Breaking Habits


The other night I had ice cream, and I didn't really like it.

That was a shocking discovery!

I wasn't feeling well. I had a head cold, and I was exhausted all day. I wanted my staples, the usual suspects when I'm feeling under the weather. It's always the same request; wonton soup, ice cream, and ginger ale to drink.

I had some wonton soup, but it didn't hit the spot. Interesting. Later in the evening we took a ride for ice cream. I got a small cone. This is much different from days past when I had to have the biggest waffle cone ever, but that’s a story for a different day. When I finished my small ice cream cone I felt nauseous. I didn't enjoy it, not even close. I didn't really like it. As I sat with this new awareness I started to realize that wanting these treats when I don’t feel well has become a habit. Every single time I'm sick I think I want them. What is it about not feeling well that makes me think I want wonton soup, ice cream, and ginger ale? I got curious.

Now that I practice mindful eating I’m beginning to recognize my mental attachment to certain foods. I can see how I use these foods as a source of comfort when I don't feel well. I can see how I have used food as a source of comfort for most of my life. It's fascinating.

The ice cream doesn’t help me feel better. In fact, I felt worse. Why do I cling to the idea of this treat that makes me feel bad? There is a loud whisper in my head that tells me it will make me feel better, and that I deserve it. With all the work I’m doing on myself, that whisper is starting to get drowned out by a new voice, one that tells me I don’t really want it. I don’t really like it. All of this is a habit. It’s a very old story. I can see it for what it is. I am amazed.

I deserve good things, and so do you.

I am waking up to the fact that I no longer want good things in the form of food.

What do I want instead?

What can bring me comfort when I don't feel well? Perhaps a comfy blanket, a hot cup of tea, and a good book. Maybe some rest in the form of a nap, or a good movie to watch.

What I'm starting to realize is that food isn't cutting it anymore. It's no longer a source of comfort, and not what I want to turn to for pleasure. This is awareness, and there’s no turning back.

I'll explore this new place.

I’m not saying ice cream is bad, or that I won't ever have it again. I’m just noticing that I don't love it as much as I thought I did. Food is becoming what it was meant to be, a source of nourishment. I can see how I have used food as a way to feel better. I'll let this unravel, and unfold, as the attachment begins to diminish in my mind.

There’s a change that’s happening. Food is no longer a source of comfort or pleasure. My body is aware, and my mind is slowly catching up. This is a permanent shift.

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