Responding To Cravings
What is your initial reaction when you have a craving?
Do you find yourself feeling frustrated, like a failure? Do you berate yourself for not having enough willpower? Or maybe you try to ignore it altogether, or reach for a substitute to try to avoid the food you're REALLY craving.
What if there were other ways to deal with cravings?
The above reactions to cravings are very common. Diet culture has taught us that our hunger and our cravings are the enemy; they are not to be trusted. We are told that if we were to give in to every craving that arose, we would find ourselves sitting around eating nothing but chips, cookies and soda all day every day.
Diet culture is so ingrained in us that we no longer view our body & it's signals as a source of wisdom, but instead as a nuisance or even something to be ashamed of
I work with clients to explore the wisdom in their cravings as they arise. What does this mean exactly?
This means leaning into cravings as they arise and asking important questions. Questions such as "what is this craving asking for, and how can I honor this request?"
By asking these important questions we are no longer distracting ourselves from the true need by eating, but we are pausing to examine the reason behind the craving. Oftentimes our cravings are telling us that we are in need of comfort, love, support, etc.
If we do not ask ourselves important questions when cravings arise, we continue to feed our bodies but fail to nourish our souls
Two weeks ago I had a doctor's appointment. It was with a new OB/GYN and I was optimistic about seeing her. She was young and I was hopeful that we would have good conversation about how to manage my Endometriosis. Instead she suggested yet another drug and yet another surgery. I left the appointment in tears and felt completely deflated. It's exhausting to continue to advocate for myself and to continue to feel unheard.
Driving home, I was already planning what I was going to eat. I was going to make myself some serious comfort food, full of potatoes and cheese and bread- give me all of it. I went home, made my food, and sat down to eat. Although there was also something else happening throughout this process. I was also checking in with myself to ask my craving "what do you REALLY need right now?" Of course the response was "comfort. I had hope and I was let down. I need comfort and love".
I had a few bites of my meal but was soon no longer interested, as I knew what my body truly needed in that moment. I then asked my body how I could provide it with comfort in that moment, and it told me "I need to be in nature". So I put the leash on my dog and we went for a walk. During the walk I allowed myself to feel everything I needed to- everything that eating would have distracted me from. I allowed the tears to come. When I came home I did some journaling and I also talked to my partner about how disappointed I was in the doctor's appointment.
In the end, I was able to process my feelings instead of distract from them. I still allowed myself the food that I craved, but when I realized what I truly needed it also became obvious that the food wouldn't provide me with the nourishment I actually needed, I changed course and honored my craving in a different way.
By speaking to our cravings we give ourselves the tools to nourish ourselves in a multitude of ways- mind, body & soul. How do you honor your cravings, and what do they have to teach you?
About Jessica Leigh Wellbeing
At Jessica Leigh Wellbeing, I support women in discovering the wisdom in their body's cravings.
I utilize a customized multi-faceted approach that addresses the psychology of eating, intuitive movement, energy healing, bodywork & more.
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