Are you eating more ice cream and potato chips as you spend more time at home?
There is a silver lining associated with the “guilty feeling” of reaching for a snack.
I invite you to explore below the
Silver Lining of Eating Ice Cream or Potato Chips
When I eat potato chips or ice cream it is very easy to keep my attention on what I am doing. Eating these foods for me not only satisfies my taste buds but allows me to relax into the moment. It feels like the ancient idiom about having your cake and not only eating it but still having it. It just feels good and that good feeling lingers for a while even after the last bite.
The good news is that even though these are not the healthiest of foods there is a silver lining to their eating. In reaching for the bag of chips or dish of ice cream there is a softening of our grasp on being healthy, a softening into just enjoyment and being happy. Come on now; even for you couch potatoes out there (a shrinking group) there is still at least an iota of guilt that is let go while reaching for the bag or dish. “Okay just one,” seems to run through the mind as we relax into the expectation of delicious flavor and satisfaction.
It is this relaxation or softening or giving in that is the key to the silver lining. How so?
Jump to the flip side of this, to having to do an action or activity that brings with it the opposite feeling of eating chips or ice cream. What might that be for you? Washing the dishes? Cleaning your closet? Sitting in traffic? Reading this newsletter? If you look into your reaction to the these thoughts you might notice a little tightening somewhere in your body just at the thought of having to do something that you do not like to do.
The key is in the commitment or the decision you make to do this activity anyway. Sitting in traffic comes up; you are stuck there. Cleaning the dishes comes up; you do them. Finding your way into letting go of the tension or tightness, which accompanies the not wanting to be doing this activity, can be found in the chips and ice cream.
How does this work?
The muscles in the body store information and reactions to repetitive events. Many most or all (depending on your point of view) of our thoughts are intimately related to body sensations and stored muscle memory. We learned to eat, drive a car or play golf and now allow our muscle memory to direct these actions. The same muscle groups tighten or relax as a response to repetitive actions. If you find where you soften in the reaching for the chips or ice cream you will notice it is the same place you tighten in response to having to do things you would prefer not to do. The tightening comes from the resistance we have to the unwanted activity. If you are going to do this activity anyway why suffer through it? Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to soften and relax or let go of the tightness and tension you usually associate with this action? It is actually your choice.
By practicing and noticing how or where you soften and let go each time you do something you enjoy, you can find your way into letting go and relaxing this area. You build up and strengthen this muscle memory. After building this enjoyable muscle memory look for small areas to apply it. Look for the resistance that comes up off and on during the day. Begin with noticing the resistance to the activity, remembering you have a means to drop the resistance and then recalling the softening into the reaching for chips or ice cream. Then just do that, soften (let your muscle memory kick in) and allow the resistance to dissolve into the softening; like water flowing down the drain. You can then continue and allow the activity to proceed as you make the choice to travel along this path into happiness.