Nearly 15 years ago, while in college pursuing a degree in theatre, I decided to cut back on sugar. As part of the rehearsal regimen, actors and crew often took all the high energy necessary for performance out to a local all-night diner for coffee, pie, and the occasional plate of nachos. Four years of plays meant a heck of a lot of late night munching and a sweet tooth gone wild. Thus came the experiment with forgoing sugar.
It lasted just over a year. When I decided to eat sugar again, I felt the pressure to eat it had subsided. A few times since then, I have weened off sugar.
Recently, as I examined the foods that I eat so as to refine my choices, I realized that I had been living my life as a member of the food-plan-of-the-month club. I had systematically narrowed what I could eat to such a narrow variety that I hated the feeling that came after eating….even after eating healthy meals.
I decided to throw out the playbook and rewrite the rules. The journey has led me to explore a variety of foods that I hadn’t let myself enjoy in years. Fruit suddenly became an option; grains and meat stopped competing for first place; green veggies weren’t the only thing on the menu. The plan: I would say yes to what I wanted and no to nothing.
With that, my desires for certain food changed. I began to hear my own inner food guide. I still wanted sugar, but not just any sugary snack, my taste were more refined. Okay, so I am no gourmet. But I needed something more than what the Keebler Elves had to offer.
Enter Cafe Calypso. My honey and I have been going to the cafe for years. And for a long while, there has been this promise to have homemade baked goods. Certainly there was a part of me dreading the day the yummies would arrive. I love sweets, but don’t need them in my face constantly. So this Summer, the day DID arrive. And with it, sugary, scrumptious delicacies emerged. I had to check my plan. Could I eat them without thinking myself a bad person? A new experiment with sugar developed. But this time forgoing transformed into indulgence.
Indulgence was not so much about allowing myself a quantity of food; it was more about allowing myself the quality of the experience. I casted shame aside and encouraged self-love. Self-love became the voice of reason for me. Is a bite of chocolate grounds for self-judgement? Well, in the past it might have been. Today, I have no rules except to choose what I eat and how much with my heart. Would I deny myself the sweetness of life? No, I deserve all the beauty this world has to offer. And I am claiming what is mine one bite at a time. That is part of the Art of Collecting Myself.
You can find more Cafe Calypso creations at http://maiahintexas.blogspot.com/.