How am I supposed to fight this feeling that DEMANDS that I eat that chocolate cake now … like RIGHT NOW!!?
No, that’s not true. I’ve got some ideas that will help you out a lot of the time. I’m not saying you’ll never give in again, but here’s some help.
First, breathe. That’s simple, right? Just taking that breath is the most important thing you can do. It’s about becoming aware of your actions. If you can catch yourself before you give in to the craving, by taking a deep breath, you have the opportunity to make a change.
Second, ask yourself if you’re hungry. If you are, eat something nourishing and get on with your day or night.
Not hungry? Drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes. Thirst often presents as a craving and that’s easily solved.
So, ten minutes have gone by and you are just barely holding yourself back from eating the cake. Time to look a little deeper.
If you’re not hungry or thirsty then chances are that you are falling prey to emotional eating. While not as easily solved as hunger and thirst, there are some tools you can use to achieve success.
The first thing you need to do is identify what’s going on. Are you bored, angry, happy, lonely, in need of comfort or frustrated? Once you identify the emotions that make you head for the ice cream or potato chips you can find other solutions.
When you’re not in the throes of a craving, list the emotions that cause you to eat. After each emotion identify other things that would address the feelings you’re experiencing. I call this my Nourishment Menu. You can add things that work for you, here are some examples from mine:
I created a project list consisting of small, medium and large projects so that there’s almost always something that can be done in the time I have to fill. I even have some of household chores on my list.
On my Nourishment Menu I have: Go to a coffee shop or call friends and family.
Sometimes there just isn’t anyone available to offer comfort so finding things that offer comfort is important. I enjoy a warm Epsom salt bath with a cup of tea and a good book. A client loved to snuggle under her grandmother’s quilt and watch old movies. Maybe there’s not time for a bath, in which case I’ll take ten minutes with a cup of tea and my journal or sit on the couch with a dog on my lap … finding solace in small things is a gift.
I hate to say it but this one is often solved through exercise. I’ll walk my dogs for a few miles and all of a sudden I’m not upset anymore. An alternative, an oldie but goodie, is to take it out on a pillow. I think beating up on a pillow works because after about 12 seconds you feel totally comical. You could try screaming at yourself in the mirror as well. That’s good for an attack of the sillies.
I have to say I haven’t found anything that really feels as right as food, but I have learned to switch from overeating chocolate, crème-filled cake to sharing a decadent dessert at a nice restaurant with friends. Two bites of the Chocolate Bag at McCormick & Schmick’s is plenty and gives me a genuine feeling of celebration rather than the guilt that occurs after overeating junk.
So, take a deep breath. Eat if you’re hungry. Drink for thirst. Then figure out what’s really going on and develop a menu of things that will nourish the true hunger.
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Do you enjoy reading the blog, think the ideas are good, but just don’t seem to make them happen in your life? You might be a perfect candidate for the coaching process. Contact me to schedule a FREE Strategy Session by visiting my website www.healthworkskc.com/forms. Fill out the appropriate form and when I receive it I’ll contact you to set up a time to talk. The session is done over the phone, lasts about 45 minutes and you will definitely have one or two strategies when the call is over.
PS: What does the acronym CRAVINGS stand for?
Crazy & Ravenous Advancing Viciously In a Nonstop Gastronomic Session