepts of addiction, but as far as I was concerned, I was “addicted”. Of course I knew about dark chocolate but it never did the cut for me, sugar was the problem.
What happened three weeks ago?
It was a sequence of events. I found out that a couple of friends and family members were struggling with serious health issues. Now, with all that we know form a scientific point of view, It’s clear enough that these health issues are mostly a result of the way we eat and live our lives.
I’ve always felt that every time I was trying to stop chocolate, it was like an obligation, it felt like it was something I was supposed to be doing. But this time it felt it came from a different place, it felt real, I believed in it, I didn’t have to try. I naturally just stopped having chocolate or any other processed sugar as part of my everyday food intake. More than that, I did not see it as a food product any longer, I saw it as what it really was: a ton of processed sugar, and the rest some food-like products. How was I feeding myself this?
Intellectually, we all know what's good and bad for us, but not every time it becomes a reality.
As part of my studies in Vedic Counseling, I learned about the concept of Prajnaparadha ( Sanskrit word meaning ‘’failure to wisdom’’, or ‘’mistake of the intellect’’.) I was choosing to continue doing a thing (in this case eating chocolate), that deep down I knew it was not good, and eventually, I was setting myself up for disease.
Looking back now, I think this had been happening because all my decisions were being made superficially. They did not work as it was my mind imposing restrictions on me. At that moment, my perception of chocolate totally changed, and there was no more resistance. Somehow, things had made sense on a deeper level, I had understood, and I believed it.
Now I would love to have a secret method to make this work but as I mentioned, it was just an AHA moment. Being exposed to a certain reality triggered a change and at that moment I was open to receive it.
It would be perfect if we could create AHA moments at will, but I don’t think it is possible. What we can do try is connect to the natural wisdom of our bodies, keep our minds rooted in reality and be open to receive when an opportunity presents itself. I am biased here, but the practice of Yoga has been a great tool on making sure I keep evolving these three aspects. Back to chocolate again.
Was it easy? Mostly yes, but to be honest, I had to let my body still adjust to this new reality of not eating processed sugar. There is an actual physical and physiological dependency, so challenging moments are always there.
It may be trivial to some of you, or for some of you it may resonate. What I love about this challenge is the ability to set myself up for better health. If I can do my part, why not. The rest is already not up to me. Most of all, I love having broken a bondage, and a sense of freedom has come.
Does this mean I stop “chocolate” altogether? Hell… no! I decided that from now on, I’ll make my own treats. But this one is a much healthier option, and quite fun. Why had I not tried this before?