Beat the Craving

I am an emotional eater.  If I’m upset or stressed about something, the first thing I turn to is food.  And it’s not veggies.  With God’s help, I have been really trying to overcome and conquer this problem.  The past couple of days, I’m sorry to say, have been a setback for me. 

This has happened many times before.  I’ll be on track and then WHAM, out of nowhere all the old habits start coming back.  After that first day of feeling like a failure, in the past, it has led to a second day, and a third until I’ve gained all my weightloss back and then some.  But, this time it’s different.  I’m not going to fall into that pity party and give up.  Today is a new day and I’m getting back on track.

So, I’ve already admitted that I fail.  A lot.  But, here is how I try to combat the emotional, stressed out eating.

Know your triggers, and have a plan to deal with them.  For some reason the afternoon is hardest for me.  Between breakfast and lunch, I’m fine.  Between supper and bedtime, I’m fine.  It’s those hours between lunch and supper that always get me.  So, I’ve started taking drastic measures to overcome that.

1.  Do something.  Most of my mindless eating occurs at the computer or when I’m watching TV or reading a book.  Sometimes, it helps if I can do something else instead.  However, this doesn’t always work.  After all, it’s based on my following through with the activity, which doesn’t always happen.

2.  Leave the house.  Sometimes, even trying to do something else to take my mind off food doesn’t kill the urge.  So, in order to get a healthier habit pattern established, I try to plan outings for that afternoon time, around 2-3…playdates, visits to friends, a trip to the park or library, or even to the grocery store.  If we have an errand to run, I’ve started trying to schedule it in the afternoon so that I know I’ll have something I can’t back out of.

3.  Make this your scheduled exercise time.  I’ve been working out nearly every day (an average of 6 days a week) for a little over a month now.  I was exercising after supper, but now I’ve started mostly exercising in the afternoon.  Working out tends to give me a mental boost and put things back in perspective, because I know that the feeling of victory from working out is so much sweeter than the regret I would feel if I give in to cravings. Also, usually, after I work out I no longer have a desire for the junk food.

4.  Pray.  I’ll be honest and say that praying for God to take away my craving hasn’t really worked for me.  But, I recently had a revelation about that.  When I’m praying for God to take away my craving, what am I focusing on?  The craving.  Instead, I’ve started trying to pray differently.  Praise God instead.  Put on some worship music and just start to worship him.  Focus on Him, and not your craving.  Pray for someone else.  If you don’t know anyone who needs prayer, open your eyes and look around.  There is pain and sickness and tragedy everywhere.  Focus on someone else and not your craving.  Start your day off with prayer.  Before the craving even starts, first thing in the morning, invite the Holy Spirit to guide your steps and give you strength for the day.

5.  Finally, if nothing is working, compromise.  Sometimes, nothing is working for me and I can’t shake the craving.  In those moments, I try to make a smarter choice.  I just posted a recipe yesterday for chocolate pudding and cool whip popsicles, that only have 60 calories each.  I have found frozen treats to be satisfying, and it lasts longer than the chocolate I would eat instead.  The same is true of hard candy.  No, it may not be the best choice, but if a 60 calorie tootsie pop saves me from a 600 calorie binge, then I’ve made a good choice.

So those are my tips for overcoming cravings…what are yours?  I’m a work in progress, but this time it’s going to stick.  Failure is not an option.  Giving up is not an option.  Mindset is key.  If you give yourself permission to fail, then you’re giving up before you even start.  I might stumble along the way, but I am not going to fall back down and stay there.

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Pounds Lost: 11
Pounds till first goal:
4
Pounds till goal weight:
54

(Check out: Weight Loss Wednesday, and Women Living Well’s 5 week challenge)

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