Let’s take a look at our language. The words we choose to express our experiences can be a powerful force in shaping and determining our reality, identity, and our future experiences. I recently read a blog post on binge eating where the author called binge eating an “illness” throughout. I’ve seen it also referred to as an eating disorder, an addiction, compulsive overeating, and many more labels – each of which come with their own set of implicit connotations and associations; some of these can be damaging.
When working with clients I am cautious about using loaded terms that could potentially be limiting or fatalistic. I ask each person what they refer to it as. And I want you to think carefully about what you call it too. I like to call it “my food.” Or sometimes I’ll isolate the overall pattern and refer to it as an incident (i.e., a binge). And sometimes I call it an eating disorder. We are free to assign whatever label we like to it – but let’s be aware of where that label places us in relationship to it.
Some things you might ask yourself about the term you choose to refer to your eating are:
- Where does it position my locus of control? Is it internal or external? (i.e., Do I have control over the things that I do, or do things happen to me?)
- Does it imply a time frame? (i.e., the word “illness” tends to suggest a long term ordeal)
- Does it suggest that there is something “wrong” with me? (i.e., what does the word “disorder” mean in our society?)
- Does it define me? (i.e, is it MY eating disorder or an eating disorder I am experiencing?).
Language is a powerful thing! We have a responsibility to choose our words carefully and unpack the words we do use to see what we are really communicating and reinforcing in our belief system. My hope for you is that you don’t regard your eating as an illness. I also hope you don’t regard it as a disease or an indicator that you are flawed. It, like all things, is an experience. It is not who you are. We can choose language instead that helps us feel strong, or, at the very least, not as hopeless as we may feel. So think carefully – what do you call it?
When it comes to languaging this food, there is only one word that comes to mind for this recipe: YUM!! I’m in holiday baking mode. With the season comes a bazillion dinner parties, and that means goodies must accompany! This recipe comes from a volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade store here in Calgary. The organic and fair trade dark chocolate I used (Divine Ginger Chocolate) is also from Ten Thousand Villages – this place is definitely worth a stop!! Thanks, Lorna for sharing your recipe and a big thanks to Angela and Yamuna at the Heritage location for the chocolate!!
Ten Thousand Ginger Apricot Chocolate “Bon-Bons”
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tbsp coconut
- 1-2 tbsp water (as needed to moisten)
- pinch or two of sea salt
- 1 bar of Divine Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Orange
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
In a food processor whir apricots, pecans, ginger, raisins, salt & coconut for 1 minute or until well combined & sticky (add water if necessary). Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined tray and store in freezer. Meanwhile, place your chocolate and coconut oil in a heat-resistant bowl. Place in a pot of water (1 inch high) and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove your balls from the freezer. Using a pair of tongs, dip each ball in chocolate to coat and place back on parchment. Once done, place in fridge (or freezer) to harden. Once chocolate is firm, serve and devour (or store in fridge/freezer in air tight container if you are trying to save them for that dinner party).