I just celebrated my ten year anniversary (10/22) with my husband, Steve, in Ridgedale, MO”s, Big Cedar Lodge last week. We had a wonderful time! One of the top 5 things that brings me joy is having wine, cheese and crackers with Steve. Even better, add a small piece of dark chocolate and loving, intimate conversation. There is nothing better! Wednesday night I went in for a lymph massage to my friend, Malina Milosevich”s Holistic Center (I highly recommend her!). She offered me a glass of red wine and a fine piece of dark chocolate.
It was an elegant touch. And of course intimate conversation followed. I remember one time I went to a special gathering of like-minded people. We did some meditation and connected deeply. Afterwards, we enjoyed a buffet of culinary delights from around the world–hummus, vegetable wraps, sushi, fresh fruit, “raw” tacos made with nuts. Normally after going to a buffet, I can feel like I overdid it, but not there. I savored the flavor and really connected with others, not because of the food, but because we shared an experience of joy that left an imprint on my mind.
Food and life taste infinitely better when we relax and slow down and are present to them. It is so critical to enjoy our food and drink without guilt. It digests and absorbs better into our bodies. It is also a good idea to breathe deeply after about every five bites of food. I also say a blessing for my food. Then there are times when I want to eat to calm anxiety and not feel emotional pain. This is certainly guilty eating. We tend to eat fast, not paying attention to the food very much. I honestly don’t enjoy the food much, and so why even eat it? The anxiety gets worse after the initial calming effect.
So now you have two problems, the original one that caused you to overeat, and the food guilt problem. Whether I”m sitting down to a relaxed dinner with friends and family or I”m about to binge, the best way to go is to breathe through it. Breathing aids digestion and it can prevent me from taking that first emotional bite which turns into a binge. During this holiday season, look for ways to enjoy people, food and drink by being present. You’ll eat less with this mindset too. I don”t care what anyone says, food and drink are an important part of an enjoyable life.
I”m not afraid to admit that. It doesn’t mean I love food more than God or family or that my priorities are messed up. Instead of overeating indulgently at parties, take your time and assess how you feel. If it is anxiety that you feel, just commit to doing some deep breathing and eating slowly. We are meant to live joyfully! Give yourself this permission.
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