It’s 11:30 am and I’m nicely satisfied from my mid morning meal; a big bowl of grains and kale, topped with beet, sweet potato, baked tofu and sprouts, drizzled with Orange Sesame Dressing. It’s satisfying on a cellular level.
30 minutes later, I’m at my desk, working on a meal plan that I’ve been struggling with, when all of a sudden it hits me.
I want a burst of feel good. I want a second of bliss.
I want a hit of pleasure. I want to melt into something.
And then without hesitation, I get my ass up from my blue yoga ball, I walk 10 feet to the fridge, I open it up and I reach for a piece of very dark chocolate. I sit back down on my ball, I place the cool chocolate in my warm mouth, and for a good 60 seconds, I enter bliss. I experience pure pleasure. I melt into the moment as the chocolate does the same around my tongue.
I savor the last remnants of delight and I get back to work, committed to nailing my meal plan.
Here’s the truth. I didn’t want that chocolate. I was totally satisfied from the huge bowl of nutrients that I ate just 30 minutes prior. I didn’t want chocolate. I wanted the feeling that chocolate provides.
When I used to drink alcohol, I never reached for crappy food or sugar when I craved an escape or needed a hit of pleasure because I knew that my escape and pleasure would be waiting for me at 5 pm when I uncorked the wine, and I was more than happy to wait it out.
One of the reasons why I was shit scared to quit drinking and why I put it off for so long was because the thought of living my life without that escape, or more accurately, without the anticipation of that escape, was unimaginable to me. If I didn’t have that escape, that pleasure, that cozy intoxication to look forward to, what was the fucking point?
I didn’t want alcohol. I wanted the feeling that it would provide.
People don’t self sabotage because they’re afraid of failing. People self sabotage because they’re afraid that when they succeed, they’ll no longer have a place of bliss to escape to. And not having that comfy cozy cushion of happy to look forward to is fucking scary.
But here’s the thing, my dear.
Pleasure, joy and bliss are part of who you are. That comfy cozy cushion of happy is built into you. All of this comes standard. And nothing can take that away from you permanently. You might have to do a little searching and find other ways for them to come out and play, but they’re always in you and they aren’t going any damn where. And get this, they’ll be even more amplified when you stop self sabotaging on a consistent basis and start treating your body with the love, respect and compassion you deserve. All day every day.
I might not have an alcohol buzz to look forward to anymore, but enjoying a piece of super dark chocolate (this is my current fave), sitting in meditation for 10 minutes, doing a yoga session, going for a jog, or heading outside and doing absolutely nothing but tuning into nature and accepting impermanence, provides me with the same comfort, satisfaction, joy, pleasure and bliss that drinking once did. Sure, it’s not the same as an alcohol buzz, but it’s consistent, even and more satisfying and joyous than drinking alcohol ever was.
And it doesn’t come with bullshit hangovers, weight gain and crappy food cravings. My joy never went away, it was in me the whole time. I just needed to redefine it.
If you’re stuck in a cycle of self sabotage, know that the good, tingly feelings that come with indulging in your unhealthy substance of choice aren’t going anywhere, even when you ditch your crappy substance of choice for good. Those good feelings will still be there. They’re part of the deal that is you. Now all you have to do is take the leap and see for yourself.
I can tell you from experience, it’s a leap well worth taking.
Start today by signing up for our weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans and I’ll be right by your side as you take your leap.
Today’s recipe is full of flavor and better than any restaurant Chana Masala that I’ve ever had!
Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)
Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup red onion 65g, finely diced
- 2 heaping teaspoons peeled and chopped ginger
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tomatoes about 2 full cups / 350g, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans 380g
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup water 120ml
Heat a large skillet over low heat for about a minute. Add the cumin seeds and toast just until they’re fragrant, about a minute. Transfer to a small dish and set aside for now.
Place that same skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook the onions for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water when they start to stick to the pan.
Add the ginger, garlic, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala and salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, gently stirring so the spices get thoroughly incorporated.
Add the water and bring to a low simmer. Gently simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has been evaporated.
Garnish with fresh cilantro when serving.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with connecting to your joy in unexpected ways.