Colouring In is my New Comfort Eating

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…

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May Mandala

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 🙂

Escapist Colouring Club

Z is for Zen

Z is for Zen

Colouring in certainly helps me feel zen, I focus mindfully and creatively on what I’m doing and just let the rhythmic swish swish swish sound of the coloured pencil on the smooth page soothe my soul. I truly enjoy the peace and quiet it brings me, allowing me to slow down my heart rate and just breathe… ❤

Well here we are at the end of this year’s April Blogging from A-Z Challenge! I’ve really enjoyed my daily posts, colouring in through the alphabet. And thank you all for joining in with your many likes and comments – hopefully it might inspire one or two of you to pick up a few pencils (or pens) and a colouring book and get started again yourself! 🙂

Y is for Yacht

Y is for Yacht

I loved the square design of this little boat in a sea of wavy shapes – I’m not in any way a water-borne person so I do appreciate it is probably not actually a yacht at all, but it fits in so well with my penultimate post for this year’s April A-Z Challenge of colouring my way through the alphabet that I just had to include it anyway! 🙂

X is for X-Bones

X is for X-Bones

OK, so not technically a word starting with X, but there is nevertheless an X on the page! My skull and cross-bones from the bottom of the sea, all covered in green slimy weeds… to be honest I’m really disappointed I was in such a plain green mood that day, it looks way more dull and boring than if I was to start colouring it in all over again today 🙂

Almost there with my colouring my way through the alphabet in my 2019 April A-Z Challenge – only Y and Z to go!

W is for Words

W is for Words

Hmmm… I found a self-styled swear-word colouring-in book for sale online a while ago so decided to order it and give it a go… All I can say about it is, much of what counts as ‘swear words’ in the book designer’s lexicon are no more than cringingly embarrassing playground name-calling words I’d never EVER use in a month of Sundays – not at all sweary, just childishly stupid! Anyway, I’ve coloured in a few of the most applicable words just because they’re there, but I won’t be falling for that con again… You could say in my humble opinion most of the so-called ‘swear-words’ were absolutely shit! 🙂

Almost at the end of my April A-Z Challenge of coluring in – only three more letters to go!

V is for Vibrant

V is for Vibrant

I generally like to use vibrant colours when colouring in – it doesn’t matter if I’m using coloured pencils or gel pens, I find I’m not really a pastels girl at all. This design of abstract flowers has been done with coloured pencils, and is a full page edge-to-edge A4 design 🙂

For this year’s April Blogging from A-Z Challenge I’ve been colouring my way through the alphabet – nearly there! Also linking to April’s Escapist Colouring Club just for fun 🙂