It’s Thursday, which means all over social media you will be bombarded with throwbacks and transformations but the most important transformation to note is not the one you can see but the one you can’t– the one that happens inside.
I was lying on my couch dying for a chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery yesterday when I got to thinking about what success means when it comes to Health and Fitness. Here I am, on a really good 2 week streak and a craving hits. I start to feel stressed out, upset and think “One cookie won’t hurt.” I know it won’t. If you have been following my blog or if you look back at my weekend posts (here, here and here), it is clear to see that treating yourself is not a problem or something to worry about. What makes me say “no” is the fact that wanting the cookie came from an emotional place. I wanted it more so for the comfort. I didn’t even care if it was a cookie! I thought about froyo and doughnuts– anything with SUGAR.
The craving annoyed me because for the past 2-3 weeks I have been able to fend off cravings and stay on target between cheat meals. Cravings make you feel as if you no longer have control. Plenty of times I have felt weak or as if I was less of a person because I was craving something.
Well, last night I was very determined to not allow this moment to derail my success! A lot of times we see six packs, a small pant size or a certain number on the scale as the cornerstone of success. For me, success is a matter of listening to my body.
Why is this craving presenting itself? What does my body need? How can I fulfill this need?
When I took a step back and listened, I noticed my cravings were coming from a place of stress, anxiety and anger. Completely natural. Since I was hungry I made myself some Chocolate Coconut Protein Pancakes which completely satisfied the craving (and still allowed me to stay on top of my goals).
I believe that learning from the negatives are what truly make you successful when it comes to Health and Fitness. There were plenty of times where having that desire for a cookie, and being so anxious have sparked a binge and snowballed into feelings of shame, disappointment and guilt. But I also learned from those moments. I actually got into the habit of jotting down notes on how I felt after I binged–both physically and mentally– so that it would become associated with the places and foods that drew me to those actions. (There were certain places and certain types of food that I tended to fall back on when binge eating/emotional eating).
I recently read David Kessler’s The End of Overeating and he mentions towards the end (I am heavily paraphrasing here) that overeating and eating disorders are not something we do away with completely. They do not disappear. Instead, that feeling and that want can arise at any time and at any moment in our lives even if we have succeeded a 1,000 times before. But, the real power lies in our ability to unpack the situation and to decide whether or not we will allow our minds and our appetites to control us. So if you fall down, you still have the ability to stand back up. And that is pretty powerful if you ask me.