Which food, drink or activity do you automatically turn to when you want to avoid dealing with your life? Sugar and wine are always top on the list for my clients. Admittedly, I’ve never understood how any sane woman would choose a glass of chardonnay over a piece of cake with thick icing, but the same ideas apply whether you use sugar, wine, shopping or Netflix to manage your emotional discomfort.
What is your vice?
The first step is to figure out what your weapon of choice is for avoiding yourself. That’s pretty easy. Most of us know right off the top of our head what our vice is. If you have several, choose the most powerful and pervasive in your life.
Now, commit to giving it up for 30 days.
If your brain freaks out at just the mention of giving up your vice, even for one day, if it tells you there’s no way you can do this, if you want to jump through your screen and punch me in the nose, BINGO! You’ve found the vice that needs to go.
Let’s be clear, this isn’t an attempt to break a habit, it’s not a detox or a scheme to “Break Free From Sugar in 30 Days or Less,” it is not even a weight-loss strategy. The purpose behind this commitment is simply to track your triggers. I know, I know, your reptilian brain is yelling at you that…This is stupid! Impossible! You can barely make 24 hours, never mind 720 of them! You can.
This is your gift.
Commit to yourself and consider it a gift to YOU. Instead of turning to your vice to avoid yourself, allow yourself to dig into what is actually behind that craving and that dependent need.
Many of us feel powerless in the face of our vice. I know countless women whose method to manage their vice is to have no “bad” food, no wine, or no credit cards in the house. Let’s face it, this method doesn’t work. You use willpower for a while until you find yourself driving to Tim Horton’s after the kids finally go to sleep and eat a 20-pack of Timbits in your car. I used to do this. It did not feel awesome. Eating Timbits in my car solved nothing.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Instead of tossing all of those yummy chocolates from the holidays, I want you to keep EVERYTHING in the house, at eye level. Fully in sight and in your mind. I want you to commit to 30 days of freedom. Freedom from your vice and to committing to the courage to discover what is really underneath.
If you’ve truly committed to no sugar for 30 days, you can allow it to be in your space. You’ve committed to not having it, so eating behind your own back isn’t an option. Stick to your commitment. When you open your cupboard to grab some flour and those dark chocolate individually packaged gold foil beauties from Costco are staring you down, choose not to eat one. You will live. Next, ask yourself why you want one and write it down. This is the first step to dismantling the power you think food has over you and you will experience FREEDOM!
Food in itself has no power over you. It doesn’t have arms and legs and cannot enter your body without YOUR permission. Your thoughts are all that have power over you.
My Personal Challenge
I’ve just completed 30-days of no sugar. I purposefully committed to doing it at the trickiest time of year; over my 41st birthday, throughout Christmas, and into New Years. I’m going to continue on at least until the end of January because I feel so well.
Here’s what I learned about myself:
-A birthday is still a birthday, even if I choose not to eat my birthday cake.
-I can deal with feelings of social discomfort instead of eating dessert, or talking about dessert, to avoid making small talk at gatherings
-I am capable of catching, questioning and saying no to crappy thoughts like, “No one will know if I eat this Icy Square, it won’t matter.”
-I don’t deserve cake as a reward for doing well, cleaning the house, being happy, sad or otherwise; I’m more interested in rewards that actually fuel me.
-I use sugar to procrastinate-particularly after supper, instead of getting straight to cleaning up, I would have some chocolate- this is not an unmanageable craving-it is a breakable habit.
-My brain lies to me and tells me I need sugar when I’m stressed or overtired. I can talk back to my brain. I can also find ways to manage my stress and get more sleep.
If you really want to lose the struggle behind weight loss you need to gain an understanding of what’s driving you to turn to food.
Your Challenge this Week-
- Pinpoint your vice
- Commit to abstaining from it for 30 days
- Each time you crave your vice, ask yourself what is going on, why are you craving?
- Write it down! Answer this question: “What do I truly need right now?”
- At the end of the 30 days you will have a very clear picture of some things in your life you need to look after if you want to lose weight
- Don’t give any thought to what people will think when you tell them about your commitment. At first I was worried about what my friends and family would think if I had the audacity not to eat dessert over Christmas. Then I remembered, that’s their business, not mine.
Need help? Email me and I will email you a FREE tool that you can use to track your triggers. It will help you focus and stay on track. Click here.