It's mid-January 😱(how???) and if you have started your New Year's resolutions, you may be at a plateau looking at the things you left behind and looking forward to what lays ahead. You may be going through some withdrawal symptoms still and the craving monster is starting to rear its ugly head. Cravings are deep emotional craters that live within your mind. Our centres of love, comfort, reward and love are all deeply connected to certain foods from our childhood. You may be surprised why your favourite foods are just that.
I'll make this part quick, but I always think it's good to know why things are happening and you're not just going mad. In your brain, food cravings show up in the same centres as drug addictions. Mainly connected to your reward centre, certain foods relay hormones of serotonin, increasing pleasure senses and making you want more and more of it. This is highly connected to those times of emotional stressors like pain, anger, stress and anxiety to release some good feelings in your brain and alleviate the bad. So what do we do? ?
Delving into "listening to your body" is not an easy thing to do. It takes patience and the willingness to be vulnerable. But who better to be vulnerable with than yourself. 🤷🏻♀️ Being able to listen to your body makes a difference into really getting to know yourself. The things you like and don't like and may be a hidden secret to happiness.
Watch the below video for a short activity to listening to your body...
There! You have just tuned-in to your body. Your intuitive thoughts coming alive!! So back to these cravings!
This helpful chart will help you navigate your feelings and cravings:
YOU WANT IT ALL?
I know I've been there...that time when you feel like eating everything? Check into yourself and see what is going on. The feeling of wanting to eat everything comes from an emotion of jealousy and envy, your lack of gratitude for the things you have in the world may need some attention. Start a gratitude journal and eat a well balanced diet full of vegetables, lean proteins and fats.
I want to mention about food relationships...I am on a battle ground fighting for better food relationships. I think we have been given a bad hand when it comes to our food relationships. Sure, I get that we need a certain amount of macros, vitamins and minerals for our body to function, but why do things need to be good or bad? Why do you always need to be on a "diet" to successfully lose weight? Why are carbs the devil when fat was just a decade ago?
It's because science is always changing!
Doctors get less than a semester's worth of nutrition studies. There aren't enough research scientists out there that want to report on it. So, we are left to our own devices to find out what works and what doesn't. And here's the zinger:
NOT EVERY BODY IS THE SAME!
So what may work for me may not work for you or your sister, cousin, mother....you get the picture.
Here is my manifesto:
1. Fall in love with food - not label them as "good" or "bad". I don't want to feel bad because I had a doughnut or a bag of chips for dinner and didn't go to the gym.
2. Treat your body like a temple - feed it nutrients and positive energy. I want to be able to wear a two-piece bathing suit and be proud of any rolls or stretch marks that may be seen.
3. All in moderation - Eat what your body craves - of course this comes with a little restraint because we can't eat chips and cookies forever - but all in moderation. Sugar, salt, fat, carbs, protein...eat it if you body is screaming for it. But look deeper to see if your mind needs attention as well.
4. Listen to your body - hunger, fullness, cravings, wants and needs; your body knows what it wants. I'm not saying to eat donuts and ice cream constantly, (see #3) but if you are ever stuck in that "I don't know what to eat" void...close your eyes and ask your body. Ask your tongue what flavour it wants, ask your stomach what it feels like, you may just start smelling curry, pasta sauce or sesame oil...your body will tell you.
But most of all, fall in love with food. It is not your enemy.
Eat well. Work hard. Seize wellness.