I am very recently home from a third trip to Peru within the last 13 months or so. Each experience I’ve had has been ENTIRELY different. During this recent adventure, I experienced the vast polarity between blissful, ecstatic states the region is known for and the heavier grit and shadow side that the city of Iquitos seems to carry.
By the last couple days of my trip, I knew I was getting run down so spent my remaining time resting and catching up on sleep and ‘introverting’ much more.
The trip ended with some added overwhelm.
A 16-hour trip back home to the States shifted dramatically as one initial late flight resulted in three missed connections, over 3 days of travel, sleeping in the Lima airport terminal, staying awake through the night trying to arrange a new international flight home with very little initial help from Peruvian Airlines, and the stress of the very chaotic airport ambiance in the Lima airport.
A day before me and my travel companions finally left for the States, I was exhausted, feeling my immune system struggling to keep up, and worried about the crunch I’d have to dive into once I finally returned home with less transition time.
So I did what any frustrated, stranded person would do in a fancy hotel (the airline finally gave us one night in the hotel across the street)
I treated myself to a delicious, expensive Peruvian lunch and indulged in a gorgeous and large dessert platter with flavors and textures that would delight any food connoisseur. Bite by bite, I enjoyed it, and then there came a point where I stopped enjoying my lovely dessert…but I kept eating it anyway and didn’t feel so great afterwards.
Here is a little example of a neutral eating event that can happen to anyone of us.
The food itself wasn’t the problem.
But the energy behind it needed a big hug. My utter exhaustion plus intense frustration (an usual combo) activated my lower, younger instincts leading me to a temporary escape route when I was really needing support, a kind ear, and some empathic mirroring.
I wanted to share this little story to segway into something very common – the sensitivity/overwhelm/sugar connection.
This connection is not unusual for people in general, but especially common for those with sensitive constitutions. Overwhelm can undoubtedly effect one’s eating habits.
Today I’m sharing 14 common causes of overwhelm, why sugar makes perfect sense, and how to strengthen your inner resources so overwhelm becomes far less overwhelming.
Overwhelm – anything you experience as “system overload.” This can be environmental, body-based, or emotionally oriented.
What may lead to overwhelm:
Chaotic outer environment with no perceivable escape
Taking in too much news/violence in the media
Not enough sleep
Going too long without eating
Picking up on the unconscious energies in the environment or people around you
An emotional trigger that hijacks the system — without a grounded ego to stay present
An inner critic attack
The upwelling of emotional intensity
Feeling of having too much going on all at once
Inner pressure to do a lot/accomplish a lot at once
Experiencing powerful conflicting needs without a clear resolution
Any feeling of being trapped
The overwhelm/sugar connection can make perfect sense for the following reasons:
Sugar (a substance that sensitives are, well, sensitive to) can result in a numbed, spacey, disembodied feeling
A “sugar problem” can become an issue to focus on with a clearer solution than the actual experience at hand
Eating a non-agreeable amount of sugar can transmute emotional discomfort into physical discomfort, something that is largely more acceptable to deal with in the West
The warm, gooey experience of sugar can initially provide a sense of comfort
Sugar can temporarily relax a strung out nervous system
What to do?
understand how to mitigate overwhelm on a day-to-day basis
integrate body-based practices like yoga, nature walks, and pranayama
remember to take it easy on yourself, you’re doing the best you can
take responsibility for your sensitivity by learning where your limits and edges are
a wildy important one: inner parts work, learning to distinguish younger parts and older, and learning how to call on more Self-led parts to care for you when younger parts get overwhelmed – a strong ego helps when the going gets tough!
Call on your outer resources. Ask for help from people you trust.
Remember, an empathic response is always best. Implicit in this is an acceptance of your sensitive nature, and an ability to attune to what you actually need without judgment.
This is the sort of work that will gradually and sustainably transform your relationship with food and with yourself. This is much of the real support I offer that lies just underneath the surface of our nutritional and health concerns.
I celebrate you and your sensitivity! Ultimately a gift, I am sure you will see, in this lifetime.
Like this Article? You might also like: Why I needed a timer to finish my meals
And a quick reminder that the Early Bird Discount ($297 instead of $350) for Empower Your Eating: 6 Weeks to a Hot & Healthy Body Image, ends at 4pm EST today.
There is a beautiful group of women that are coming together to step into far more freedom around eating and trust in their bodies.
Here’s the link to register. Once registered, you’ll receive a welcome email from me with some important details and tips. We’ll officially get rolling in exactly two weeks! (and you’ll get access to your warm-up module in one week)