I decided to do a grocery/pantry cleanse to start off 2020. One where I eat only the things I already own until I am done eating them and feel like doing a 7 day cleanse before buying food again.
I started by going to the grocery store one last time… for a few items - eggs, some Lara bars, chocolate, and bread. What a way to start my intended grocery cleanse. It's like my ego immediately tried to take control back.
4 days went by… no groceries, no vegetarian friendly fast food, and no Netflix. I felt on alert that my food supply was running low and out of the options I preferred. On the 4th day I went on a dinner date and had some yummy food I didn’t buy for myself… *loophole* … I’m really good at finding those in any process that involves restrictions or definitions.
Right after I allowed that experience, I went 4 days in a row buying something small from one of my favorite drive throughs. I feel like a food junkie, a food buying addict. Even after I proclaimed one evening that I was having a fast food funeral this robust ego of mine convinced me to indulge *just once more* the next day. I also made another small trip to the grocery store. I didn’t intend to buy anything more than oat milk for my morning tea or coffee, but I found myself walking out of the store with salt & vinegar chips and more chocolate. My takeaway was “at least I didn’t buy bread”.
All of this intentional habit aligning has illuminated many other addictions which I have and was not fully aware of. Things that are intertwined with the habits I am trying to break, or reset… trigger habits. Those illuminations include watching Netflix, eating dairy, sugar, bread, eating things that taste delicious & delectable, and eating for the wrong reasons.
What are the wrong reasons to eat?
In my opinion, you should eat primarily for nutritional reasons.
not because you crave something
not because you’re bored
not because you’re avoiding something
not because you’re watching something on a screen
not because you need something to do
not because it sounds good
not because it is going bad
not because it is lunch time
not because it is available to you
not because it needs to be eaten
In my experience - rather lack there of - it is much harder to implement eating for mostly nutritional reasons because it also means you must conclude your attachment of feelings to food.
Now there are times of celebration and gathering where you might want to share a meal with others, and that is certainly acceptable, but I simply don’t feel like it should be a frequent reason why you eat when you do unless it aligns with how you get the nutritional content you absolutely need in order to thrive.
This calls for intentional consideration of your habits involved with conscious and intuitive eating. It requires that you observe your body’s eating processes and make decisions based on the things you know about yourself, often in spite of what your habit/addiction adoring ego desires.
How do I tell the difference between a habit and an addiction?
I like to go by a rule of cleansing that I believe I learned about in The Power Of Habit and that is - anything I can’t go a week without doing is more and addiction than a habit. If I can’t break free from something for 7 days intentionally… then I know I am in for some immense commitment to retraining myself.
Breaking addictions is often extremely difficult to do. Relapses become a part of your healing if you find loopholes, trust the word of the loophole queen please. It takes consistent mental effort and heightened awareness to your tells and triggers. In my experience, change is a long journey built up step by step and breath by breath.When it comes to changing habitual and emotional patterns that have been a part of your life for a really long time you must expect that it will take the same value to undo them.
Even in writing that last sentence my own ego brain says to me “lol no there’s always a shortcut” and I had to remind myself of the honest truth — that taking it one step & breath at a time is the ultimate shortcut because it means no detours or loops or trials and errors… it is plain and straightforward one thought, one breath, and one decision at a time.
Sounds simple right? Consistency in a world that never stops changing…
until next time: