Intuitively Eating Chocolate

8 April 2022 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Intuitive Eating

I was first introduced to Cadbury’s Mini Eggs at the start of the pandemic by a client in Portland. I had no idea what they were – I thought they were like M&M chocolate balls.

Over the last month my client sessions have been filled with discussions about Cadbury Mini Eggs. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find any in South Africa. Until last week, on my weekly shop – there they were! I excitedly filled my basket with packets of them. Of course, the impatient me wanted to try them in the queue while waiting to pay. Then I thought – “ooh I’ll try some when I get to the car.” I reminded myself to practice what I teach and delayed the process. My inner 4-year old was having a tantrum. When I got home, I wanted to eat them as I was unpacking the groceries. Again, the adult reminded the child to wait. I was really hungry after a morning of errands and I knew that eating them would not feel good. It wasn’t easy negotiating with my inner brat. So, the adult had some lunch then the moment finally arrived. I was going to put some in a little bowl but little me had had enough waiting already so I took a handful and started with one. I loved the crunch followed by the creamy inside. I had another and another, really enjoying the hard crunchy covering. I must have eaten about 10 of them and I felt icky. I popped the last 3 or so into my mouth with very little awareness. I didn’t like the feeling that followed.

I decided to eat the mini eggs every time I felt like something sweet – which is mostly after lunch and dinner.  Here’s what I noticed after days of exposure to these colourful little eggs.

The first and second are absolutely delicious.
The third is great.
The fourth is good.
The fifth and sixth are nice but eating them is more about the crunch and smoothness and availability.

As I started eating them every day, I noticed I was happy with fewer and fewer. Eventually they lost their appeal. I subsequently stocked up on more in case they sell out and they don’t bring them back to South Africa. I now have lots of unopened packets in the cupboard that I will probably give away or eat them – I am not sure yet. But it’s reassuring to know they are there if I want them.

If you are reading this and thinking – “I could never do this, I would binge on them every day.” Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t. Or maybe you would binge in the beginning. When I first started practicing mindful eating, it took me a while to eat like this. I ate slabs of chocolate before being able to eat a few squares. It took much practice, patience, and trust.

You start by giving yourself permission to eat the chocolate. Then start to notice any judgement about eating and letting it go. Your mind has been so conditioned into “good food / bad food”, those thoughts naturally pop up. Notice them and let them go. Bring your full awareness to the chocolate in your mouth and pay attention to each bite. Notice the flavours and texture. Pay attention to how your body feels as you are eating. If you are eating on the go or distractedly, no amount of chocolate will be enough! Notice the sweet spot (pardon the pun) where your body has had enough – it whispers. The mouth will always want more, it’s like a 4-year old after all! Let the adult in you remind the child that you can have more later.

If you would like to practice this, I’ve included a link for a guided chocolate eating practice. If you do it, let me know how it goes?

Wishing you well,
Xen

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