So. Pride got wiped off my smug sugar-free face today, by something the size of a 50 pence coin. Yeah. Sat in the office, post gym workout, unassumingly munching on my mid afternoon treat of wholegrain rice thins with avocado, when I overhear talk of homemade macaroons. Now, ordinarily this kind of talk has my mind, mouth and heart drooling with desire. However, three weeks into my detox, I’m unphased, as I bite into another huge chunk of avocado. Mmm, yum.
And then, it happens. Jade walks over with a box of chocolate orange macaroons “would you like one?”. What happened next occured in slow motion; my hand (I insist through no volition of my own) suddenly reached out to take one, I hear Emma’s voice “no Asha, you can’t! what about your detox?!”, but the voice was more like a blurry noise, from some distant place. The next thing I’m aware of is a phenomenal sensation in my mouth, an amalgamation of delicious sweetness, dark cocoa, soft orange, strong desire and absolute admiration. “oh my gosh, I cannot believe you just did that”, says Emma. Half a macaroon still in my hand, I put it down, still in disbelief myself that I ‘just did that’, but more than disbelief, there was a sense of guilt, wrongdoing, badness.
Before a degree of self berating ensued, it occurred to me: we can be so disciplined about what we put into our mouths, but what about what we feed our minds?
The relentless inner critic does far greater damage to my health than does half a spoonful of sugar (or any other food for that matter). That notion of ‘being bad’ that we are taught from an early age, such that we strive to be ‘good’. I realised that my detox is far more about being good than it is about being healthy. Even my latest favourite recipe book is titled ‘Guilt Free Gourmet’. What?! Shouldn’t all of life be guilt free?
So, does this mean I am shovelling large quantities of cocoa into my tummy again? No. I’m still eating well. But as a natural functioning of a healthy body/mind, as opposed to some castigatory punishment for all the indulgent foods that normally take precedence in my diet. If the detox served only to bring me to that one insight, then it was worthwhile. Thanks Jade.
Here’s to happy munching. Always.