As part of the ongoing work I have been doing on myself, Five months ago I was working on the unreasonable cravings and relationship I had with food. As part of that work I discovered a kind of cording or energetic tie with food that was causing unreasonable and persistent cravings. I would feel beyond full and STILL feel this need to eat more, as though my life depended on it! The great news is that clearing the cording and the energetic work I did on myself that day worked immediately! The challenge is how much I began to MISS that connection to food as I swung to the opposite extreme!
For the past five months I have rarely felt even slightly hungry, and when I DO feel hungry, nothing sounds good. At first it was just “Food is ‘just food'” most of the time. When it was time to eat and figure out what to make, the food always tasted good, although I was still not listening to my body and would eat more than my body wanted or eat sooner than my body wanted, but the “desperation” for food is gone, even though it seemed to have transitioned into something new. This was such a contrast for me as for my entire life up until the past five months, food has been fun, joyful, adventurous! Anything around food became a burden! Meal planning became a real pain because when nothing sounds good, why bother?
But it became the bane of my existence as even cooking for my husband, when I had zero appetite and zero cravings and zero connection to food, was just a heaviness that made no sense to me. Nothing sounded good. I was nearly never hungry, my husband was nearly always wanting something to eat because he’s got a great appetite and works hard physically. Yet I felt completely disconnected from food. There was this feeling that I was positive this was a good thing, like breaking habits and addictions, but dang, it was like I woke up one morning and had just “divorced” food.
Then a few days ago I noticed something. It wasn’t just the disconnect from “food”, it’s also a loss of joy in cooking. Cooking and baking and creating new recipes used to bring me GREAT joy, even if it was mundane or simple. It was one of my greatest joys!! But I realized the other day, it doesn’t bring me joy anymore. At all. That really got me in the heart.
Plus, I USED to love shopping for groceries too. Ideas would come to me of what would be great to have on hand or how I could make this or that. I noticed as I was at the grocery store this week there was something in me reaching to make tamales, so I reluctantly put the items in my cart to make them, but I just felt so not excited for it, no, even a “pushing away” of the desire. In the past I would have been so excited I would have been “beside myself giddy”. But this time I was definitely not. Even to the point of asking myself over and over WHY am I getting this stuff?
I was reflecting on all of this last night, and I also had the realization that finding that little something that I knew would make a recipe perfect would normally have been a huge dopamine rush of joy and accomplishment. But last night when I realized what to do with a recipe that hasn’t been quite right for THIRTY YEARS, I didn’t experience that joy and excitement that I finally solved the mystery! There was some feeling of satisfaction, but it just it felt “flat”, in fact, it felt… sad. It’s almost like there is this underground river of a depression specifically connected to food.
I was texting with my friend this morning and I told her, “It’s like I’m Mourning the loss of a dear friend. I guess that’s possible. I’ve used food my whole life for comfort and celebration and adventure, and all kinds of things. But it’s like healing and balancing that relationship also resulted in a loss.” This was fascinating to me because my general feeling and well-being is very content, peaceful, and happy. But when food comes to be the focus (meal times or grocery shopping) I could definitely feel this underground river of sadness, loss, and depression. That it’s not the same, and it never will be, and I miss it. But that somehow it’s also correct.
Then, I felt like I needed to share this realization with my husband. As I was talking to him I could feel the tears welling up inside me and this deep grief came to the surface. I realized I needed to do some more work on myself with this food thing, whatever it was.
I took a few minutes to sit down and since it felt like I was grieving and depressed, as I had considered food a “friend”, I imagined being at a funeral for my dear old friend, “food” and I finally said my goodbyes. My gratitude for all the times is was there for me, to comfort me, to inspire me, to help me through all the craziness we were together for. I told my old friend I was going to miss it, but that I know it’s how it has to be.
The tears streamed down my face and I let all that emotion process. I sat with it and waited for the emotion to finish flowing and melt. Then, after saying goodbye to my OLD friend, “food”, it was as if I turned around to leave the “funeral” and there was a “new young food” waiting at the door for me, waving “hello” at me in my mind. Wow, a potential new friend. In that moment I realized before I could have a new relationship with food, I needed to honor and mourn the loss of the old relationship first. I realized that for me it wasn’t going to work to transform the relationship. It really was a death and rebirth.
All this in the space of 5 minutes. It is STILL so fascinating that in just 2-5 minutes we can connect to unprocessed emotion and by allowing ourselves to feel it, it melts away and shifts leaving behind a feeling so much lighter and brighter, almost like a snap of the fingers. Today it was a shift to “Wow, I have a new cooking buddy, and it’s going to be better than ever!! I hadn’t even considered that as a possibility!” It feels like after five months of mourning and grieving, the sunshine was able to come back out. Now I suddenly have a new “food friend”, one that is much healthier, balanced, and supportive with how I’ve grown and changed.
I immediately felt the change as I was working on all things food too. Lunch was something that felt good instead of a burden. The recipe that I was able to perfect after 30 years made me feel very excited, a stark contrast compared to yesterday. And I was just thinking about making the tamales and I am SO glad I got the ingredients I needed because I’m feeling quite happy about and looking forward to making them! It’s not quite the same feeling as with “my old friend” but definitely doesn’t feel flat anymore, as as with any new relationship, it will grow to be amazing. Only this time I won’t be co-dependant, blaming, and believing I’m a victim. I was not a good friend to food.
As for this ‘new’ relationship with food. It’s going to be interesting… Within just hours of feeling better I was starting to “be besties” with food again and it alarmed me! I was feeling the “neediness” for “food as a friend” and I realized, NO! I’m not ready for this kind of relationship, I don’t trust myself. I need more time to be grounded in my new path. I realized I may never be able to have “food as a friend”, and that’s okay. What I need right now is a new relationship with food to be professional or neighborly so to speak. Nice, cordial, we get along well together, help each other out, but no potential for dysfunction, at least not in my perception. I feel much more peaceful about that, which tells me I’m on the right track. It feels balanced. I’m neither manic nor depressed around all things food, just content. It feels amazing. =)
Here’s a video I made with my process for “Melting Emotions” It has one extra step of “choosing” what emotion I want, which is sometimes helpful for if an emotional state is being especially stubborn and not melting for me, but the process is easy and very helpful.