Why I Gave Myself Permission to Love Sugar

As originally published by Over The Moon Magazine

These days one can’t leave home or open the computer without being informed, whether welcomed or not, of the latest and greatest nutrition tip promising good health, a tight body and underneath it, freedom from sins and refuge from worry and uncertainty.

At dinner parties, it is not uncommon to hear someone tell you about their virtuous plan to give up sugar when asked what’s new and good? Really? As we’re holding a glass of bubbly and a decadent o’dourve in our hands we cringe in embarrassment. We must be bad then, right? No!

On social media, blog posts with titles such as “7 ways to Quit Sugar” or “How I got off of sugar” or “The dangers of sugar” signify that if you are not already actively trying to eliminate sugar from your diet you better start now…or else…

I am not turning my back on the hard science that shows that sugar, in large quantities, can have a negative effect on our health. I am highlighting the fear that comes with the way the conversation is structured and the way we tend to interpret it. We all move in and out of fear and for those of us for whom the body has been a canvas to figure out our lives, our fear has been placed around food and the body. We are drawn in by the promise and allure of what the newest tip has to offer because we feel like something is missing in ourselves or our lives.

These messages we see, hear, read, feel and taste about food are based in fear and we are coming from a place of fear.

Let me share with you a (true) personal story.

This coach, for a brief period of time fell prey to the fearful messages about sugar. I spent a few months mentally chained to this information and worked hard to avoid sugar at all costs. I skipped cake at a friends wedding, spent *too* much time reading labels at the store and wasted hours searching the internet for low-sugar alternatives to my favorite treats. Thinking about how to avoid sugar consumed more mental energy than I care to admit… because it was never about sugar.

(Note: In general, I follow a healthful, whole foods diet, meaning I eat real food including plenty of vegetables and choose the best quality foods that I can afford. So don’t go thinking I was eating twinkies on my couch searching pinterest for sugar-free recipes. It wasn’t like that.)

Deep down, I knew better and could see what was happening, but I still felt pulled in. I knew that what I ate didn’t influence who I was as a person and it didn’t change the trajectory of my life or give me God-like powers. Still, I felt trapped by the information overload and feelings of intensity I found myself overwhelmed by.

A few nights later, I had a sweet dream that pulled me out of the bad dream I was living. It went like this…

I found myself sitting across the table from an older women—she felt very wise and like an angel. She had that glow that I told myself that giving up sugar would give me.

We joyfully split a cupcake and drank tea at an outdoor cafe that appeared to be in Paris. She said to me: “Sweetheart, enjoy everything in moderation, including sugary treats.”

That was it. The dream was over. I woke up and felt light and free.

The message about sugar and what to eat in general in this dream came from a place of love and it landed in my heart instead of my head.

Over the next few days, I had the following revelations and asked myself the following questions all based in love.

What if eating sweets was an exercise in allowing ourselves to experience pleasure and trust that we will know when enough is enough and that it won’t make us bad but it will remind us that we are human?

What if we admitted our desires for the sweet things in food and in life? What if we we gave these things to ourselves and understood that while they felt good and nourished us in the moment, whatever was happening in our lives would still be there for us to deal with when we finished our last bite?

We must work with our mindset. Surrendering our minds to love requires us to embody the energy of the angel l in my dream to relax, soften and enjoy.

What would happen if you set aside the heavy rules and facts and softened into the words of the angels, “Enjoy yourself.”

Listen to the wise words of the angel in my dreams and slow down and create your own version of paris with tea and cupcakes. Eating what we love brings us into the present moment and reminds us that we are alive and that life fleeting but sweet.

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