Posted by free1blog2 | Posted in Intuitive Eating | Posted on 12-07-2011
Copyright © 2011 Monica Shah
This past weekend I did an amazing workshop on how to become a better facilitator. The workshop was intense, 10 hours on Saturday and 9 hours on Sunday. Late Sunday afternoon, they put out a tray of warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies. Before I knew it, I had shoveled four of them into my mouth.
By the fourth cookie (while I was thinking of the fifth ) I began to realize that I had somehow lost control. The counselor who lives in my head began to analyze the situation. First, I realized that I was hungry and that lunch had not quite done the trick. Next, I realized that I was tired and my body was looking for the quickest source of energy – sugar. Then I realized how much I missed homemade chocolate chip cookies and how long it has been since I’ve had them. I was immediately taken back to happy seventh grade memories of eating chocolate chip cookie dough straight from the spoon, while parked on my kitchen floor. All of these led me to some conclusions – I needed a break, a wholesome meal full of grains and greens, and a time where I could enjoy my childhood favorite treats without guilt. Cravings and binges are not always a bad thing – they are often learning experiences, little red flags alerting you that something is missing. Once you learn to identify and meet your true needs, the cravings lose their power.
I break down the causes of cravings into three categories: physical, mental and emotional. The next time you have a craving or have already indulged, allow the counselor in your head to ask the following questions:
Question: Am I hungry? Am I eating this food because I haven’t eaten enough at my last meal or do I just need another meal?
Solution: Eat at regular intervals and eat enough healthy foods to fill you up. Also be prepared for blood sugar dips by having healthy snacks on hand.
Question: Have I been depriving myself of too many foods that make me happy? Have I been depriving myself of too many joyful activities in my life? When is the last time I did something just for me?
Solution: If your life has been full of deprivation lately, either in action or in food, your body may respond by wanting comfort foods that used to bring you joy. Perhaps you need to give yourself a treat – allow yourself to have that comfort food without guilt for one night. Or perhaps you need more joy in your life – more friend time, more alone time, more peaceful moments.
One of my best answers for uncontrollable sugar cravings that stem from a lack of joy is to treat yourself to a massage.
Question: Am I struggling with a tough emotional situation, like a break-up or a terrible boss and am looking for some relief?
Solution: Determine what non-food activity would help you to feel better emotionally. For some people, finding a friend or counselor to talk about the situation can relieve the pressure. For others, having some alone time to relax and let go can ease the situation. Another suggestion, write it all down – journaling can be a great way to get something that is painful off your chest and out of your body. It can also be a great way to try to come up with a creative solution or a way to move on.
These are just some of the questions that I ask my clients as we work together to identify their underlying needs and create extraordinary lives. But these should give you a foundation for what to do the next time you have your own version of a cookie binge.
Monica Shah helps busy professional women with weight loss and healthy living by giving them simple steps that work no matter how busy they are. Monica put all of her secrets on her “fast track to weight loss and healthy living” MP3. To get the free MP3, please go to http://ow.ly/3NPQ2