Do You Lick Your Peanut Butter Knife?

I remember years ago watching a weight-loss episode on a popular talk show. One of the calorie-cutting tips given was to never lick your peanut butter knife.

This made me sad. Very sad.

Who doesn’t love to lick their knife clean after making a PB&J sandwich, almond-butter toast, or bagel with cream cheese?

It’s fun! It’s yummy! It’s super satisfying!

Harmful, Not Helpful
Every day, we’re bombarded with messages like these that are often more harmful than helpful.

They cause us to be hyper-vigilant about our eating. They result in pointless food rules, restriction and rigidity. They lead to unnecessary fear, stress, shame and suffering.

If you bought into the “no knife-licking” rule, yet failed to follow it (which, if you’re like me, is highly likely!), your thoughts may sound something like this:

  • Licking this knife is a big no-no—you know that!

  • I am being bad, and naughty, and reckless.

  • I have no willpower or self-control. No wonder I look the way I do.

  • What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I follow one freaking simple rule?

  • Ugh, I really hope no one saw me do that.

  • I can’t be trusted with peanut butter; I’m going to stop buying it.

  • I feel guilty and need to make up for this food sin. No dessert for me tonight!

  • I really want to double-dip my knife back into the jar and lick it again.

  • Screw it. I’ve come this far, I might as well keep going back for more!

  • I shouldn’t do this, but licking the knife clean is so much easier than getting peanut butter off my dishcloth!

Does any of this sound familiar?

Challenge Your Food Rules
I spend a lot of time helping my clients identify and investigate their food rules

We deconstruct and challenge them, exploring questions, such as: Where did this rule come from? Is it true? Is it reasonable, sustainable and pleasurable? How do you feel and act when you break it? Is it helpful or harmful?

About 99.9 percent of the time, my clients determine their food rules are causing them far more harm than good.

They realize how their rules are creating an unhealthy relationship with food and negatively impacting their physical, mental, emotional and social health.

As my clients start to shed their food rules, a sense of freedom, empowerment, peace and ease surfaces.

Instead of listening to external sources, they begin trusting their intuition, body wisdom and direct experience to guide them.

And they start licking their peanut butter knife again.

Are You at War?

I'm guessing you're not a big fan of war.

Most of us aren't. 

Yet, so many of us are constantly waging a war with our very own body--fighting it instead of loving it. 

Being at war with your body means...

  • Attacking its size, weight and shape

  • Berating its reflection in the mirror

  • Fighting its natural appetite

  • Depriving it of pleasurable foods and experiences

  • Punishing it with excessive and/or unenjoyable exercise

  • Beating it up with incessant shouldn't have eaten "X" thoughts 

  • Ignoring its aches, pains and hurts
     

It's quite likely that you, like so many of us, have been conditioned to believe that all the happiness, love, acceptance and peace you long for will finally arrive once you've conquered all these "enemies" and attained your ideal diet and body.

The thing is, the more you attack your body and behavior, the more entrenched you become in your internal war--and the further you become from having what you truly want at the deepest level of your being.

All this self-imposed suffering drains your life force, contracts your world, keeps you playing small, and stops you from realizing the fullest creative expression of yourself.


But, 

just as you have the power to wage war, 

you have the power to end it.

It all starts with releasing the core belief that fuels it:   

I'm not enough.
 

Buddha said, "All we are is the result of what we have thought." When you believe you're not enough just as you are, than no matter what you attain, it will never, ever be enough to make you feel like you're finally, truly enough. 

If you're tired of cursing, critiquing and condemning your body and behavior, than I encourage you to bring compassionate curiosity to the false belief that you're not enough. The simple act of bringing awareness to it--and the thoughts and actions it triggers--is the first step toward releasing it. 

Ask yourself, "How does this belief show up in my life? What role does it play in my suffering?"

Remember...

You choose your beliefs. 

And your beliefs create your life. 

You have the power to change them.

The choice is yours.

And, if you believe it's hard to release the belief that you're not enough, realize that this, too, is just a belief.

To Your Enough-ness.

Suppressing Appetite with Asparagus

The arrival of spring has brought perky bundles of vibrant farm-fresh asparagus into my kitchen. I love to quickly roast the spears until just tender-crisp then eat them as finger food (my version of French fries!).

aparagus.jpg

There was a time many years ago when I denied myself this simple pleasure. At lunch one day with a new business partner, I mentioned how much I loved asparagus but never bought it because my partner didn't care for it. She gave me one of those "that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard" looks while exclaiming "So what if he doesn't like it?!"

This was, to say the least, a real light bulb moment for me. I quickly resumed my relationship with asparagus and wouldn't you know, it soon became one of my boyfriend's favorite veggies.

The Lesson in Suppression
The significance of that conversation stuck with me. It powerfully illustrates how easily we can suppress our desires when they aren't supported by those around us. And, at what cost?

Sure, not actually eating asparagus didn't have huge ramifications on my quality of life. However, my decision to not eat asparagus did. That's because how you do one thing is how you do everything.

If I was holding back on this simple desire, where else in my life was I suppressing my appetite? Where was I stopping myself from having what I yearned for because I feared inconveniencing or disappointing others, creating conflict, embarrassing myself, or, worst of all, being rejected?

Stifling Always Backfires
When we stifle our desires they don't disappear. Instead, they often surface as unwanted behavior or conditions such as a cranky mood, anger, over eating, chronic dieting, digestive woes, low energy, body tension, migraines, and so on.

What Do You Hunger For?
Take time to reflect on where you're denying yourself what you long for. What hungers are you suppressing, either consciously or subconsciously? It could be something as seemingly small as a slice of cake, dance classes, a pet dog or beach vacation or as big as an intimate relationship, career change, cross-country move or child.

As transformational coach and best-selling author Debbie Ford would say, "You don't have desires you aren't meant to fulfill."

What simple step can you take today to start honoring and fearlessly feeding your hungers?