Over the last couple of months, while due to ongoing digestive issues I’ve been trying to fix my lifelong habit of emotional eating, I’ve tried distracting myself with colouring something in instead of eating whenever I get stressed. It’s kind of working, my comfort colouring – well, most of the time anyway. So as a result I’ve been doing loads of bits and pieces of colouring in lately, mostly with gel pens or using both pens and pencils in the same design, but to ring the changes I’ve again gone back to the old school staple of using basic coloured pencils. I do tend to love the bright, strong confident colour tones created by using relatively heavy pressure on the page rather than the quieter almost pastel shades achieved by using gentler, softer strokes – hope you like them too! 🙂
I decided to mix and match gel pens with coloured pencils in colouring in this circular design – I first used a metallic gold gel pen to create an outline framework, then continued with gel pens for the smaller fiddly bits. I chose coloured pencils to fill in the larger inner areas, then finished off with gel pens again around the border 🙂
One of the benefits for me of colouring in with gel pens rather than coloured pencils is that I can colour all the really fiddly, finicky little designs that my well-used pencil points always find so frustrating to fill in. I’ve looked at this particular mandala design so many times and have resisted starting it, knowing that it would take some time to do – but here it is completed, and I’m really delighted with the way it’s turned out 🙂
Luckily, I’d just finished colouring in a circular ocean design on a square page when Nancy thoughtfully posted her Photo A Week Challenge with the topic of Circles and Squares – woo-hoo, immediately sorted for that one! And amazingly, just as I was busily preparing my post Linda helpfully posted her Friday Prompt for our Stream of Consciousness Saturday post on the topic of adverbs – so I quickly decided I could easily adapt my post to sneakily accommodate a few adverbs within the body of my text, and hey presto, here we are! Impressively for me, I’m even posting early – but I guess surely it’s already got to be Saturday somewhere in the world? 🙂
A page from my latest mindfulness colouring in book, complete with quotes – perfect for this week’s One Liner Wednesday 🙂
Due to a recent diagnosis of several mid-life digestive health issues, I currently find myself having to face up to the seriously negative consequences of my ever-present emotional eating for comfort. At 55 I’m really not finding it easy, because old habits die hard and after a lifetime of swallowing down my disappointments and reducing the bitter taste of quietly taking my doing-what-I-should-be-doing medicine with the proverbial spoonful of sugar, I’m finally facing my food demons and dealing with my past pains instead of always shutting them up with the promise of tasty treats.
Changing my diet so completely inevitably also requires a necessary change in both attitude and lifestyle, and the emotional consequences of such a massive change means that right now I’m constantly craving the comfort I’ve historically found in food, which of course is the very thing I’m trying to relieve myself of in the first place – Aaarrrggghhh..! It’s unbelievably complex for me to delve so deeply into exploring why I’ve developed such bad habits over the years going all the way back to childhood, and although I’m finding it a complete head-fuck at the moment I’m determined to see it through.
So instead of eating for comfort whenever I feel bad, I’ve been concentrating on colouring in – absolutely loads of colouring in. I really enjoy it, it keeps me busy, and it creates a very different kind of distraction from food. I find I have to be physically calm to colour in well – I like smooth lines and soft shapes, not jerky erratic strokes all over the page. So I tend to start off staccato, and focus on stilling my movements until everything starts to flow better from my hand. And you know what? Once the colour flows smoothly, I do actually feel a bit better emotionally too – at least, relaxed enough to have passed beyond that particular point of craving food for comfort, anyway.
And as well as the physical calmness I find in colouring in, the more emotionally relaxed state it brings me to seems to be responsible for creatively opening up a line of communication with a host of other difficult issues that I’ve also struggled to process in the past. I find myself feeling increasingly curious to explore them now, as if the more the pressure is off the more things seem to come to me, naturally and organically. In finally letting it all out instead of swallowing it all down, it feels as if I’m able to deal relatively comfortably with the emotional as well as the physical issues held within my errant digestive system, which surely can only be a good thing?
So while physically I’m getting to grips with a whole new way of eating, emotionally I’m comfort-colouring my way to good health and wellbeing, in the hope that I can build myself new creative habits to help over-ride the familiarity of those old destructive patterns of behaviour, once and for all…
Now that the 2019 April A-Z Challenge is finished, I’m missing posting my daily colouring in – so here’s a Mandala for May I coloured in yesterday, just because I felt like it 🙂