I was working with a woman last week who mentioned that the cupcake in the next room was talking to her last night.
We have all had that experience. I suspect that the cupcake was saying something like: “Don’t resist me, I will relax you, and give you a moment’s pleasure …you deserve it. “ Of course this sets up a dialogue in our heads as if we had those “angels and devils” on our shoulders. “Don’t do it, you’ve been so good today!”. “Ah…come on, what is the harm in one cupcake?”
Clearly the cupcake isn’t actually calling to us, something inside of us is and we are projecting it on that lump of flour and sugar in the kitchen. Food has come to represent many things to many people. Some of the most common include:
Freedom from boredom
It has been a long day… I deserve it
A piece of joy
If the occasional cupcake gives us pleasure I say go for it! But…if this is an ongoing dialogue that is draining our energy on a regular basis it’s time to make that cupcake pipe down.
Of course the cupcake isn’t really speaking to us, we are. What we are really craving isn’t really the cupcake, we want to feel differently. We want pleasure, relaxation, fulfillment and even love.
In some ways, it may be a key as to what is missing from our lives. Many have heard it said that our lives speak to us…who knows, maybe we are using that cupcake as a conduit.
The first step to “quieting the cupcake” is to listen to it. (Don’t mention to anyone that you are listening to a cupcake, K?). Tell yourself that you can eat that cupcake in a few moments but for the next minute you are going to listen and feel. See if you can get a sense of what that cupcake has come to mean to you.
Once we become conscious of what we desire we can begin to ask ourselves what else provides us with that feeling. What activities bring us joy and fulfillment? Have we gotten so busy that we have forgotten to find joy and that cupcake is just trying to remind us?
Be patient with yourself, and be curious. Unraveling the inner dialogue we have with food is the first step to creating a new relationship with it. A relationship where we get to do most of the talking.