Crushing Candy Crush

There’s a very popular video game called Candy Crush. That was me – I had a candy crush. I was infatuated with candy, and the more colorful and sugary, the better. My Dad said that the very first time I went trick or treating, I’d receive a piece of candy, and proceed to sit down and eat it right then and there, at the door. I didn’t need a bag – nothing made it back home. 

From about age 8 – 17, I’d scrounge around my house for quarters and ride my bike to Harvey’s Drug Store, where I’d buy as much candy as possible, Mike & Ike’s being my all-time favorite, but I loved Starbursts, Swedish Fish and Licorice too. I’d get deliriously high on sugar, then soon after of course, I’d experience a crash, barely getting my bike and myself back to my bed for a nap. 

In college, I was able to buy big bags of candy, all of which kept me company while studying and staying up late. Finals week was one long candy binge. 

However, when I graduated from college, and was finally free of the school stuff (which I wasn’t inspired by at all) and finally doing my heart’s desire (which was teaching fitness full time), my candy crush STOPPED. I got a job working as a fit pro at Club Med and then taught exercise classes at various other places around the globe. I went years without eating a single piece of candy. Don’t you find that interesting? 

Then, at age 30, I had a candy crush relapse when I found myself unhappily living in New York City. (All those Dwayne Reade’s on every corner didn’t help.) After 8+years of candy sobriety, I started in on the Mike&Ike’s again, and my candy crush was back for about a year (I know, because I signed a year-long lease for my teeny tiny apartment I couldn’t wait to move out of).

I was telling this story to my son yesterday, and he said, “What? You? You never eat candy.” That’s how far I’ve come. There is so much distance between me and that girl with a major crush on candy, I don’t recognize myself in her, and neither does Luca.  

How is that possible?

For one, I’ve established baseline happy. Nothing is perfect and yes I have my share of problems, but I am truly doing what I want to do, not feeling like a fraud and not doing a single thing for “the money” or “because I’m supposed to.” I guess you could say, I’m not going against my true self, and I’m holding the reins of my life. I don’t want to escape my daily life, and I don’t need a jolt of sugar to make me feel alive. 

Secondly, as hokie as it sounds, I am, more than ever before, embodied. (All the mindful movement and mindful living has paid off!) In turn, I’m more connected to my feelings, needs, and wants, and I honestly can’t veer too far off track before those sirens come a-callin’! 

And…..I don’t think my baseline level of happy would be achieved if it wasn’t for embodiment, so embodiment is actually the one and only reason for my candy-free existence today. Hope my story serves as nice examples of how the mind, body and soul are inseparable, and how embodiment heals.

It’s Halloween, and candy is everywhere, but remember: candy is just candy when you’re embodied, so Happy Halloween, and three cheers for embodiment!