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Cravings and Self-Sabotage


Public Domain Image by Shirley Hirst

When I get unhealthy cravings that are not satiated by healthy alternatives I tend to teeter on the brink of self-sabotage.  This week has been full of cravings of the processed sweets variety and giving into them, while at the same time trying to rein back the urge to eat everything bad for me in sight.  I just could not get full on Wednesday.  I am sure it’s the fact that I’m able to eat solid foods again post-tonsillectomy, coupled with that once a month time in most every ladies life between 12 and 51 year of age.  In order to satisfy these cravings I had to make a decision.  What am I going to eat, and how much am I going to allow myself to consume?

In the past, I could easily eat an entire box/bag of something I was craving then feel horrible about making that poor decision and think to myself, “Well I screwed that up, might as well eat like crap again tomorrow…and the next day…and the next day”.  I always had a problem knowing when to stop eating food in general.  This is something I still struggle with, so when I get the bottomless pit feeling I remember to breath and not freak out.  Something as simple as taking a few seconds to ask yourself, “what is the better choice” can make a huge difference in how you are going to feel about yourself later that night.  Though I still struggle some days, I am determined to change how I think, leading to changes in how I act.

Portion control is something to be kept in mind during these ravenous times.  When I am feeling insatiable, I make sure to purchase smaller portions of unhealthy items if I decide to give into temptation.  For example, I really wanted a dessert roll I found at the local grocery store.  Upon further searching, I found a container with a few tiny dessert rolls at 210 calories per roll.  This was a decision I made to feed my craving but not feed my self-hate.  Sure, I could choose to eat a lot more healthy food for 210 calories, but would it satisfy me?  Maybe.  But I wanted what I wanted.  I can usually get my sweets cravings satisfied by a piece of fruit, but there are certain times when that just doesn’t cut it.  I want that processed sugar in my belly!  These are the times I must remember to pay close attention to portion control.

Also during these times of dangerous cravings, I make it a point to avoid the scale.  This is a personal choice because I know my self-sabotage triggers.  The scale can trigger some negative reactions and actions if I see the numbers going up instead of down on my journey to weight loss.  I can be the poster child of self-sabotage if these numbers get in my head.  But these days, I keep reminding myself even if I decide to eat poorly one or two or even three days in a row, all hope is not lost and to not be so hard on myself.  Even if it’s a week of poor food decisions, a month, 2 months, it’s never too late to get back on track.  Given, the longer I allow myself to fall comfortable into the world of bad habits the more difficult it is for me personally to get back on track.  So if you feel you have the power to change how you think sooner rather than later, then do it sooner.  Also, keep logging your poor food choices.  It’s not fun to realize how much you went over calories, but it makes you accountable. For example, I went way over calories on Wednesday, but after averaging in the week via myfitnesspal I can still hit my weekly weight loss goal if I stay under my alloted calories through the weekend.

I’ve noticed a lot of my friends have been vocal recently about getting off track with their health and food choices, feeling hopeless about getting back on their own personal quest for health and happiness. I’m here today to say it’s not impossible, albeit not easy for some.  One may say it’s easy to not do something; don’t eat that extra piece, don’t eat the entire plate of nachos. etc.  To me, I laugh in their face!  I frikkin’ love nachos!  Food is my drug, it tastes delicious and makes me happy in the moment.  Why wouldn’t I want to feel that way all the time!?  Regardless of the negative aftermath of overeating, I still have these bouts of weakness and instead of fleeing or giving in completely, I try to hammer out a balanced plan.  If I choose to eat this, then tomorrow I will choose to not eat as many calories or I will choose to move more to burn more calories.  Food is something you cannot stop eating cold turkey (or tofurkey for the vegetarians) and you obviously need food to continue living in this world of ours.  Unfortunately we can’t take a meal pill ala The Jetsons…yet?  This causes my “all or nothing” personality to have quite an internal struggle.  It forces me to be strong willed and make the best decisions for my long term health if I want to live past 50 without a ton of ailments.  Making the right decision causes me to become friends with my food monster.  It reminds me I am a lot stronger than I think.

About Pretty Patina Photography

I am passionate about vegetarianism, exercise and movement, yoga, cats, media, meditation, abandoned locations, and libraries.

5 responses »

  1. I’m sure you know the answer to “Food is my drug, it tastes delicious and makes me happy in the moment. Why wouldn’t I want to feel that way all the time[?]”. It’s because after the plate of nachos is gone, and after the effects of the ‘drug’ have worn off, it’s a hangover of guilt, pain, self-doubt, and self-image issues. No nachos are worth that.

    • I can’t agree more! I am in no way trying to encourage overeating, I am being practical about my own experiences and trying to remind people it’s OK if you mess up. Try to do better next time. Being someone who struggles with food I can only attest to my personal experiences. “Regardless of the negative aftermath of overeating, I still have these bouts of weakness and instead of fleeing or giving in completely, I try to hammer out a balanced plan.” I am human. I give into my habits of 30 years. I’m just now learning on this journey how to try to gain that balance that will hopefully end up never overeating again. But I also know, this may not be possible. Time will tell.

  2. I’ve found that the less sugar I eat, the less I crave. I am diligent about checking food labels for sugar and corn syrup and I stay away from it like it’s poison. That works better than anything in controlling my cravings. It’s really hard at first, but gets much, much easier. When I first stopped eating sugar, I would literally shake with cravings, but about 2 weeks later, I felt like I had gone through an addiction withdrawal and never wanted to feel that way again. Now, sugar doesn’t tempt me at all. Chocolate on the other hand…well…thank God for sugar free chocolate!

    • Yes! I’ve gone through the “no sugar” months and it was wonderful! If you can do it, great! I also had no further cravings after about the same amount of time, two weeks, and I felt so great. Luckily I only get cravings for sugar once a month, if you know what I mean girl. 🙂 After I satiated my craving during this post, I’ve been back on the natural sugars via fruit, etc. I’m very lucky that I don’t crave sugar all that often. But knowing my personality, if I give it up completely I’m going to binge when presented with it, so temporary indulgence seems to work for me.

  3. Pingback: Long Time, No Write. | Happy and Healthy Kate!

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