It’s all about the cravings. I remember catching a brief clip of Dr. Oz last week talking with three ladies about battling cravings and how to tell the difference between hunger and a craving. This week’s e-mail from Cassey Ho, of Blogilates was all about coping with cravings. If I hear something from two different sources in a meaningful amount of time, I usually take a moment to step back and ask myself if this applies to me. Asking myself if craving-related problems relate to me is hardly a question. I don’t often find myself hungry but I do almost always find myself craving. Usually salt, as I am the popcorn queen.
Dr. Oz recommended asking yourself “would an apple solve my need?” If the answer is, “No, X would,” it’s not hunger, it’s a craving and to eat an apple instead. I liked half of this idea. I need to take the moment to examine why I’m reaching for the cupboard, is it because I’m hungry, or something else? Boredom? Stress? Both reasons Cassey mentioned as to why she’s pulling open the refrigerator door.
I remember when my mom was quitting smoking (which feels so long ago now! Go Mom!!) and she described smoking as a friend, it was there in the morning for her, there after a stressful day at work, there before bed. Always there. It’s hard for me to admit it but I think about food like that (and maybe TV at times too.) If I’m feeling stressed, the double cheeseburger at McDonald’s is always there, right across the street from work. When I come home from work and need to unwind, that packet of Homestyle popcorn is there for me. If I need something sweet before I go to sleep, the white chocolate melts bag is open and stashed with my baking ingredients.
Recently, at work, when I’m hungry I drink some extra water or make a glass of hot tea and the craving will pass. It’s quite amazing actually. With less TV (still trying to watch no more than one hour a night or none at all!), meatless mondays, vegetarian lunches, my new small goal (like a little snowball of healthy habits) will be asking myself if a salad would solve my desire for something, if the answer is no, I’ve sniffed out a craving and I will not give in! I often think of this as “fighting” my craving, but I don’t want to fight them. I want nothing to do with them and like an errant toddler, they will hopefully get bored with me and go away.