So here we are, day ??? of quarantine/social-distancing. I don’t know about you, but I stopped counting. What habits, whether good or bad, have you created? We don’t have control over what is going to happen or the outcome right now, but we do have control over what we put into our bodies.
True Story: I have been on ONE diet my entire life. It just happened. It was called the “Dairy Queen Diet.” Once a day, sometimes 2 times a day, usually after dinner, I would drive my sad self to Dairy Queen and order my all time favorite treat, the peanut butter cup blizzard. It was a daily ritual. It became just what I did. It became a not so healthy habit. There is nothing wrong with eating a treat, but when you are addicted and you rely on it to provide comfort, and maybe you are avoiding something else, it takes over your life. For some of you it may not be food. It may be alcohol, exercise, working, shopping, internet/social media, gaming, you can fill in the blank.
I’ve used many of the above to numb out feelings. The trick of getting out of it was first, being aware of it, wanting to come up with a solution, and then taking one SMALL step…and sticking with it. A PLAN, SUPPORT, and ACCOUNTABILITY.
At the time, I was 18 years old. Wow. That was 18 years ago. Crazy to think. My high school sweet heart, who is now my husband, and I had just graduated from high school. We decided to give the long distance relationship thing a shot. He went to college 12 hours away at The Citadel and I stayed close to home and commuted to Cabrini College. To cope, I relied on food. How often do you go to food-- or fill in the blank-- to cope/comfort?
It was a quick fix. A quick pick me up to help me feel better. Did it do the trick? Yes, for about 5 minutes while I was eating it, but it did not solve the problem. I was emotionally eating. A one time blizzard that I ate after I couldn’t stop crying because I missed him so much became the food I relied on every single day to give me a moment of pleasure, fulfillment to help cure the sadness.
But, our cravings are actually messengers. These cravings aren’t necessarily bad things. They are trying to tell us something. It’s our body communicating a need or a desire, usually some place in our lives that is under expressed or wants to be nurtured.
Maybe we can see these cravings as a gift, an opportunity to find out what wants to be nourished.
So anytime we are feeling anxious, bored, depressed, frustrated, or anytime we are feeling bad about ourselves, or judging our bodies, or even feeling pain and we’re reaching for food or something else to self-medicate, it’s time to pause, step back and listen.
Underneath that hunger is usually some area of our life where we would like to be more expressed or devote more time and energy.
So maybe the next time you find yourself creeping towards the fridge to fill the “hunger” or craving even though you are already physically full, ask yourself:
1. Am I actually hungry right now? If you are, eat, and do it mindfully. If you are not physically hungry then ask yourself…
2. What am I feeling or what am I craving?
What are some non-edible nourishing ways to meet your emotional needs or cravings?
Try fulfilling the cravings for pleasure, relaxation, adventure and/or sweetness in your life. You deserve to experience pleasure, relaxation, adventure, and sweetness!
Tips: If you are NOT physically hungry, try replacing your craving with one of these suggestions...
- A luxurious bath or shower- light some candles, play some relaxing music.
- Go for a walk- get your endorphins going to flood the brain with calm vibes and clearer thoughts.
- Journal - write your thoughts down to help alleviate anxious feelings.
- Do something creative- draw, paint, or color in an adult coloring book.
- Take a nap - enough said! Rest is best and you deserve to re-energize.
- Call a loved one- connect with someone special to you who helps you feel calm and makes you smile.
- Read a book or magazine
- Listen to an inspirational podcast
- Declutter/tidy up - this will help decrease the mental chaos.
- Unplug from your devices for an hour.
- Be still, breathe, and do absolutely NOTHING- let your mind wander.
It goes back to SELF-CARE. Self-care isn’t just a bubble bath, a pedicure, or a day at the spa. It’s truly figuring out what really nourishes you on the inside as well.
Do you want to learn how to eat intuitively without a quick fix diet and create healthier habits that last?
I absolutely love helping people find ways to slow down in the midst of their busy lives, eat intuitively, gain more energy, with an un-diet mindfulness approach to food and life. I help people create a healthy relationship with food, movement, and themselves by nixing the negative inner self-talk and replace it with a more positive approach.
Often times, we know what to do, but we don’t always do it. That is where I come in. With the right system, support and accountability I will help you follow through for YOURSELF in a way you have never done before. Through 12 one-on-one sessions (over the phone or zoom) we can work on small steps that can lead to big changes!
Group coaching also available. Do you want to learn how to eat intuitively without a quick fix diet approach? Sign up with a friend and do it together via Zoom!
One new healthy habit can change your life!
Click here to set up your 1st complimentary session to see if Health Coaching is a good fit for you, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care and take some time for you.