A Chocolate Headache

Posted by Kristin Beale in Life After Paralysis on March 21, 2022 # Lifestyle

Kristin and her husband

In recent years, I’ve found myself enthusiastic about new trends in food, elimination from my diet, and following dietary fads. That’s not because I have a weight loss goal or reason to reach toward a healthier lifestyle, but I just like change. When I was in high school, my physical trainer told me chocolate gave her a headache, adding, “So I don’t have a problem not eating it.” She said it in context a few times throughout our friendship, enough to make me want it as my truth. I liked eating chocolate, as we all do, but I wanted to change my body’s reaction to it. I wanted a headache.

Call me a loony, and I can’t even say you’re wrong.

My paralysis cast a shadow of ambiguity on my life, and it took away a lot of my control. Combine that with my Psychology degree and an acute fascination with the human brain, and here I am. Me, who finds a hobby in manipulating my mind within my control. My paralysis may have taken intentional control of my legs away from me, but wait until you see what I can do with my mind!

You’d think it would be something more fun than giving myself a headache.

The power of your subconscious mind is, and I’m your proof, irrepressible. Eighty percent of what we believe takes place in our subconscious mind so, no matter how much you consciously tell yourself something, it might be going through your ears and out the other side; if your subconscious is in objection, you’re not going anywhere.

The words “I am” are usually tied to limiting beliefs. Our identity is made up of “I am” statements, but not everything “I am” is your identity. Still with me? If you say, “I’m lazy,” that’s tying your identity to a behavior that doesn’t define you. Instead, try “I sometimes act lazy.” Change your perspective. By not connecting yourself to “I am” statements, you’ll give your subconscious power to change your circumstance.

I’m telling you to trick yourself, but do it to reach your potential. Sit down and start thinking about the “I am” statements you tie yourself to.

What is your self-talk like? What are some goals you have for yourself – what you look like, how your body responds, how you act? Who do you want to be in five years, and what can you control to reach it?

Take notice of your thoughts around those goals and how your instincts try to reframe them. Then, start breaking down walls. Try rewording your “I ams” as steps toward who you see yourself being in the future.

I am not a good artist, changes to I have a different style than most people.

I love eating dessert after dinner, to I get a headache when I eat lots of sugar.

I’m not a fan of working out, to Moving my body makes me feel good.

It’s amazing the power of a changed mind.

For those headaches that I was strangely reaching for, it took time. For the next few years, I told myself, “Chocolate gives me a headache,” until my subconscious got on board with what I wanted. When someone offered me chocolate, I said, “No, thank you. Headache.” When I saw chocolate, I thought to myself, “Headache.” It was all hocus pocus for some time, I admit, but I stuck to it. And guess what chocolate does now? It gives me a real headache. This is my bizarre type of victory.

The real accomplishment about my headaches is the taking over of my subconscious. A beautiful combination of a disability, a Psychology degree, and a fascination with the human mind give me the power to call the shots on the things my disability tries to control. For my next takeover, maybe I can cause something more fun than myself pain.

Kristin Beale is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She is the author of two books, Greater Things and A Million Suns, and a comic book, Date Me. Check them out and read an excerpt at https://kristinbeale.com/. Her comics can be found on Instagram @Greater.Things.Comics.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.