Last year, a colleague of mine led a women’s retreat. They had lots of super-nutritious food at the retreat—salads, fish, chicken, fresh fruit, nuts—all kinds of delicious stuff. They also had some treats in the kitchen—chocolate, cookies, wine, things like that.
People could help themselves to whatever snacks or drinks they wanted, at any time.
Which was… interesting.
Some of the retreat participants really struggled with the treats. One woman went for two, three, then four glasses of wine. Another woman found herself sneaking into the kitchen late at night for a handful of something sugary, even when she wasn’t hungry. Another munched on potato chips, vowing to “get back to better eating” as soon as the retreat was over. “Take these chips away from me! Don’t give them back. Even if I beg.”
After the retreat ended, one participant mentioned, “Maybe next time, we just shouldn’t have any treats in the house. Maybe that would be better for everyone. Because it’s just too much temptation.”
It seems logical, right? If chocolate, chips, and booze are “too tempting,” then just… get them out of your sight! Problem solved!
Except it doesn’t work that way.
Because when you toss cookies into the trash, or refuse to keep ice cream in your freezer, that’s just a temporary Band-Aid solution. At some point, you’re going to leave your house, right? At some point, you’re going to be at an office, a restaurant, a birthday party, a grocery store, or a maybe a stressful family reunion, or alone in a hotel room with a mini-bar, and then what? You can’t keep food “out of sight” forever.
The issue is not that we need to “avoid temptation” or that we need “more willpower.” The issue is that we need more pleasure—more fun, joy, connection, beauty, and satisfaction in our daily lives.
When our lives are full of pleasure—all kinds of pleasure, like beautiful textures, fragrances, flowers, music, conversations, meaningful projects at work, laughter, orgasms, art, books, and experiences that fill up our hearts—then we don’t have to fill up our stomachs with unnecessary food.
When our lives are full of pleasure, then that frustrating compulsion to overeat disappears, because we’re no longer relying on food to satisfy all of our emotional needs.
If you struggle with overeating, I want you to know that it is possible to end that frustrating pattern. It’s possible to be inside a kitchen with a bowl full of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and enjoy 1, or 2, or none, and feel totally at peace—not frantic, stressed, and yearning for another nibble. You might be thinking, “LOL. Nope! That’s not possible!” and I used to think that, too, but I’ve learned that… it is.
Again, it’s not about gritting your teeth and finding more willpower. It’s about infusing your life with your pleasure. Pleasure from a wide variety of sources, not just food. Once you do that, everything feels different.
What kind of pleasure are you really craving?
Give it to yourself. And when you do, that bag of chips won’t hold a mysterious, magnetic power over you anymore.
Pleasure changes lives. And bodies.
PS. If you struggle with emotional eating, body image, shame, frustration, obsessive exercising, any kind of food- or body-related drama, please check out the replay of this webinar I hosted a few days ago. It’s a big, beautiful hour of love that will leave you feeling uplifted and optimistic. I’ll teach you some powerful self-care and self-coaching techniques that will make a difference in your day.
My BARE Daily membership community just opened as well. It’s low cost/high value option for coaching with me! xo.