My main craving has always been for chocolate, that sweet pick-me-up that helped get me through a boring school day and then a stressful workday. It was my Saturday morning feel-good food while reading my favourite book as a teenager and is still my go-to when I’m feeling tired and irritable and yes, during those times of the month.
I’ve given it up for Lent in the past and when my husband pointed out that during another one of my trials of a new diet, that if I just stopped eating the chocolate bar every day, I would easily lose weight.
It was then that I started to realise that this wasn’t just a craving, it was turning into an addiction. Which is being re-enforced by increasing research into our craving for sugar. Because, despite implications for our health, many of us still see food as a ‘treat’.
I’ve tried willpower, giving it up for Lent and I actually stopped eating any refined sugar for over a year while I was trying to get pregnant with my son, similar to how someone would give up smoking.
And yet still it calls to me when I need a ‘pick me up’.
Shocking statistics, like sugar destroying our brain cells, similarly to alcohol, can also help with willpower – on the good days.
Sure, I’m better than I used to be; I’ve generally become healthier through lifestyle, exercise and eating. Most days I can actually just say ‘I don’t need it’, or ‘it’s not worth the calories’.
And still, after a long day and feeling overly tired and emotional, I find myself gravitating towards the chocolate to feel better. It’s an emotional ‘fix’ and at those times, an orange, even a nice juicy one, is not going to replace the feelings I get from eating chocolate.
Recent research shows that stress actually increases our cravings. At last, there’s an explanation for why it’s so difficult to stop our cravings.
When our kids were little, it was so obvious when my eldest was having a noticeable ‘sugar high’ after eating an ice cream. He turned from a sweet, calm, boy to one that a bouncing off the walls, highly annoying and let’s just mischievous one. This was the moment my lovely friend who had previously thought I was being overly strict, realised that maybe I had a point.
Listening to an interview about Alzheimer’s (a condition which my father-in law has) and Dementia (my mum is in the latter stages of dementia) recently re-enforced to me that it’s time to finally let go of that emotional craving – for good. To connect with the part of my brain that overrides the conscious fact-knowing part of my brain. To look behind the craving, so I can let it go. It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s been going on too long. But it feels like one of the last pieces of the puzzle for me.
So, what’s your craving/vice/treat?
Are you ready to work on the emotions behind the craving?
The emotions that are just trying to keep you safe and happy.
Imagine re-programming your subconscious, not having to constantly battle the craving for the food/drink/device and discovering your own personal way to access those feel-good emotions.
During our cravings workshops, we’ll tap together in a lovely supportive group environment, look behind the craving, release some of those feelings that are just trying to keep us safe and happy, tune into how we can access those feelings in different ways and connect with our future selves for some advice on how to move forward and feel empowered to create a future of our own choosing.
We’ll finish by discussing ways to continue working on our cravings in our everyday lives. To keep us focussed and motivated, particularly on the days when our defences are low and it’s so much easier to give in to the craving.
Looking forward to helping you to
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