Photo of Dr Anne Malatt by Alan Johnston for articles and audios on self-care

Self-care moments: Eating

- Photography by Alan Johnston
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Hi this is Anne Malatt with self-care moments and this is a moment on eating.

I love eating food and always have.

My favourite food was any dessert, and especially tiramisu – as far as I was concerned it had all the major food groups: fat, carbs, sugar, coffee and alcohol, and it tasted absolutely delicious. But most of us would not give tiramisu to a two year old because said sugar, coffee and alcohol would send them crazy, so why do we give it to adults?

Yes, it tastes delicious, but that is just a moment in our mouths and then our whole body has to live with the consequences, not just for a moment, but for our whole life.

The sugar makes us racy; the fat and carbs dull us; the alcohol makes us numb and dull and the sugar in it makes us feel racy at the same time, which makes us feel topsy-turvy or tipsy; and the coffee makes our heart race faster than its natural rhythm. So why do we eat it?

We cannot live on tiramisu, although I did try for a while, and we know that it is not really a food that sustains us, but a treat that picks us up (which is what the name means). But what goes up, must come down and eating food like tiramisu can lead to yo-yo-ing blood sugars and moods and energy levels and ballooning weight if eaten regularly over time.

We have all sorts of reasons why we eat food like tiramisu, and it is worth looking at those reasons, especially when we come to the honesty that it is not actually good for us. There is no neutral in life, so if something is not good for us, it is actually harming us when we eat it. And why would we want to eat a food that hurts us?

I used to live on coffee, carbs and sugar, because I was exhausted and needing external sources of energy to keep me going through the day. My energy levels and blood sugar would yo-yo up and down, so I needed to keep topping myself up with more coffee and sugar. And by the end of the day I was so wired and overtired that I would need alcohol and chocolate to reward me and pick me up to get me through the evening rituals until it was time to collapse into bed.

Over the years, and it has been process that has taken time and a lot of self-reflection, I have come to understand that I do everything for a reason, including eating food. So if I want to eat something, before just eating it, I now ask myself why. Why do I want it? Am I actually hungry? And if I am, why do I want this particular food? Is it genuinely going to nourish and support my body and sustain me so I can move through my day? Or is it satisfying a want, a need, a desire? And what is that desire? Am I tired and looking for something to pick me up? Am I feeling some kind of emotion and looking for something to take the edge off that? Am I looking for a treat or a reward because I think the day is not enough, because I think that I am not enough?

The more I have reflected on food in this way, and the more I have dealt with my underlying exhaustion and unresolved sadness and other emotions, the more I have been able to let certain foods go, and with them 25 kg of body fat along the way. And the less sugar, alcohol and coffee I consumed, the less I needed, for I found that if I ate and drank those substances, I was caught up in a cycle of needing them again the next day.

I now eat super delicious, healthy and nourishing foods that sustain me so I only need one meal a day. I sometimes eat more, but I don’t actually need to, as without sugar in my diet, my blood sugar stays steady for the whole day. Having dealt with my underlying exhaustion by developing a healthy sleep rhythm, I no longer need coffee to pick me up or keep me going, and so at the end of the day I no longer need alcohol to settle me down again.

I have come to understand that there is a purpose to eating and to the type of food we eat.

In the past, the purpose for me was to stimulate and satisfy the senses, and to use food as a reward or treat, to compensate for what I was feeling, or to try and not feel uncomfortable feelings. But as I have learned to deal with these feelings in other healthy ways, I have found that there is another purpose to eating.

The true purpose of food is to sustain our physical vehicle so that we can live and work a day and be a vessel for the love that is our true nature, our essence, to shine through. If I eat light, fresh, healthy and nourishing foods, I feel light and I can serve as a vessel for the light that is my Soul, the same light that lives inside of each and every one of us. This light nourishes, energises and sustains me more than any food I have ever eaten and leaves me feeling lovely, the whole day long.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Love this Anne. Thankyou for sharing your food journey. Very meaningful for me at the moment too. Gave up sweet things through discipline a few years ago, but it all came crashing back when I stopped being ‘good’. Now to sit and feel before consuming foods that don’t support me.

    • Beautiful, Sue. I too cannot give up anything for long through willpower. If we focus on building love and care in our bodies, the behaviours that no longer support us just start to fall away…❤️

  2. I have referred to myself in the past as having a sweet tooth not really understanding why I was drawn to it. I now know it is because I don’t want to feel what is coming up, to keep me going and find it challenging to stop before eating and ask myself any questions or feel what is going on really. The want for it wins out every time. I’m addressing first things like having to be perfect, getting this wrong and not valuing what over eating is doing to me energetically but more so the fact that I will put on weight if I don’t control this. It’s inspiring to know true change is possible, thanks Anne.

    • Christine, I used to have the worst ‘sweet tooth’ in the world and now eat no processed sugar at all. What I have come to learn is that the sweet tooth is not even me, but beliefs and ideals I have taken on about who I am, what I like and how I need to be in the world. I did not give up sugar by using willpower, but by addressing the reasons why I wanted to eat it, what I did not want to feel or know. The key for me was to stop giving myself a hard time, about anything, including eating sugar, and to build my love and care for myself so that I gradually learned to feel the disturbance inside when I did eat sugar and slowly let it go.

  3. Love this. Thankyou Christine and Anne. Having a sweet tooth is really getting to me. I know when mine set in. And a pattern developed. So learning not to give myself a hard time and building the love for me, knowing the desire will drop away in its own time. Tho I need to feel what I’m wanting to escape from when my cravings seem to take hold. It’s certainly not about will power or discipline cos I did that for two years, but it failed as ultimately that isn’t what’s needed. Hence why so many diets fail I guess. Love your self care moments Anne. Thankyou xx

    • Thank you Sue. Yes, the key is to stop trying and just let go… align ourselves to the energy of love and let that fill our body… and as there is more and more love in the body and we feel more and more sweet on the inside, the cravings for sweet things become less and less until eventually they just fall away…

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