Intuitively Eating Chocolate

Xen with Cadbury Mini Eggs. Intuitively Eating Chocolate

Filed Under: Intuitive Eating

5 April 2023 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

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,

“From our first meeting - two faces on Zoom across the world from each other, there was a sense of familiarity and comfort that was a healing balm for a lifetime of food struggles and dieting. Without realizing how much damage I had done to myself by adhering, for decades, to restrictive food plans and rigid diet programs, Xen had a way of redirecting the harsh and negative self-talk and sending me forth each week with compassion, mindfulness and a new way of seeing myself in the here and now. Gone are the maybe somedays, and if-only, and when-I’m-smaller thinking. Now I am committed to the imperfect and rocky path to listening to my body, accepting my perfect imperfections, and rejecting diet mentality. Those negative voices will revisit me from time to time, I know, but Xen has offered valuable tools for meeting each day as a fresh start - another choice, another chance. Her devotion to this work and her belief in her clients is a remarkable gift; I am so fortunate to have found her. It is never too late to let go of the drama and embrace joy, ease and self-acceptance.”

Karen L, Denver, USA

“I felt hopeless and helpless in my daily struggle with mindless eating for many years. Then I found Xen which is exactly what I needed! My decision to work with her helped me to finally repair my relationship with food. It's changing my life for the better, one day at a time. Now I have control over the food, instead of it having control over me, which is the way it should be. I highly recommend Xen to anyone who has a desire to overcome similar food struggles. Xen, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Karen J, Colorado, USA

“I reached out to Xenia because 2021 started on a tumultuous note for me. Between deaths, businesses suffering, hospitalizations, and job losses in our personal circle, I felt depleted and found myself being available for everyone but myself. Then I was hit with an unexpected health diagnosis, which was the last straw as it meant giving up “healthy foods” and workouts that I leaned on for my well-being and stability. Despite working in wellness (Yes, coaches and healers are vulnerable too!), I found myself reaching out to desserts for comfort. I like to live a life of permissions (not labels or deprivation leading to bingeing), so I wanted to work with someone who approached healing from a place of mindful compassion. I didn’t want to be my own client. Xenia was great in reminding me to be kind to myself. Working with her, brought me peace and helped shift my mindset. I love how desserts and I look at each other now.”

Sweta Vikram, New York, USA

“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

Heather B, Cork. Ireland

“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating