I found myself doing this last night…
It was late, my husband was out working and I was feeling a little lonely and a little sad. My cuddles with little Wilson were just not quite cutting it (my Jack Russell puppy). I felt like I needed something to make me feel better. So, I got in the car and drove down to the shops and bought myself a chocolate bar. I won’t lie… it did actually make me feel better and a little less sad. For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know that chocolate has always been my personal “go-to”, when I am feeling lonely, sad and it is something I have to try really hard to resist. If I could, I believe I would eat chocolate every single day!
The thing is, I know that it is okay to have chocolate every now and again but for me, I also know that one chocolate bar triggers a chain of responses within my brain. That chain of responses is just… “GIVE ME MORE CHOCOLATE!”. It is like the addiction trigger strikes and I just want more and more. As we know chocolate bars contain heaps of sugar, dairy, soy and a bunch of other things which don’t serve our health. To have one every now and again is certainly fine but when you consume a huge slab every day, then inevitably you are going to feel the effects. See, sugar and dairy are shown to be inflammatory on our bodies. Inflammation triggers pain and particularly endometriosis pain. This means, chocolate is definitely one we ideally want to avoid.
However, this is what I find interesting. Most of us know what serves our health and what doesn’t. Most of us realise that we can’t eat chocolate slabs everyday, drink sugary drinks and consume massive amounts of fast foods and take-aways and expect to feel good. So, why do we do it? Why do we do things that just don’t support our health or our healing with endometriosis? What drives us to sabotage our health journey?
We feel crappy and we associate good things with those foods/drinks
For me, it was always chocolate. We didn’t have sweet drinks in the house or eat a huge amount of take-aways, when I was growing up. My mom used to hide the chocolate in the house because she knew that my sister and I would consume it within 10minutes of it arriving on our kitchen bench. I associate chocolate with lots of laughs with my sister, digging through cupboards searching to find it and when we did, we would eat it all in one fowl swoop, chocolate smears on our faces and giggling because we knew we weren’t allowed. I remember it as something to be treasured, something to make me feel happy and something deliciously sweet and satisfying. It was also something I associated with being naughty – which is super fun as a child!
So, now when life gets to me and I feel sad I reach for chocolate.
You may have a different association. For you, you might want to reach for alcohol or cigarettes or big bowls of pasta or hot steaming bread. It may be fish and chips (for the Kiwi’s and Brits out there). Somewhere in our past, we associate these things with fun and happy times and then, when something happens in life and we feel sad, lonely, grumpy or any other perceived negative emotion, we want to dull it out and feel happy again, so we reach for something that reminds us of those feelings.
*If you feel like sharing, pop a comment below of something you know you reach for on these days.
Maybe we like where we are?
I know this is a hard one to believe but I know for myself, I had certain comforts and connections with being sick and staying where I was. It was familiar. It served me on some level. I could get out of things I didn’t want to do. I could blame my “lack of success” on being sick. I could sit on the couch all day and watch movies because I believed I was the “sick one” and it justified the decision to do this all day.
Perhaps you are holding onto something with having endometriosis too? Perhaps it serves you on some level and by actually sticking to the changes that help you, you won’t have that anymore?
The driver to change needs to be there. In some cases there is a pull towards a better life but in most cases, it is a push to stop living in hell and change to serve your body well.
We just don’t care enough
I have had moments in my life where I just didn’t care about myself. I didn’t care for myself because on some level I just didn’t love myself that much. I didn’t value who I was and this translated into not caring enough about my health or my level of endo pain. I didn’t believe I was worth anything. I didn’t believe I was loveable or even deserving of love.
So, I didn’t love myself or know how to treat my body with love and nurturing.
I would look at the idea of making a salad and tell myself that it was just too exhausting and too much work but would feel no loss of energy in getting in the car, driving down to the shops and buying food that was really not supporting my health. I didn’t make myself or my health a priority because I didn’t particularly care or love myself enough to do so. I didn’t love my body, so why should I take care of it?
I can fully embrace this way of thinking when it comes to Endo. It is a hard condition to live with and the messages of “no cure” are everywhere. The messages of “nothing we can do” are everywhere. We are left with no answers and no way forward (unless you read my posts regularly of course ;)). It is natural to then feel a deep sense of resentment and anger towards our bodies. How can we love something that has caused us so much pain and limitation?
I can tell you after travelling this road with you for more than 5 years now, that without love and nurture, you will never feel truly well. All the changes that have helped me and the 1000’s of women I have served, have come from a place of wanting change, of wanting to take care of their bodies and to love every inch of it – endo or not.
Some new ideas to think about…
- Maybe we should embrace the emotion we are feeling and allow it to sit with us for a little while? Perhaps it is important to feel it and let it pass through us?
- Change can be faster than we think. The easiest way to make them is to set yourself a mini challenge of a couple of weeks and see if you can do it. 2 weeks with no chocolate? Sure! I can do that! Before you know it, you feel better and forget all about that craving!
- Let us switch the thinking from “can’t” to “I prefer not to”. We know these things don’t serve our health – so we CHOOSE things that serve us. There goes that restrictive mindset!
- Find things you LOVE about yourself each day and forget the things you don’t. You have incredible strength and inner beauty. Look for it, acknowledge it daily and really learn to love yourself cos no-one else will ever truly know you as you do yourself.
- Love your body. Treat it with love and kindness each and every day. Give it a mini massage, give it good food and allow it to enjoy the experience of being in nature. Believe me, it will reward you for it.
Do you also crave things that don’t serve your health? Do you connect and associate certain foods with your childhood? Do you feel like sharing? I would love to hear from you in the comments section.