I am sharing it because it is the antithesis of my sweet tooth.
I have a huge sweet tooth and it’s currently a little out of control.
I have stashes of candy around the house for moments when I need a little pick-me-up or when I’m scheduled for writing time and am having trouble putting butt-to-seat.
It may also be genetic.
Then, in junior high, I started earning paper route money. My route wended its way past the Red Rooster, a convenience store about two blocks from my house. I would come home with small brown sacks of Sweethearts, Salt & Vinegar Chips and Swedish Fish. It was my personal stash. In a family of seven where food disappeared faster than yoga pants at a Housewives fire sale, it was rewarding and delicious to have something for myself.
As an adult, I may or may not have dipped into a chocolate stash when my toddler went down for a nap or was tucked into bed for the night. Those hits of sugar were my reward for surviving a busy day of mommy hood.
My sweet tooth is legit and usually reasonable. But I can always tell when my you-seem-to-be-doing-this-a-lot meter starts to inch into the danger zone.
Before I know it everything in my life becomes a metaphor for my inability to control sugar.
It probably says a lot about me that I was rooting for her to fail the entire time. I was glad she ended up 11 pounds above her original weight at the end of her experiment. What she said about others was trite and I could not see past her antagonism. It was interesting to notice my triggers as she chronicled working out with 50 extra pounds, interviewing psychologists and wellness experts while opposing every one of them.
There were two things I noticed about my reactions to her documentary. First, I knew my diet had taken a back seat to other things in my life and I was reconciling that. I wasn't being kind to myself. I was as annoyed with myself as Hopkins was with everyone who didn't agree with her. Second, (and I say this through gritted teeth) I have a critical side as well. Her abrasive, know-it-all attitude may exist in my own life.
Have you noticed the ways in which the world is your mirror?
When I feel grumpy, I can count on my Facebook newsfeed to be chalk full of positivity and reminders to choose happiness (as though being grouchy isn’t a good or legitimate choice).
When I struggle through a rough parenting patch, that’s the day every mother I know tells me her child has just finished reading Dostoevsky, been recruited by MENSA, and is going to head up the next mission to Mars.
Whenever I feel tired or unproductive, I notice that everyone around me is getting up at 4:30 a.m. and killing it every day by pushing through their apathy with aplomb. I’d like to point out that science backs up my need for eight hours of sleep, but when I start to feel lazy, I stumble upon the article that warns more than 9 hours of sleep will kill you. Damn.
You get the gist.
We are constantly bombarded by messages from the world, our friends and our family.
What do we make it mean?
Here’s what I’ve recently learned about the messages I’m receiving.
When everyone around you appears awesome and regales you with stories of triumph that make you instinctively want to punch them in the neck, consider the message a memo from God, the Universe or whatever higher power is looking out for you.
Do they have something you want? If they do, ask yourself what you will feel when you have that? Decide how you can give yourself that feeling right now by doing something for yourself.
Do they have a quality you envy or possess but want to change? How are you working on growing yourself?
Are they succeeding at something in a way you want to be succeeding? What are you doing to fulfill your own goals? What are you not doing? Make small steps towards your own goals.
Are you accepting where you are right now?
Brene Brown writes, “Shame, for women, is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. And it’s a straight-jacket.”
In my opinion, you can reduce shame if you become aware of and acknowledge your reactions. All reactions are normal and are meant to help you.
I promise that a regular practice of noticing and playfully exploring reactions and triggers can be life changing. By acknowledging where my work is, my triggers dissipate. I am amazed at how much less I react to things and when I do, I know it's a nudge for me to pay attention.
That’s why I can choose to balance this Golden Winter Soup with some dark chocolate.
Sweet shame be damned.
Talk Back to the Trio
Tell us about a time you acknowledged that a situation was more about you than what was happening around you.