Our inner saboteur… our subconscious friend?

Last week we were away on holidays in the mountains. Great to be outdoors even if there was a bit too much rain! I got back to skiing (very gently!) but also had a few more coffee stops than usual!


So back in Brussels I have decided to go a few days without coffee and chocolate! My coffee is usually limited to one after lunch – no problem with that – and it is a complete pleasure with a square or two of 85% or 92% cocoa chocolate. Last week however – 2 or 3 coffees a day were normal and a wee bit more chocolate too.


I am not planning on stopping coffee and chocolate altogether…  no need for extremes! But as a rational adult I have freely decided to have a few days without…


my homemade chocolate.... yes I am such a fan I even make it myself sometimes!

my homemade chocolate.... yes I am such a fan I even make it myself sometimes!

It is a very interesting experience and I am sharing it with you in all honesty as I know it is something that a lot of people have an issue with.


Day one started well… I kicked off the day with some lemon juice in warm water to give my liver an extra boost (as this is a sort of detox). Breakfast was my usual green smoothie and a handful of brazil nuts and walnuts – no change. I went to my yin yoga class – what a wonderful way to start!


Back home for lunch – good bowl of homemade soup and a couple of slices of my homemade seed and nut bread with hummus and a big bowl of green salad with alfalfa shoots…. Tasty, varied in textures and tastes, very satisfying. After lunch a mug of green tea… this is not too bad!


It’s in the afternoon that it starts as I am sitting at my desk:

“Look you are finding it hard to concentrate – that’s because you didn’t have your coffee!”

“What harm is a little piece of chocolate…”

“Look at the weather – you can’t do a detox in cold weather – why not wait for the sun to come out”

“What am I going to have for dinner?” (I usually don’t even think about food between meals!)


Who’s speaking… I could think it is ‘me’ – that rational adult who has freely decided to do what she is doing…


But actually it is my ‘subconscious me’ – my little voice of sabotage… that part of us that overprotective friend who hates change and will do everything possible to put us back into our comfort zone.


When we keep going doing the same things we have always done – eating the same food, having the same routines (eating in front of the TV or a computer, being constantly distracted by phones, computers or games, indulging ourselves that we need to stay on the sofa and not go out for a walk)… then that little voice is so quiet…


But as soon as we want to change something, we get up and walk we change an eating habit, we decide to focus on eating consciously – “BAM” (as my 2 year old would say) – it knocks us sideways – it shouts, it criticises, it does everything it can to get us back to the familiar…


Ever happened to you?


Yesterday afternoon and evening it happened to me… I was so hungry at dinner time - maybe my subconscious wanting me to compensate for what it felt it had not had? I had brown rice with lots of vegetables and aduki beans which was satisfying… and then a piece of fresh bread with some goats cheese ;-)


With a cup of green rooibos afterwards I also had a medjool date for a little sweetness…


I had a lot of thoughts of stopping this now, “one day is enough to show I can go without”, “what are you trying to prove”…

I was tired and headed off to bed for an early night.

This morning I have more clearly realised what I was going through yesterday – you know it is so hard to see it when you are in it!

Today I can speak to my subconscious as a friend – this overprotective friend…

I can say things like:

“hey, relax, it’s all ok – I have chosen to do this just to give my body a break and a boost… it’s not extreme, it’s not dramatic.”

“I am not saying I will never sit and enjoy that espresso in a small cup with a square of chocolate <or whatever is your thing> again… of course I will…. But it will be when I decide to and I will savour every moment and not take them for granted.”

“You know it is good to change, to try new things, to find ways to help our body feel better… it is nothing to be scared of… give us a bit of space and we will show you how much better we can feel!”

“Are you scared of something? Are you scared of me changing too much and feeling so good that I don’t listen to you anymore?”

“Come with me – we can change together… we can start talking more positively to each other – not criticising our body that has done amazing things up to now… but just being a bit kinder.”

“Don’t worry – if I need your help I will ask for it – but only if you speak to me more kindly”

This is my homework for the next few days – but I think I am over the worst! I'll let you know how it goes...

Could these words help you too? Don't hesitate to drop me a line...