Chocolate Peanuts Covered with Peace

I expected the hyped post-wedding slump– and 10 pound weight-gain—to be false, like most mainstream weight loss information. 

Before my wedding, I was on an almost magical high from wedding  planning and my husband’s acceptance to Iowa’s Masters Fiction Program. By attending this highly prestigious program, Carlos could make his dream of full time fiction writing financially feasible.

Still, after my wedding and Carlos’s move, I found myself tired. Exhausted. Sad. While green smoothies, leafy greens, and whole foods were a constant, sadness and increasing amounts of dark chocolate had crept into my life.

Life doesn’t always warrants a happy face. I encourage my clients to honor their emotions and use them as compasses to navigate through the resulting emotional fog.  I practice what I preach. I embraced my sadness, my anger, my cravings. After crying and pounding on some pillows, I wanted chocolate.  In my old emotional eating days, resistance and then bingeing would have followed.

But, now I know that:

1. You must embrace some cravings
2. Eat and enjoy without guilt and
3. Don’t let going “off-track” ruin your day

I asked myself exactly what I wanted, and then bought the smallest size bag of
ChocolateCoveredPeanutschocolate covered peanuts (a quarter pound!) from Nuts to You. I ate the entire 4 oz bag. For lunch. In peace. I accepted this is as where I was in that moment, my marriage, my life. The entire episode was over and done, without any guilt.

The proof? I didn’t feel like eating for the rest of the day. Finally hungry again at a party that night, I ate a small portion of the healthiest option there: guacamole with a few chips. Years ago, the day would have been “ruined,” and the following days would have reverberated with yo-yo dieting and self-despair. I would have felt “too fat” to attend the party. Instead, I had fun at the party and awoke the next day feeling energized. I went to Lithe, the farmers market for my weekly cooking day, and back to my healthy routine.

Since then, I’ve been on an upswing. My pre-wedding clothes fit fine. Life is emotional. Down times are inevitable. I will continue to seize these opportunities to further explore and understand my emotions, weight, and health by using and refining the same techniques I teach my clients. More difficult times will continue to be a source of breakthroughs and improvements. Weight loss and marriage are experiences. Perfections and ideals are symbolic, illusory  . . . Santa Claus, even for health counselors.

To a season of peace, magic, and unexpected gifts from within,

Ali