I have reason to believe my war with food began at birth. My mom was 18 when I was born. She smoked and, like most people back in those dark ages, had probably never heard the words “health” and “food” put into the same sentence. For whatever reasons, her breast milk was not nourishing and for some period of time, I was basically starving, not only for food but for loving comfort and connection. The nutritional solution of the day was a formula based on Karo syrup: enter sweet tooth.
Understanding the story of how my new brain connected hunger, starvation, lack of love, and sugar is all well and good; however, it doesn’t change much in my day-to-day world as I try to soothe the reflexive actions triggered by that early imprinting. Wars start for a myriad of reasons. Someone has to declare peace.
Viktor Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
I think that space is where Sweet Peace grows. During this past week, there have been a few incidents of conscious pausing before or during eating and I could see a tiny candle flame flickering. It is encouraging and I am going to nurture that awareness of when and why I’m eating, while also reducing thoughts about whether or not a food is “good” or “bad.”
My plan for the coming week is to be patient with myself as I become more conscious of these “choice moments” for peace. -- Joyce Wycoff