Updated: Nov 19, 2018
PART ONE OF FOUR
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But what? Aren't we supposed to actually hate cravings? Avoid them? Deny them? Fight them? They do cause us quite a bit of trouble after all. Wouldn't it be better if we just didn't have to deal with them alongside all the other "stuff" we need to attend to in this life? Cravings keep us from our goals, they tempt us with failure, they break down our willpower and rob us of our discipline. Who, in their right mind, would ever proclaim that we actually need them to hang around and stay awhile? Sounds crazy to me.
But actually, you know what really sounds crazy to me? Negotiating with yourself over what you can and can't eat (or do) every minute of every day for the rest of your life. This constant struggle between "good" and "bad" becomes exhausting, doesn't it? Not to mention that this approach keeps you fighting against yourself at every turn. It's no wonder we all quit, or at least procrastinate, this whole living-healthy thing. We've been stressing ourselves out to the max, living on the bargaining bandwagon, strung up on (im)perfection for as far as the eye can see. No longer I say. No more crazy mind games. In this article, I want to encourage you to slow down enough to discover the intricacies of YOU, because that IS something worth hanging around for.
And how shall we endeavor to do such a thing? Well, as with most everything we encounter as we move through our days, the way we orient our perspective towards cravings is going to determine just how awful (or useful) they turn out to be. Following are FOUR steps you can take that will help you to flip that switch you've had set like stone in your brain for way too long to remember how it got stuck there in the first place. It is possible that you, yes even you, can begin to befriend your cravings and allow them to guide you towards the healthiest version of you, that version of you that you hold in your mind's eye.
So first, let's define cravings so we're all on the same page. Cravings take you from a mindful state to an auto-pilot state; a proactive choice to a reactive response. Mostly we associate cravings with food, and rightly so. But keep in mind, as you read through these steps, that cravings can also be associated with behaviors that don't necessarily serve our greater purpose. Maybe you find yourself craving that Netflix show on Tuesday late-nights, or a nap every afternoon around 3pm, or a mindless session of scrolling through Face Book whenever you get bored or anxious.
Whatever you find yourself eating (or doing) that makes you feel like you've given in, like you shouldn't have partaken, like if you only had stronger willpower, like you're at odds with yourself yet again ~ that is something, contrary to popular opinion, that can help you to find your way back to the light, if you choose to let it.
And take note: THIS IS A FOUR-PART SERIES for a reason.
Please take each of these steps slow and steady style. You'll find a link to the next article in the series available at the bottom of each post. Each of the steps build up to the next. In other words, they are in order for a reason. They are very specific and detailed in writing, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to roll through them smoothly and skillfully. Try me, it works. Spend time practicing (not perfecting) the first before moving to the second, and so on. This is a transition. Let yourself evolve on a slow and steady course towards freedom from what ails you.
Ok, so without further ado, may we have a drum roll please? :)
1) First, wait.
That's right. Don't DO anything. Stop. Stop throwing justifications and judgments at yourself so fast not even the catcher of the Boston Red Socks could keep up. Refrain from getting lost in thought loops that resemble something more and more like obsession than sanity. And whatever you do, don't forbid yourself from partaking in the subject at hand. This is not a life or death situation; this too shall pass. So let it. The results we seek are in the spaces. Let me explain.
Take a deep breath (this is key), or even a couple, and let yourself off the hook. Seriously, give yourself permission to just be you. It's OK. You didn't get here over night, and you won't leave this place in the next moments either, whether by force or otherwise, so simply let your guard down. Feel yourself taking a step back, maybe even literally, from the turmoil that is your mind and your body, and breathe. Fill your brain with life-giving oxygen. Set a timer for 90 seconds if you need to, and wait. Again, don't DO anything. Don't try anything. After that 90 seconds has run it's course, ask yourself what you need right then. And do that. Yes, even if you continue on your original course of action. Be honest. Do what you need to do. No judgments, no doubt. Own it. All you are practicing is 'The Wait.' Good?
Ok, next.... Click here for Part Two!
Intrigued even just a little bit by what you read here? There's a book for that! Never Count Calories Again ~ The Ultimate Guide to Loving your Healthy Lifestyle without the Stress of Dieting
Here's to putting our healthiest selves first more and more often, as we connect more deeply and honestly with our inner power and passion!