I was having some real challenges with my wine cravings. This had gone on for years. I absolutely could not say no to wine. If it was there, I was having some, period. And when I drank, I over-indulged most every time. I'd wake up feeling awful and judging myself for being a hypocrite and lacking will-power. I did not want to be giving all that energy away to wine, a red liquid that had a lot of power over me.
I became very curious about whether there was a way to overcome this without feeling deprived or giving wine up completely. Well, guess what? Just a year ago, my husband and I would share a bottle of wine and often open another to have one more glass. Now, we truly are unable to finish a bottle of wine and have no interest in drinking it daily and besides, there are times where wine is served and I just don't feel like drinking it. What's more, I NEVER gave it up or deprived myself. Here are three simple techniques I used to find this balance.
The first is to acknowledge the craving. Acknowledge that this craving has a purpose in your life and can be a potent teacher if you allow it to be. We can do this by simply saying, "I am dying to eat/drink chocolate/wine, etc... I want chocolate so badly right now. I honor this craving and I accept myself right where I am. I love how sweet and silky it is in my mouth. But, maybe it's not actually chocolate/wine I am craving. What I truly long for is ______________." And see what comes up for you. It's also helpful to say, "I crave chocolate because what I feel I'm missing is _____________." I found out how dissatisfied I was with my life, how I didn't know how to get my needs met or speak my truth and how lonely I truly was. When I drank wine, I didn't have to feel my feelings. I longed for connection. I begged for approval and I craved a sense of belonging. Wine gave me a mini vacation from feeling it all. It also gave me a false sense of connection with whoever I was drinking with. It loosened me up and made me more footloose and fancy-free. It filled me where I felt empty. It took me a while to learn how to fill these needs with other things that truly created a sense of fulfillment, which I will talk more about over time, so stay tuned!
Another simple technique if you crave food when you are not hungry or are obsessed with eating something you said you wouldn't is to just close your eyes and tune into the craving. Where in your body do you feel it? What shape is it? Does it have a color? Is it moving? What does it feel like? Really dive into this craving and 'see' it and 'feel' it. What is it telling you? Is there something you are trying not to feel that eating this food can numb you from? What is that feeling? Ask yourself the same questions about this feeling as you did for the craving. Now, listen. What message does it have for you? If you allow yourself to feel this feeling deeply and cry or get angry or whatever comes up for you, what will follow is a clarity about your situation that you may not have experienced before. If it feels scary to feel the feeling or like it might swallow you alive, ask a friend, who you really trust, to be there while you do this. Or find a coach, like myself, or a therapist to work through it with. Now ask yourself what the ideal state of this feeling would be. Here's where the clarity comes. Just sit with it and notice what changes in your body. Does the feeling shift? What does it look like now? What is it here to reveal to you?
My third favorite, simple technique is to sit with the food you crave. Take a taste of it and notice what you like about it. Allow all those good feelings to come up inside of you, the excitement, the joy, the happy feelings. Now close your eyes and imagine those feelings rising up out of the food and into a bubble right above the food. Notice what color the bubble is. Now bring those feelings into your heart. Feel how good this love feels inside of you. Now imagine passing this love to a friend or loved one or even yourself as a child. Just pass it back and forth. Often, when we take the 'love' out of the food, it no longer has the same appeal because we realize that there never was love in it to begin with and we can feel that love without having to eat the food. Overcoming out-of-order eating requires us to remember to eat when we are hungry, and deal with our emotions when we are not. And to accept ourselves, right where we are, in all of it.
You might also like to read:
Can Weight Loss Goals Cause Weight Gain?
What's Up with Food Obsessions and Why Do We Eat When We're Not Hungry?
3 Shocking Ways to Release Weight: Stop Dieting, Stop Weighing Yourself and By All Means, Don't Count Calories!
Maria Rippo is a Transformational Weight Loss & Wellness practitioner with an online as well as a local practice in Bothell, WA. This article Copyright 2013 by Maria Rippo, all right reserved. To replicate or use any portion of this article, please do so in its entirety including this text or contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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