Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Geneen Roth & Chocolate Sundaes

My favorite author on the topic of women's relationship to food and compulsive eating, Geneen Roth, just wrote a new book called, "Women, Food & God". I watched the video of her reading an excerpt on and one of the lines really hit me. It was something like, "We think we want a chocolate fudge sundae, when what we really want is for our lives to be a chocolate fudge sundae."

Her premise is that we go to food for reasons other than being physically hungry. Then our lives revolve around the drama with food, weight, body size. The reason that we went to food in the first place when we weren't hungry, never gets addressed. We have a hunger for something and it's not really for food... Instead of beating ourselves up about compulsive eating, she directs us toward self-love, compassion and the discovery of what can really soothe the emotional & spiritual hunger in a way that food just can't...making our lives the chocolate fudge sundae.

Since my confrontation with losing my life to cancer, I've been turning my life into a chocolate fudge sundae. These are the things I've done:
* I'm discovering work that I love
* I'm taking anti-depressants that are helping me to stop feeling insecure about myself
* I am taking something to help me sleep at night
* I am repairing relationships with my husband and kids
* I am learning to limit myself to only what feels good to me and so decreasing my stress levels
* I am exercising & eating more veggies
* I am saying "no" more
* I found something to take that prevents my migraines
* I am sharing my feelings with a therapist and friends
* I am reading detective novels, and I am watching TV, and remembering to give myself downtime.
* I am noticing the small enjoyments in life: getting a green light, getting a red light, music, nature, people, everything can be a joy.

I still crave cookies though and Geoff has been getting the ones from Pacific Cookie company. Yummy! I need to get baking so I have on hand some of my sugar free goodies or my blood sugar will skyrocket and produce inflammation and cancer! Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

Sometimes, I have no cravings at all. What is that? Am I just calmer? Is my life more like a chocolate sundae at those times? Right now I'm feeling the craving so I'm wondering if it's because all I really want to do is sit down and read my detective novel. So why am I wasting my time on the computer?

When I worked, before I had kids, I would go on walks along the strand in Hermosa Beach. Every time I passed a person or couple who I thought were retirees, I would envy them. I constantly felt like I just wanted to sit in front of the TV and have nothing to do all day. The thought of having a baby filled my mind with the dreams I had of "downtime". Little did I know I left my job to go home to a new job that required me to work 24/7 with no bathroom breaks!

I craved "retirement" I just need to sit down and watch TV or read right now instead of craving a cookie? It's taken me a long time to slow down and figure out how to make my life feel like what "retirement" meant to me back in Hermosa Beach. It took being forced to stay in bed for days on end with nothing else I could do but sleep and watch TV. It took being committed to going through the worst things my body could tolerate in order to save my life. It took being face-to-face with the possibility of losing my life for me to do what I needed to do to make my life into a chocolate fudge sundae. It also opened up my eyes to the chocolate fudge sundae that surrounded me and that was inside my very being.

Have you heard the song, "Live Like We're Dying", by Kris Allen? It's become my mantra.

I had to start a new estrogen blocker a couple of weeks ago because the 2nd one I tried, Aromasin, gave me mouth sores that wouldn't go away. So I'm on to "Femara", and hope for the best. I like the name - it's "fem"-inine and hints of a to-"marro"w. If it doesn't sit well inside me though, I've only got one more to try, "Arimidex".

If that doesn't work, it's on to broccoli sprouts, though I'm eating them now anyway! And they don't taste like a cookie or a chocolate fudge sundae....