Your cravings are trying to tell you something
"Trust your body"
Heck no. In fact, if you did, you’d be called into question by every single pediatrician in the world. Well, at least the ones with jobs and credibility.
Your body knows what it needs to survive. Every second, every day, its incredible web of communication and its interconnected system is in constant pursuit of equilibrium. So, when it comes to eating, it calls upon emotions and sensations at times to get the nutrients it needs.
Your body is not weak; it just needs fuel!
The same goes for salt. Your body craves salty things because it’s adrenal system is probably out of whack due to stressful modern stresses and salt is an effective healer of this sort of imbalance.
We crave comfort foods when we are low. When we’re depressed. Why? Because comfort foods usually involve a heavy carb load, aka society's latest nemesis in the form gluten, which contain opioid peptides—amino acid sequences that affect the brain in the same way opiates do, targeting your endorphin receptors and making you feel pretty darn good.
Make peace with your cravings and your body
Develop a plan of action.
- Separate yourself from the animal of your body. Let it tell its story. Look at it objectively. What is it asking of you today, right now? What has it been through? How has it served you? How has it failed you? What is it missing for equilibrium? Remember, it’s NOT YOU. This is your body. Purely physical.
- When you experience a food craving, sit with it first. Don’t react. Put your hand on your heart and make a solid agreement that you will choose kindness and wisdom. And know that if you can’t sit with it, then you need some outside help in doing that. Seek that help.
- When you experience a behavior craving, sit with it. Don’t react. Put your hand on your heart and make a solid agreement that you will choose kindness and wisdom. And know that if you can’t sit with it, then you need some outside help in doing that. Seek that help.
- Start finding other resources for what your body wants and what its cravings are. See the chart below to get a jump start on that. Fill your day with these options and then be willing to wait a bit until your body starts wanting them. REPEAT: Be patient. Your body will not want them right away. It takes time. Be patient. Be willing to screw up. Be ok with beginning again.
- Introduce and reclaim indulgence not as a “fuck it, I deserve it” reaction, but as a conscious surrender to the beauty that it is to be here, amongst taste and sensation and life as much as you can.
- Teach your body resilience. No matter what, never blind yourself to a perfect diet or fitness program. Do not, unless you have an allergy or specific condition, restrict yourself entirely. Deliberately mess up. Deliberately give your body reasons to bounce back. Take a day or two off of exercise. Take risks. Eat a piece of cake. Involve yourself with pleasure. Be an adventurer in the sensations of being alive and remind yourself "I can handle this."
- Create a unique formula for your own individual wellness. Do not bet on what works for Gillian Michaels or your neighbor with a six pack or that chick you saw at Kroger buying a gallon of kombucha. Start building and refining what works for your composition. What makes you feel good? What makes your body feel like crap? And if you have to walk away from a food or behavior because it is harming you, then grieve it. Be emotional about it for as long as you need and then get re-aligned with that formula.
- Do not run away from your vital self. Like, ever. Wait, a better word: Trust your vital self. Hold up, an even better word: Love your vital self."
Courtney also wrote an article about specific cravings, what they are telling your body, and how to satisfy them. It is really helpful!
If you are struggling and would like help, we have Houston, Texas Counselors who can meet with you. You can contact us at 713 -591- 3612 or by email at Nancy@wilsoncounseling.org. This blog is not intended to substitute for professional counseling.