This is a photo of me from this past Saturday night, of my eating a bowl of ice cream with my family to celebrate a family birthday. It was a small bowl – maybe 2/3 of a cup of vanilla Haagen-Dazs. It was delicious, and I enjoyed it thoroughly and guilt free.
Afterwards, I put my bowl in the sink and went to bed.
I didn’t go back and sneak more ice cream after everyone else had fallen asleep.
I didn’t eat sugar for breakfast the next day.
Over the next few days, I didn’t fantasize about sugar incessantly.
In fact, two days later, when my son offered me some fresh, homemade strawberry ice cream, I easily passed. I didn’t want or need it.
Eating sugary treat without a binge
This – the ability to enjoy a small sugar treat; the ability to enjoy it without it turning into a free for all binge; the ability to discern when my body would enjoy ice cream, and when my body wouldn’t – felt like a miracle.
Two months ago, I shared a story of how I didn’t turn to sugar or food for comfort when I was going through a painful, difficult day. Instead, I made myself a nourishing meal of chicken, salad, and potatoes, and gave my heart the care it was truly needing to soothe my hurt.
This felt like a miracle, too.
For over 20 years, I thought that the idea that I could enjoy a small serving of sugar was impossible. In fact, I’d closed my heart to even the possibility that this could be true or real.
For over 20 years, I thought that the idea that I could make it through life’s pain and difficulties without turning to sugar or food for comfort was also impossible. And I’d closed my heart to this possibility, too.
Thank goodness I was not in charge of my healing process, and that something deeper was calling to me.
This something deeper calls to you, too.
Your dream for healing
Beloved, you also have a dream for healing – for your health, your body and your life.
- You may want to eat without feeling stressed or neurotic or anxious about what you should or shouldn’t eat.
- You may want to be able to walk around the block with your beloved without your knees hurting from extra weight
- You may want to feel free to eat ice cream on your birthday.
- You may want to be able to cope with life’s pain without turning to your favorite binge food.
These dreams arise from your heart and the soul. They are sacred and precious, something to revere. Hold them close.
When we lose faith in our dreams, often what we’ve lost is connection – the connection to our own hearts, to love, to the Divine, to each other. Like an uprooted tree, with its roots in the air, we despair, feel alone, and we can’t grow.
No wonder. Nothing can grow without roots.
When we move out of our hearts, it’s easy to lose faith. That’s because the heart is the cord of connection, what connects us to our inner guidance, and to our sense of belonging. The heart is where healing feels possible, where we are in-courage, in the heart, encouraged.
I know this can sound corny, but it’s the heart that leads you home.
Reconnect with your dream
A few days ago, I wrote an email newsletter announcing that I’m going to be changing what I offer and how I support you in transforming your relationship with food. I’ll be sharing more about these details soon, with information on how some of my courses are changing, and how you can buy them.
But for now, I simply want to share this story, and to reconnect you to the dream – the vision of healing with food – that lies in your heart. Hold it close.
I’m curious – what’s the dream in your heart with food? If you want to share below, I’d love to hear.
Tears Karly, tears. I’m lost, wandering, spinning around in a forest of so many of your offerings. I need help figuring out where to sit, just sit, and listen. Yes, I’m a charter member. All programs are available and helpful. Where is my seat right now? Oh, I’m sitting in it! Right now, here right now, I’m sitting in my seat….relief. Eagle says, “Sit tall, be proud of who you are, and where you are.”
I hear you, Karly. All I need right now is to reconnect with my dream. Dreams need breathing room, don’t they? Yes, head nodding, they do.
Too many choices. I need your structure. I can have it all…….small steps for beginning again.
I can relate completely to your issues, Pamela. You could be writing about me!
Karly, thank you for sharing so honestly, from your heart.
My dream, like Pamela’s, is to get to the point where I can have that small bowl of ice cream & not respond by gorging on carbs, unable to stop 🙁
My dream is being terrified to go away on a holiday because I’m so afraid of eating so much that I’ll gain lots of weight & be furious at having to start all over again when I come home.
My dream is to go to bed without being consumed with guilt and self hate for over-eating AGAIN that day.
My dream is to be a good role model at last for my two adult daughters. I fear that I have passed on some of my food and body issues to them.
My dream is to get to the point where I love and forgive myself, so that I can let my hidden lovely, warm, caring side override my anxious, guilt-ridden side.
Thank you, Karly, for expressing so eloquently the issues that so many of us are struggling with.
Jen (in Dublin, Ireland
Beautiful. I can feel your heart, and can feel your warm, caring side – it’s so present.
May you have the forgiveness and mercy that you seek.
One of my wise women friends, Deidre Coombs, says about regret and past mistakes: “It couldn’t have happened any other way.”
May her words give your heart comfort, knowing you have always done the best you could, in the circumstances in which you find yourself.
May you see your food struggles through the eyes of Love, where the guilt is absorbed in the Love without end.
The impetus for me to get help for my eating disorders was overhearing my sweet young daughter make a comment about needing to fit into her skinny jeans. Oh, ouch – I felt so sad to see how my food suffering was impacting those I loved. I know that pain, too, my friend.
There is healing for us all.
Eagle is a noble messenger and talisman. Yes, my friend, sit tall and proud. Claim your space, and claim your rest.
I see tears as holy water, what waters the ground and the seed of growth.
I hear that you are feeling lost, and I’m so glad you shared this with me. It can feel so painful to feel disoriented. Your need for direction is a big reason why I’m simplifying and condensing my offerings, to make the path more clear, and for there to be more support. It’s not just you feeling this. 🙂
May your dream be watered by your tears and connection, and by the breath of life that breaths into us all, breathing new life.
I just had a hunch this poem on breathing room would nourish your spirit:
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.
We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
simply because the space is there,
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.
I love your post. I truly felt it a miracle when I did not lick the knife I had used to spread Nutella on my daughter’s toast today. I wish I could lick the knife without that little, hazelnut chocolate, deliciousness triggering a tablespoon of Nutella and then a cup of Nutella and so on. I knew today I did not have it in me to stop at just one lick so I chose not to lick at all. That knowing and that choosing not to go there was a miracle for me. I look forward to a guilt-free, binge-free lick of Nutella someday soon!
Lovely, Nikki – you were present and honored your truth, and listened to your heart, and followed its guidance. Beautiful. Love, Karly
My dream is to not turn to sugar in times of stress. I once gave up all sugar for 6 months. But as Christmas approached I allowed myself little treats which resulted in huge binges and loss of control. I want to be able to have a sugar treat without the guilt and binges that tend to follow.
Amen. May it be so for you, my friend, may it be so. A beautiful dream from your heart. Love, Karly
My dream is to be able to eat food like everyone else and enjoy it, but not have it be my main focus of pleasure.
Last week I tried some chocolate…and my body told me it didn’t like it or want any more. I listened to my body, and so didn’t end up going on a sugar binge because of it. For me, that was very powerful, I’m proud of myself for it.
My dream is to be able to enjoy food, like everyone else, but not have it be my main source of pleasure. I want my pleasure to come from connection with others and the world.
Last week I had a bite of chocolate and my body told me it didn’t like it…so I listened to my body, and accepted that feeling, and didn’t go on a mad sugar binge afterwards. I felt so much better emotionally for it, and proud of myself. This is healing.
Thankyou for your blog and all your work on this topic Karly, I’m looking forward to whatever is coming next! 🙂
Lovely – I felt so inspired reading your story of listening to your body and honoring your body’s needs! I bet you felt so proud of yourself!!! Yes, this is healing.
You are so welcome – thank you for your kind words and gratitude. I’m taking it in.
This is a beautiful dream – I want my pleasure to come from connection with others and the world.
My husband just listened to an interview with Alannis Morrisette on the Sounds True podcast, and he relayed to me that connection is her strongest value and biggest dream, too. I thought I’d share it as it might speak to your heart.
Thankyou so much Karly 🙂 Much love back!
What a beautiful blog post and photo. I got so much out of your 30 day lift and When Food is your Mother course and although I dont struggle with my weight, I really am on the roller coaster of sugar and food seeking behaviour, overeating sugar (as I did yesterday – I basically ate 5 desserts throughout the day) and then eating “normally” for 2 -3 days.
I really dislike the mental, emotional and physical ups and downs and very much want to eat normally like others who aren’t addicted to sugar and food seeking for comfort. I’ve had long periods of success, but honestly, maybe it wasnt really success because I wasn’t eating sugar at all. That seems to be the only way I can keep things under control. I don’t feel despairing, but I do feel bummed out that this pattern follows me around. Thank you for your hope and guidance.
What a beautiful and heartfelt yearning. I think I understand that path, as it was mine for 20 years. It can feel frustrating when it doesn’t seem to end or stop.
I loved having you in The 30 Day Lift and When Food is Your Mother.
May the ups and downs be smoothed for you, in all ways, always. There is hope.
My dream is to only use food to nourish my body physically. Right now food is my “drug of choice”. I “use” food to CALM myself when I am anxious or to REWARD myself if I have had a particularly rough event happen in my day. My thought is “I DESERVE this ice cream because : they hurt my feelings, I have had a rough day at work, I did a good deed, or just whatever else!!! Instead, I want my PEACE to come from my from my relationship with my Heavenly Father!!!
A beautiful example of wanting and seeking Divine connection versus the temporary stress relief to be found in food. Keep yearning, my friend and opening your heart to this longing! Love, Karly
While doing the workbook this morning, I understood for the first time the reason I am afraid not to eat when I am under stress. I think that is the beginning of my miracle. I haven’t eaten sugar in probably a year, except for what is in bread. Giving up sugar was not a problem for me. But not eating when under stress seemed impossible. Thank you for creating the workbook.
Beautiful! I’m so glad you are finding your miracle. Love, Karly
My dream is to live in my body without shame, to relate with food reasonably. To have the body I want without guilt, without pain on my knees, without feeling stuffed, clausterphobic or like I’m hiding. To embrace my shape and my beauty without fear of jealousy or being hated. I am 37 and I want freedom and more healing.
Yes, Annie – I hear your soul crying out for that freedom. Beautiful. Beautiful. May your dreams bear fruit and your heart be at rest. Love, Karly
You look gorgeous in those photos Karly! Beautiful & full of vitality & love 🙂 thanks for sharing…. so encouraging.
My dream around food is this….
Last april I gave up sugar, 1month later my friend bought me the most beautiful birthday cake I had ever seen, it was a work of art covered in pink roses. And I knew that if I ate it, even a mouthful, I would lose control & the hell of my bulimia would return. So I put it in the dustbin, & I covered it with (used) cat litter, because I couldn’t trust myself not to do what i’d done many times before, in my shame, & go ‘dustbin diving’ for food.
I sobbed as I covered my beautiful cake with cat poo. I sobbed for the tragedy of having an eating disorder so severe that I would go rummaging around & eat food from a dustbin. I sobbed with grief for all my unmet needs & that this is what I had come to, and I sobbed with joy & pride that I hadn’t sat & eaten the whole thing & then had a huge binge aswell.
My dream is that one day I will be given another cake, that I will have an appropriately sized piece, enjoy it & that will be it, that just like you with the ice cream Karly it wont mean anything. I wont have to put it in the dustbin, i’ll freeze it or give some of it away, but it will sit on my kitchen counter in full view for several DAYS! & just be there & I wont have to resist it, because I wont need it.
Thank you for your kind words!
Your dream is lovely, and your story of the cake and cat litter touched my heart. I could feel your tenderness and grief. Thank you for sharing your dreams and heart with us here.
May your dream be so, and may your heart be nourished by the hope that healing and your dream is possible.
My dream is to love myself unconditionally. And to use food only for the nutritional support of my physical body. My drug is sugar, in the specific form of ice cream. One bite is too much and ten thousand is never enough. I pray for deliverance from this hellish addiction but also realize I need to do the hard work. I don’t know how to start or where to begin to understand what’s missing from my life, my heart and my soul that causes me to do this thing I hate to do.
I admire your gentleness and compassion. May it be so for me one day.
I can feel your sincerity and longing in your words! Your dream is beautiful, and you express yourself so eloquently. I will say with you – may it be so for you, my friend. Love, Karly
I am so excited for you to be coming to and from a place of kindness and love. I believe that transformation and growth isn’t just about cutting and punishment, it’s truly about love, growth and transformation – not always easy, however, always crisscrossing through moments of happiness and bliss. Keep on with your fantastic work and the care of yourself, your family and all of us connected with you. Lots of love and hugs, Theresa
It’s so good to hear from you! I enjoyed reading your thoughtful response on transformation – your words nourished my heart, as they speak to my experience, too. Thank you for the kind words and for the love. Love, Karly
inspirational!, but were you ever fat?
My weight was up and down for 20 years, depending on the severity of my eating disorders. I was never obese, but was at times overweight. Weight issues can be so painful, can’t they? Warmly, Karly