For years and years, I turned to food in times of crisis, in times of stress, and heck, in any time where my emotions went up or down. Yep, I was, and still am at times cause who isn’t, an emotional eater. When it came to pain that I didn’t want to feel, I used food to numb my emotions. This behavior was probably the most difficult to unlearn when trying to make friends with food and build a healthy relationship.
The first thing I had to do to move past this was to remind myself of one thing: I AM NOT PERFECT. If you have read my blog enough, you know that this has pretty much been a big struggle for me and is definitely the root of a lot of my own issues with food and body image. The minute you expect perfection is the minute you set yourself up for failure. So, that meant, if I had a day where I found myself using food to suppress the feelings I needed to feel, I had to say to myself, “It’s okay. It happens. Keep moving on.” And then I had to do thing I was trying to avoid. I had to actually feel the pain, the anxiety, the sadness, the joy, whatever it was that I just couldn’t seem to embrace, I had to feel it. And to be honest, it wasn’t fun. But neither was living the life that I was.
So today, I had one of those exact situations where the pit in my stomach grew, my body got hot, I wanted to cry, and above all, I wanted to escape. And sure there was plenty of food nearby that I could have easily turned to, but that is not what I did. First, I took a few deep breaths, and then a few more…and then about 25 more. Still felt the same way, and I was playing a wait game and wanted immediate answers but realized I wasn’t getting those either so the stress was prolonged. I recognized I had to occupy myself and I had to move. So I went with movement. I just picked up my weights downstairs and worked out for a good solid 15-20 minutes.
After the workout, the situation was all still there and nothing had been resolved, but my mind seemed a bit clearer and I felt so good for turning to something positive.
Now as I sit here typing, all has been resolved. Everything is okay. I moved through crisis, I did not avoid the feelings and the body sensations. Instead I harnessed them and used them in a way to relieve stress instead of adding it. Not turning to food feels good. I wouldn’t be feeling as resolved right now had I just said forget it, and reached for the pint of ice cream. And for some like me, this is a huge accomplishment. Years ago, I would not be sitting in this same seat feeling the same way. Life is hard, it’s stressful at times and it throws us some curve balls. And we are stronger than we think sometimes. Even when we don’t think we are, it’s true.
So now let’s dig in to this delicious, simple treat!
I often have some sort of this treat in my fridge and for some reason this is just now the first time I added peanut butter to the mix. No idea how it took me so long! This recipe is so quick and adds metabolism boosting coconut oil. Coconut oil boasts a long list of benefits as well! 5 ingredients and a few minutes and you are set.
Feel free to try another nut butter or sunflower seed butter, they should all work fine as well!
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark
- 2/3 c cacao or cocoa powder
- 2/3 c coconut oil melted
- 3-4 T pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c natural peanut butter or nut or seed butter room temperature and runny/thin
- Dash of sea salt optional
- Combine all ingredients except the peanut butter and whisk until smooth.
- Stir in half of the peanut butter and whisk again until smooth.
- Pour mixture into parchment lined 9x9 pan evenly.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the rest of the peanut butter over the bark and swirl it into the chocolate.
- Freeze for about 30-45 minutes or until set.
- Break into pieces.
- Store in the refrigerator.