Quote of the day:
“All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt! “
- Lucy Van Pelt
One of the best things I’ve learned, and one of my favorite things to teach, is how to stop restricting in any area of life. Some of you may be restricting foods in order to stay healthy, or maybe you’re restricting the amount of joy you let into your life in an effort to be “a success.”
But this is it! This is your life! Have that experience. Take that risk. Blow off work for an hour and take your kids to the park! Eat that piece o’ cake!
Discipline (as in practicing yoga regularly) is very different than deprivation. “How are they different?” you ask. Good question. It’s all about energy, as everything is. One has an empowering and life-giving energy. The other, not so much.
Many years ago, I didn’t like chocolate—or any sweets for that matter. But when my family went raw vegan, I began to love, love, love sweet foods. One day we got some raw vegan chocolate bars at our restaurant. And when I say they were good, I mean they were gooooood. They didn’t taste like Hershey’s or Nestle or Godiva—they were so much better.
So in my usual day-to-day life of no restrictions, I’d grab a few chocolate bars, to have on hand for the kids, my husband and myself. I began keeping a few in my desk drawer and in the kitchen cabinet and in the panty. A few bars found their way into my coat pocket, my bag and the car.
I never gave it a second thought that I was nibblin’ on those bars all throughout the day. Until one afternoon, I was walking home from yoga class, reached for some chocolate in my coat pocket, didn’t find any and felt… panicked.
Panicked? Isn’t that sort of an odd way to feel about a piece of chocolate? Hey, I wanted my chocolate! Who had taken it outta my pocket?
When I got home, a whole 12 minutes later, I grabbed a bar from the pantry, and as it melted in my mouth, I realized that I had a problem. I had become an addict. I was addicted to raw chocolate.
I attempted to calculate how many bars I consumed in a day but was unable to. I went to the drawer in our Buddha Room where we keep all of the sparkly, shiny raw chocolate bar wrappers to make kids’ projects, and was slightly horrified by the amount I found—and the fact that I could no longer close the drawer properly.
How had this happened? How had I become addicted without even being aware?
That’s the thing with addiction. It’s insidious. You don’t know it’s happenin’ ‘til it’s too late.
Sure, it was “only” a raw chocolate addiction, but no addiction is good. Whenever something has that much of a hold on you, you ain’t free. Whenever you’re that attached to something, you ain’t grounded. And when you ain’t free and grounded, you won’t find joy and live the best life ever.
I went cold turkey for nine days. It was tough! But I did it. It confirmed my suspicion of addiction as I unconsciously went to grab a piece of chocolate many times a day (and stopped myself).
Then I eased back into eating raw chocolate again, because Girl, I ain’t gonna restrict. I ate it and enjoyed it, but it didn’t own me anymore. I didn’t have to eat it––I chose to eat it, or not. Still do.
Is something in your life controlling you?
Have the best day ever!
Taylor plus 5
P.S. Check out these raw chocolate options available at Vitacost! They’re delish!
Taylor Wells, M.A., M.Ed., RYT, owns Prana Power Yoga, Inc., super-mom.com and Prana Super-mom Consulting. She is also a Boston Herald columnist and blogger, United Nations Yoga Peace Ambassador, activist, and happy Super-mom of 5 kids.