Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Gretel Hallet, is a trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate, get in touch with Gretel.
Something happened recently which helped me to realise quite how far I’ve come since I started working on my relationship with food and my body with Beyond Chocolate. I spent a weekend in London and visited my sister and small nephew and niece. Then, exhausted, I made my way to the hotel I’d booked for the night. (In case you were wondering, my parents were staying with my sister, and I decided one more would be too many).
When I arrived at the hotel, the receptionist was unwelcoming and uninformative, but I have stayed in many a hotel in my time and thought I’d find all the information I needed in my room. Unfortunately, this hotel wasn’t as organised as some of the others I’ve stayed in ... there was a room service menu, but no indication of which number to ring to access it. So I rang Reception – answer machine. I rang the Concierge – answer machine. I left a message on both to ring me back – no-one did.
Room service ended at 9pm, so at that point I decided to give up and eat the complementary fruit and biscuits and drink the complementary soft drinks and tea. It was perfectly sufficient. I don’t think you can possibly understand how significant those words are. I wasn’t able to access any food so I ate fruit and biscuits and it was fine. I’m still not sure I’m getting my point across here – maybe I can’t in cold print, maybe you’d need to see the incredulity on my face and the incredulous body language.
You see, I have spent over 30 years worrying in advance about the provision and availability of food during any outing. I have been the sort of person who would go into every cafe possible and would never pass a fast food outlet or newsagent without stocking up in case of future famine. The sort of person who would eat at cafes because they were there rather than because I was actually hungry. If this had happened even a few years ago, I would have rushed out of the hotel to find a restaurant, even though (with hindsight) I wasn’t actually very hungry.
And that, I think, was the key this time. In the past I would have eaten an evening meal by hook or by crook, but now I am happier to go with the flow and, on occasion, eat what’s available and be all right with that. It’s a huge step forward for me and it feels good!
What’s brought about this change for me is working with the 10 Beyond Chocolate principles – it hasn’t always been easy, but it certainly works. I was able to Tune-in, realise I wasn’t very hungry, but that I wanted the comfort of something to eat and drink after a long and tiring day, and to eat what was available until I was satisfied. And then let it go.