I recently coached a friend who asked me “Heather, how do you not go into your closet at the end of the day and eat an entire bag of candy”. This amazing friend of mine is one of those mom’s you always wished you could be. Patient, loving, fun, happy etc… In this moment of coaching, however, she was feeling vulnerable and opened up to me this day. I had no idea the stress she was feeling to put herself in a position where she wanted to hide in the closet each night and eat a bag of candy. This habit has caused her to gain weight and not live her life to it’s fullest and what is COULD be! The reality is, every single one of us has a vice which gets up through rough moments. For many, it’s sugar or soda. Others, it’s coffee or alcohol. We get a hit of dopamine each time we indulge ourselves in these “treats”. But it often leads to a vicious cycle of poor body image, guilt, shame and desiring something more for ourselves.
How do I break the cycle?
This is the golden question isn’t it! Cravings are no joke. When they come on, they come on strong. And guess what? If you answer those cravings, they come on even stronger the next time until you’ve found yourself in this place of addiction for which there is no escape (at least that’s what your brain will tell you). There’s no magic pill here of easy answer. If I were your coach, I’d ask you to ask yourself this question “Is it possible for me to be a person who has a craving and doesn’t answer it”?…Give your brain this challenge to work on. At this exact moment, drink 12 oz of water and wait it out for 20 min. The cravings will begin to go away as you allow yourself to feel the craving and describe what it feels like inside your body…what color is? Where do you feel it? Don’t resist it, but lean into it WITHOUT answering it.
Learn how to breathe
Learning how to do some deep diaphragm breathing can be extremely healing for you. I would prescribe this sequence of breathing for you to be used 4 times a day….here we go…Breathe in through your nose for the count of 4, hold that breath for the count of 7, release that breath through the mouth for the count of 8. This helps your brain to relax and focus on something other than that sweet treat or vice for which you want to grab.
There’s always something else you can grab
I recommend tuning into your body. When and where does the urge hit to over eat or eat junk food. Is it at night? Mid-day? Really narrow it down. What’s going on in your body and when? Once you are specific, you can create a plan. Drink some herbal tea (dandelion, nettle, any herbal tea). This warm mug of tea tricks the brain and body into thinking it had something just as satisfying as a bag of m&ms because it’s warm, it’s grounding and that, is really what satisfies the body. If you’re not a fan of tea, get a bunch of mason jars and fill those jars with cut of vegetables, have hummus on hand, dehydrated okra and green beans are actually a delicious and delightful snack. Trail mixes full of walnuts, gogii berries, craisins, toasted sunflower seeds etc… can also satisfy that craving and is a much better choice. The bottom line is this: eating more vegetables will crowd out those cravings for sugary foods and alcohol/coffee.
What about chocolate?
YES! I say yes to chocolate…if it’s dark chocolate. I like to have some dark chocolate covered walnuts on hand. I keep them in the freezer and allow myself a small handful in those moments of weakness and stress. Its far better than grabbing cookies and ice-cream. I wouldn’t indulge in this habit every day (especially if I am trying to lose weight), but as I am weaning and coming off sugar, this is a great substitute. I would also look on pinterest for “Keto treats”.
Find your willpower…it’s in there!
You need to understand that the way your body was created is unique and amazing! You DO have the willpower to walk away, but it’s going to take a plan. Any of the idea’s I’ve mentioned above will do. Create a plan that works for you and start telling your brain that you do have the willpower and strength to walk away from a craving. Breathe and allow it to pass. I know you want it, but what if I told you that something even better is on your horizon if you walk away? I am telling you right now that something better IS on your horizon. But if you never let go of the foods that are controlling you, you’ll never find out what that is and what your power is and actually can be. I’ve been through this and can tell you first hand…the horizon is beautiful and amazing. You need to identify your personal problem with food. Ask yourself “Can this problem be solved”. Then ask yourself “Am I willing to solve it”. If you’re really ready to become your best self, then you’ll get there. It’ll happen.
I invite you to take a look at my detox programs to really get a taste of what a week of healthy meals and habits looks and feels like! My clients have had amazing results in my detox programs so much, that they’ve kept this lifetyle going. In just 5 short days, you’re able to implement healthy habits, drop bad ones and get rid of cravings. It’s empowering. To jump on the next detox, check out the information HERE
Our next detox is a SUMMER RECIPES detox and starts June 11th-15th!
I wish you all the best in “putting down that cookie” and walking away for good. I know you can do it. If you need any further coaching or support, click HERE
My coaching programs have produced amazing transformations for so many people.
-Health Coach Heather