Self-care does not always involve chocolate. Who knew?

loveAhh, chocolate.The universal magick elixir for PMS-suffering lady-kind. THIS is a true fact. Raw chocolate, cacao is super-potent, has healing properties and can be used as a spiritual teacher - fo' real. Except I don't like that kind o' chocolate, I like the kind that is probably not even chocolate at all, I much prefer the chemical/fat/sugar combo that calls itself chocolate and comes in a purple wrapper. So much so, that over the last year, I've eaten my body weight in it. Happy, sad, angry, fearful, anxious, fretful, excited - whatever the emotion, chocolate is is my go-to food drug o' choice.

When my parentals died last year, the hot viking and I made a pact. This life is short, so we will have epic adventures, be open to possibilities, use every situation and circumstance as an opportunity to grow, kiss A LOT, and be kind to our bodies. Except grief is loud, gnarly and despite wanting to be THAT couple who can turn grief into a positive because we're super- spiritual and have our shit together (on some occasions we did, and still do, succeed at being that couple) it's not sustainable because grief isn't something you can get over, or find a short cut for, you HAVE to go through it. But that hurts. A lot. So while journaling, crying, chanting and praying have all been super helpful, chocolate, the purple wrapper kind, for a while at least, numbed that hurt. It's also helped to create a rather substantial suit of fat armour around that pain. A protective mechanism that, over the past few months, has stopped me from wanting those epic adventures, mainly because I'm afraid my substantial ass may not fit in a aeroplane seat, it has made me say 'no' more than I've said 'yes' to life and it's awesomeness, and has fooled me into thinking that self-medicating my pain and hurt with chocolate equates to self-love. FYI: It does not.

Self-love and self-care are something I teach and have taught for over 15 years. I've written a series of books on it for teen girls, so forgive me for the scrunchy face I'm currently pulling as I write this. It's a 'I feel like a fraud' face. It's a 'I should know better' face. I then instantly want to soothe my embarrassment and quite possibly shame at sharing this with you by justifying it with, 'well do you know what? This makes me real. Women who dig me and the work I do, dig me because I'm real and honest and by admitting that I'm addicted to chocolate, that I eat my emotions and that by doing so I'm not showing up as fully as I'd like in the world, it makes me more likeable' which although may have elements o' truth, it's also not MY truth. This weekend I sat at the feet o' the Black Madonna in Chartres (that is a WHOLE other story - remind me to tell you it, it's juicy and divine) I did a li'l cry and I asked SHE for guidance. Basically I handed it over to Her.

"Lady, I need you. I do not have good genes. My mumma died at 58 and my pops at 67. I want a long-term life, one in which I am fully awake, on fire and in total service to SHE. "

Yes, I've always been the fat girl who digs on her curves whatever their size and encourages lady-kind to do the same and THIS is still very much my truth, but in the past 12 months, I've put on 4 stone and that? Well, that's just not healthy. Numbing pain with the purple wrapped substance that calls itself chocolate is NOT self care.

So today, I declare INbodyment. A SHE-led, SHE-devised path to health and well-being in this Lisa-body. (Which basically means I've got no idea how this is going to work, just that I'm going to kick it divine feminine style and align my heart, gut and womb for guidance, there'll be no crazy diets or 10 step plan for success - just me and SHE.)

I'm syncing with my lady-rhythms - I'm on day 8 of my menstrual cycle, a time when your body is moving into it's spring phase, my bleed has just finished which means I'm cleansed and renewed and feeling all kind o' perky, making it the perfect opportunity for new seeds to be planted.

- I'm getting out o' my head and IN to my body, I am listening to Her needs. - I'm no longer going to run from the pain, I'm going to read it, understand it and learn from it. - If I crave chocolate instead of eating a family size bar in one sitting, I'll ask myself 'what am I avoiding right now?'

I'm keen to explore what self-care REALLY means for women. (I thought I had the answers, clearly g-friend still has a LOT to learn.) I want us to use our lady rhythms to really be IN our bodies so that instead of it being a vessel to carry shame, blame and not good enough in, we are able to love, honour and experience our body as sacred. It's an experiment, life long probably. It might become a programme, it might not. It might become a book, it might not. Right now, I'm doing this because I HAVE to. I've forgotten and I need to remember.

Who else needs reminding? I would love for you to share where you're at with your body right now, either below in the comments or over at the Facebook page with hastag #inbodyment - the more we share our stories, the more we hear our truth.