The reason I’m writing this post at this specific second is because I’m desperately trying to distract myself from rushing down the hall right now and raiding the kitchen. It’s not lunch time or dinner time or snack time, which I’m feeling quite resentful about, and the more tea I drink, the more food I want to eat. But apparently that’s not a good idea. So I’m going to talk to you instead.
First let me tell you the top three LIES that my brain typically screams at me when I’m craving something (like right now). Then I’ll share my tactics for fighting back.
1) “WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? IT’S ONLY A LITTLE BIT.”
Well, from experience, I know that “a little bit” turns into “a LOT” real fast. And it IS a big deal. The amount of grief it’s cost me has taught me that much.
2) “YOU’VE BEEN SO GOOD—YOU DESERVE THIS!”
That’s like telling someone who just quit smoking: “Great job! Let’s celebrate with a cigarette.” Throws them right back into the addiction that they fought so hard to escape. Why would I want to do that to myself? I DO deserve better. I deserve to reap the rewards for my efforts. I deserve to feel good about myself, which is why I’m going to break this addiction. And I’m going to keep fighting it until I do.
3) “EAT THIS AND YOU WILL FEEL SATISFIED AND AMAZING!”
No I won’t, really. I don’t know why I think that sneaking those extra five cookies when I’m already full will make me feel good when actually all it does is fill me with regret and discouragement at my failure, anger at myself for giving in without even trying to put up a fight, and physical discomfort from my poor, abused and bloated stomach. Does any of that sound “satisfied and amazing”, to you? It’s a lie straight from hell.
1. Pump Yourself Full of Water
Sometimes I feel a physical need like I have to have something now or I’m going to go crazy. I feel weak, like I can’t resist it. It doesn’t matter what’s in the kitchen, whether it’s some extravagant temptation like pecan pie or a cheap treat like soft white bread with butter. But when I drink water, I feel full. It puts a pause on my desperation, now that the physical component has been disabled, and it makes me think about what I’m doing. I feel stronger because I can think clearly. Plus I was probably thirsty anyway.
2. Do Push-Ups
Slowly. Feel the burn. Do five or fifteen or fifty, whatever it takes. Think: This is what I’m fighting for. Really feel your body. It’s the one that’ll have to deal with whatever you were about to go stuff your face with. And it deserves better. Plus, working out releases endorphins that make you feel positive and happy. It also makes you feel thirsty, suspending the food craving and replacing it with a workout high. And once you’re done your push-ups, unlike after guiltily gulping down that double-chocolate donut, you won’t feel regret. You’ll feel a satisfying burn, a surge of self-confidence, and a new grip on your brains. Do you really need that donut? Hell no. You deserve so much better.
3. Have the Right Mindset.
Don’t tell yourself: I can never have that pizza because eating healthy sucks, and I hate it. Because though your brain is smart enough to devise all those lies when it wants something, it’s also dumb enough to believe what you tell it. So if you tell yourself you hate this and you’re going to fail, you will. But if you tell yourself you love feel confident and strong and light and free, you will. And you can have things. If you’re really craving that pizza, find a way to work it in. Make it the prize at the end of your week. Cut carbs on one meal so you can enjoy them a little more at the next one. Let yourself understand that you’re not doing this to torture yourself. You’re helping yourself enjoy life and food through real enjoyment, not roller coaster urges and addictions.
Thank you for listening to my rant. I feel much better. Now I’m going to go do some push-ups, and then I am going to eat dinner, followed by a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie (just one. Not two and a half. Or eight. All in moderation, but that’s another day’s blog post). Because those lies in my head are just that—lies. And if I decide not to listen to them, they will have no power over me. Zero. Zippo. Nada.
And that’s the way it should be.