Sweet Peace. What does that actually mean? Whatever it is, I think it eluded me this week. Travel, holidays, and weather disrupted normal routines and left me feeling scattered, vulnerable ... and entitled to sugar.
However, I’m here, reflecting on the week and realizing that while I want to report perfection … some magical state of sugar-free equanimity … what really happened was an increase in awareness, some small wins, and a wave function of peaks and valleys. The distractions of the week left me without a clear definition of my intentions; so maybe clarifying what I mean by Sweet Peace is the goal for this week.
What I know:
- Taking care of my health is critically important, especially now as I've entered the latter part of my 70s. I’ve been blessed with good health and want to maintain that as long as possible.
- Several creative projects call me and I need energy and focus to pursue them.
- All of the motivation for those projects comes from myself. The world has no expectations of me; I could do nothing and it wouldn’t make a ripple in the pond.
- In order to maintain energy and motivation, I need to eat right, stay physically active, get enough sleep, and stay emotionally and spiritually balanced and positive.
- Food, especially sugar, has long been a way of avoiding my feelings, especially when I’m tired, feeling lonely or disconnected. It is a way to fill up the empty places.
- Food is a particularly tricky aspect of life. We need it to live; it is a central actor in our cultural and social lives; it is ubiquitous. It is a pleasure, a necessity, and a siren song of hunger, both physical and emotional.
- Indulging in food which is not particularly healthy, especially in quantities beyond that needed for health maintenance, is a form of self-sabotage, abuse for the sake of a momentary taste-bud pleasure or emotional distraction. It may also be a form of a rebellion or magical thinking that I am beyond the universal laws of physical balance.
- I am not willing to be a diet martyr. I am beyond thinking that I can be perfect … or even wanting to be.
- Monitoring my blood sugar is an important form of feedback while the scale can be a form of feedback but is not my measure of my self-worth.
- I am willing to grow into workable guidelines that allow me to make peace with food and my body.
Defining Sweet Peace Guidelines
With those things in mind, how would I define Sweet Peace? It is a calm and grateful state of emotional and physical balance where food is an important element of health but not a source of emotional support. It is a recognition that sugar in our culture has become kudzu, growing out of control, crowding out healthy foods. I can quit feeding the kudzu.
What are some of the Sweet Peace guidelines that I am willing to follow at least for the next week?
- Create emotionally supportive non-food rituals and celebrations.
- Avoid eating in a moving car.
- Avoid solo sugar … allow it to be a small treat saved for social settings.
- Understand that if I buy it, I will eat it … all of it.