Over the past few weeks I have received a lot of questions from clients about how to handle food cravings. Many of those questions revolve around “getting rid” of cravings, and all of the questions come at cravings from a negative mindset. This topic is so important that I am sharing what I share with my clients with all of you.
For many of us, food cravings are seen as “the enemy”. Somewhere in our health journey we were taught that we need to battle our cravings, and that if we fail in that test, we have no willpower. This negative mindset does us (and our bodies) such a disservice. This negative mindset has created for many of us a lifelong distrust and dislike of our very own beautiful bodies. This negative mindset has also created more stress in our lives which in turn creates even more cravings. We have in actuality placed ourselves on a never ending hamster wheel, and it is far past time that we get off!
Take a moment to think about your body. When was the last time it made a mistake? Do your lungs forget to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen? Does your stomach forget to digest your food? Does your hair forget to grow? Does your body forget to make a scab on a cut?
All of those miraculous processes happen without us having to lift a finger. Our bodies takes very good care of us. So then why do we mistrust the messages we receive from our bodies through cravings? Why do we think we need to battle our very own, amazing bodies?
Which “part” of us does make mistakes (and usually a good deal of them)? Ah, enter on stage left the ego mind. That bossy, noisy, insecure, judgmental voice that often belittles us for “giving into” a craving. This negative talk of the ego mind gets in the way of us having a healthy dialogue with our body (you know the one that doesn’t make mistakes). And we end up spending way too much time battling our own body, and in turn harming our physical, emotional, and spiritual self.
Well, I am telling you as a health coach, and as a woman, that you do not, and should not, have to battle your body. You do not have to fight your cravings. Instead, you need to learn to listen to your cravings and use those messages to heal and nurture your health.
So exactly what is a craving? I like to say that a craving is a message from your body letting you know that you have some type of imbalance. The imbalance may be physical, emotional or spiritual. No matter the type of imbalance, the form of the message will be a craving.
All cravings also have an underlying cause. Our job as stewards of our bodies is to take the time to investigate the underlying cause and from there take inspired action to bring our beings back into balance. I teach my clients that there are 5 common underlying causes: lack of nutrition, dehydration, emotions, stress and food addiction. If you can uncover the underlying cause(s), then you can understand which action to take to “feed” the craving. For example, you are craving chocolate because you just had a fight with your significant other. Eating all of the chocolate in the world will not bring you back into balance. Your craving for chocolate is really a craving for comfort. Eating chocolate will actually make it worse. Exercising, journaling and taking time to communicate in a healthy way with your partner will bring you back into balance which means the craving will subside.
This is where my 3 step method becomes useful. Listen to your body (name the craving), Interpret the underlying cause of the craving, Take inspired action to bring yourself back into balance. By using my 3 step process, my clients learn to decode their cravings and to take inspired action to bring their lives back into balance either physically, emotionally or spiritually. It takes practice. It takes being intentional. It takes consistency. But the more you practice these three steps, the more successful you will be at embracing your cravings as a gift that helps you understand how to heal and nurture your health. And the best part is, you will find yourself off of the hamster wheel and onto a healthier path.
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In Health and Balance,
Owner, Interwoven Wellness
I created my “Design-Grow-Flow” philosophy to help women who are ready to shake loose negative self-talk and heal and nurture their health in the now.
Curious to know more about my ‘Not Another Diet Blueprint’ way of living? Contact me to set up a 15 minute free Discovery Call to find out if my approach to health coaching might be just the answer you are looking for.