Part 2 Cravings are your Guru
This is a follow up to my last blog post on Part 1: “Cravings are your Guru.”
What are we trying to fulfill with a craving? What kind of relief?
Is it mental?
We can’t stop thinking? We obsess? It’s overwhelming and exhausting.
What about emotional?
Do you process your emotions? Do they get digested?
We have this emotional metabolism that is similar to our digestion. Emotions are meant to be processed, broken down, and used for energy. Any “waste” is eliminated or detoxified from the body.
Pushing away our emotional body further disconnects the mind body from working congruently for optimum digestion, metabolism, immunity, cognitive thinking, and vitality.
Does a craving for something sweet and comforting sound like an easy way to soothe those emotions?
When we don’t allow ourselves to FEEL our feeling….. We can actually try to FEED them instead. Food Addiction, Sugar Addiction, Emotional Eating, Stress Eating, Binging…..
Spiritual cravings arise when we are disconnected from our truth.
We judge ourselves for caving into cravings. There’s shame and guilt. That’s only reinforcing a shutdown of our spiritual voice. Restriction.
If we’re restricting ourselves spiritually – disconnecting from passion and joy – then we can become dis-eased.
One of our core human desires is GROWTH. Our spirit is meant to be FREE.
When we’re too much in our heads with worry, stress, anxiety, then we begin to restrict ourselves. FEAR.
We can get stuck. Plateaus.
We can do our best to follow a meal plan and workout, but when the going gets tough……the couch and pizza is too tempting to ignore. Frustrating when this is happening every other day and weight becomes harder to lose.
Cravings can also make us unpleasant to be around. When I’m fighting a craving, I can get really agitated or restless! Resisting a craving can be exhausting. We just don’t feel like ourselves.
Some of the typical things we crave are sugars, fats, alcohol, carbohydrates…junk food in general. These also release chemicals in our brain that make us crave more – the reward system, the feel-good stuff. Serotonin & Dopamine.
It’s actually in our biology to desire those things because it makes us feel nourished, not just on a physical level, but also on an emotional and mental level.
Mothers milk is actually sweet. For an infant, it’s the reason why they keep coming back to the boob. It tastes good. If it tasted like kale…… would we even be alive today?
What tends to happen – and I feel this personally – is we struggle with cravings and consistency within our diets because our stress levels are so much higher than they used to be.
The stress levels from our work environment, trying to have the perfect body, our partnerships and relationships…it’s at an all-time high.
Food seems like such a quick and easy way to give back ourselves. Again, that reward. A treat.
As a kid, I was given food as a way to cope with a lot of hard circumstances in my childhood. That’s one way I’ve learned how to adapt to coping with hard challenges in my life. FOOD.
It’s not just the hard challenges. Even emotions like Joy and Happiness can be uncomfortable. Being in LOVE? OMG, those butterflies have literally made sick to my stomach!
I’m an emotional person. Even with all that knowledge I have about diet and exercise……. My emotions can easily make me forgetful……
We need to take a more mindful approach when it comes to dealing with these cravings because again, the more we resist, the more it persists. A mindfulness approach is actually learning how to just be with discomfort.
This is essentially what I teach in yoga. When you’re in a pose – a uncomfortable plank pose, for instance – you start to use your breath. By focusing on deep breathing you trigger your parasympathic nervous system.
This is how we stay calm and relaxed. We press the pause button instead of the panic button.
It’s no different with a craving. What we do… pause. We feel the discomfort. And then we just breathe through it. Five deep breaths. It’s basically applying yoga to our relationship with food. Yoga is a relationship with our bodies. It’s all the same stuff. We’re trying to create a union and that’s actually what Yoga means – union. That mind-body-spirit connection.
Those deep breaths can change our nervous system and take us out of fight or flight. We’re no longer in the stress response of needing to eat something right away to feel better. We feel calmer because our body is no longer in that panic mode. We can make a more authentic decision for ourselves.
That simple connection can suddenly create a release where we are granting a sense of empowerment to ourselves.
Awareness is powerful.
We all tend to have fear about something in our lives that we’re not addressing. We get triggered with these cravings so that we can feel good again. This is part of our biological adaptation to survival. But if we want to evolve, go beyond survival mode and really thrive in our bodies, then we need to learn how to make a stronger mind-body-spirit connection.
That’s what I do in my Mindfulness Based Weight Loss Program. Over the course of eight weeks, I teach you to become the master of your frickin’ body. No matter what kind of influence is out there, you will feel secure in making decisions that are in alignment with your goals and authentic self. If you want more information about that or have any cravings-related questions at all, just shoot me an email! I’d be happy to answer all of your questions.