Dear Friends,

I’ve been feeling indecisive about how to think about my food choices lately.  I wonder where this is coming from.  I know that we create our experience of reality by how we decide to think about things.  Because our mind has so much power over physical reality, including our bodies, I find myself asking frustrating questions. Let me explain.  About 2 or 3 years ago, I read this book about genotypes, The Genotype Diet.  The author says that we all fall into 6 genotypes, which can be figured by one’s blood type and other measurements.  Based on your genotype, you should avoid certain toxic foods and eat in plentiful amounts super foods, and then there are some neutral foods that won’t hurt or help you.

So based on my genotype of the nomad, I should refrain from wheat, corn, tomatoes, sugar, potatoes, avocado, chicken, etc.  I become frustrated with all of these “rules” because I ask myself, “WHY are you allergic to these foods?  What is the CAUSE?”  I want to figure out the why of it because my own mind is causing it, and this makes me feel “flawed” somehow. I’m in a twelve step program for compulsive overeating, and one of the lines that we read in the introduction to the meeting is “The reasons for the illness are unimportant.  What is important is that we have a new way of thinking, of responding to life, rather than reacting to it, in essence, a new way of living” or something to that effect. The renegade rule breaker within me wants to believe that I can eat anything I want in moderation and to fight the reality that physically my body doesn’t like certain foods.

At my meeting this week, about six people shared how sugar is so detrimental to them. One person likened eating sugar to letting the tiger out of the cage.  Another said that she could go to a party and eat a moderate serving of cake without any problem.  So far so good, right? BUT eating the moderate serving of cake was allowing the tiger out of the cage for her too, because the next day maybe she’d have another piece of this or that, and it created a snowball effect.  For myself, I can also eat sugar in moderation and really savor and enjoy it, but I must admit that the experience perpetuates negatively. Perhaps later in the evening I will want another “treat” and will crave such sweetness, and then the guilt settles in. I honestly don’t like being different in regards to food like this.

What makes it worse is that I hear other people say, “Life is better with cake.”  And even some wellness experts will say to allow yourself a dessert once in a while to prevent deprivation. People will criticize the twelve step program because they think it’s too stringent and doesn’t teach one to eat sugar or white processed carbohydrates in moderation, but rather to abstain altogether from it. I’ve lived both sides of this equation with sugar (abstaining from recreational sugar for over six years as well as eating it in moderation), and although it’s hard to admit, I think that eating it in moderation is harder.  It must be because I have a physical allergy to sugar and certain foods.

The harder part for me to admit is that my mind created this allergy, and so isn’t my mind defective and flawed somehow?  Some very wise people have said the reasons aren’t important. So now what?  I can either view my food allergies as a bunch of rules that restrict me, or I can view making healthy food choices to maximize my energy as a very loving way of creating boundaries for myself.  My coach told me recently, “Rules restrict.  Boundaries bless.”

I’ve asked God to increase my desire to abstain from sugar if this is the route for me. I hope you can learn from my experience and that I’ve clarified some things for you in regards to this sensitive subject.

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Angie Monko, CH