Give Into Your Cravings and Watch What Happens

Give Into Your Cravings and Watch What Happens

 

Think about it this way.

If you are a little kid and you see a plate of cookies on the counter..

What do you do?

You try and grab one!

When your Mom scolds you and tells you to wait until dessert, you immediately get frustrated and upset. All of your energy goes into wanting that one cookie and it’s all you can think about at dinner.

You don’t want any of the other food. All you want is that one chocolatey, delicious cookie.

When you finally get to have it, it’s the most amazing moment and you’re satisfied with just one or two. Then you go on your way and the cookies become a distant memory (at least, this is how my childhood played out).

But fast forward to today and here is what happens…

We try to diet based on our ingrained belief that we must look a certain way (see my post: Stop Trying To Be Perfect) so we restrict our foods in ways that we think will match how this thin, socially acceptable version of ourselves should eat.

We follow guidelines we find online, rules set by magazines, books, advice from friends and family, things we see on T.V, nutrition coaches etc.

But the problem with this is that we are using EXTERNAL forces to guide what we eat.

This means YOU, the number one person that can tell your body what it needs, when, how much and where to get it better than anyone else on the planet is being ignored and told to shove-off.

Of course, we’ve all seen that EXTERNAL forces can work for some people, but for the majority of us, it can only work for so long.

Personally being in the dieting industry from a young age and participating in the sport of bodybuilding, I’ve seen many girls (and guys!) go from extreme-lean, insanely fit to gaining 30 pounds in a matter of weeks post-show, all because they’d denied their body’s natural instincts and hunger for so long.

I’ve even seen long-running competitors that didn’t binge post-show, later quit the sport  due to the rigidity and mental affects it had on them, admitting to feeling extremely restricted and unhealthy.

This same effect can be seen across dieters from every niche; keto, vegan, atkins, paleo, intermittent fasting etc. They are all forms of restriction in their own way and unless it’s a lifestyle you feel GREAT living and can carry on with for life without feeling restricted, you may want to reconsider what you are doing (nothing against it if you can, that is fantastic!)

(Ex. if eating a certain way is causing you to put food up on a pedestal and think about your next meal all day long, then that may be a sign to change what you’re doing!).

When we diet, we deny our body the innate ability to tell us what we REALLY need, nutritionally, physically and mentally.

In simpler terms,

The number one reason we binge or eat excessively is because we DENY OUR CRAVINGS.

Cravings.

This word has been given such a bad wrap.

When I used to get cravings, I went to war with myself. I would do everything imaginable to fight off these evil, self-sabotaging thoughts.

I would chew gum all day long, drink a huge glass of water before meals, stuff myself with low-calorie vegetables or protein shakes, drink tea, coffee, diet coke, eat all of my meals at once then fast for the rest of the day, pass-up social outings with friends or family, eat in a separate room than anyone eating a food I strongly desired..etc.

But none of it EVER worked long-term.

(If this sounds like you then you might want to hear what I have to say next!)

I struggled for years trying to figure out why I couldn’t control these monstrous craving that were occurring more and more often. As I said in a previous post, I tried diet after diet, thinking “THIS IS IT!” But again, the cravings would soon return and I’d be back to my old ways.

So after much frustration and resentment towards myself and my lack of willpower…I decided to do something totally crazy.

I gave into my cravings.

Let me tell you, when you give into your cravings and hand-over the reins to your body, things get a bit crazy (at first).

You might eat brownies for the whole day, you might binge and eat your entire pantry, you might order 5 pizzas just for yourself or eat a gallon of ice cream.

This could go on for days, weeks or maybe even months.

BUT if you stick it out and put weight-loss aside during this period (YES it’s hard but you MUST do it)

…Something magical happens.

  • The foods you were once OBSESSED with become more ordinary, they are no longer as exciting as they once were because you can eat them everyday.
  • Cravings for unhealthy foods will slowly diminish (maybe not completely but to a way more manageable level).
  • True cravings start to come through. This means you’ll start to hear what your body ACTUALLY wants and needs at that time. It will be combination of both seemingly “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods( although I hate labelling, but I’ll get into that in another post!) Cravings become your guide and you eat based off INTERNAL forces.
  • You eat a balanced diet. You may begin to eat less or more based off where your body is currently at and your weight will begin to balance at a healthy point.
  • Weight itself becomes less important because it isn’t fluctuating all the time and it’s not difficult to remain at a healthy weight for your body.
  • You will enjoy foods more and be more satisfied after meals because you are eating EXACTLY what your mind wants and meeting the nutrient needs your body desires.
  • Cravings become your friend.

When you get to this point in your journey, it’s an amazing feeling.

To be able to go out with friends and enjoy a meal without counting and stressing over each calorie is a win in itself. With all of the food thoughts and stress gone from your mind, it opens up HUGE space to be able to work on other goals and ambitions.

I’m not even kidding, when I was obsessed with my weight and food 24/7, there wasn’t any room in my brain to focus on any other tasks. I’d always put everything on the back burner and say “I’ll do it later, one I’ve achieved my fitness goals.. and I feel happy with where I’m at.”

BUT THAT DAY NEVER CAME AND NEVER WILL.

You need to give-up on the idea that achieving your fitness goals will make everything better.

It’s like running on a treadmill and expecting to get somewhere outside the treadmill.

IT JUST DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT.

If you keep doing what you’re doing then you’ll keep getting the same results you’ve always got.

I am currently writing this post before work, as I did not have to wake-up and worry about my breakfast or what I’m going to pack for lunch and snacks today.  I am able to share this information with you BECAUSE I let go of my hold on food and body perfection. I feel confident writing this although I’m not shredded and lean as I’d once believed I had to be to share nutritional advice.

I am at a healthy weight, eating healthy, loving myself and that is all that matters.

Giving into my cravings as crazy as it sounds, changed my life.

It gave me back my life. You can do the same. All you have to do is start.

Eat a cookie, or a slice of pizza, or cake, or a muffin, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, whatever you’re craving right now in this moment and go from there.

That’s all it takes to start your journey to a less food-focused self .

Now get ready to start REALLY LIVING.

~Sam~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Binge Eating..Forever. (How I did it)

 

If only I could count the number of times I researched this question..the endless amount of videos I watched, people I followed, books I read, techniques I tried..

But still to no avail.

I’m sure some of you are in the same boat. (I’m assuming that’s why you’re here).

Hopefully, this will not be “just another article” that you pass by.

This is probably a take on binge eating that you haven’t yet come across (at least, not quite as commonly).

Binge eating is something you do, not a disease you have. You don’t need a magical cure, you just need to change what you’re doing.

Binge eating is something I have struggled with since my post-competition days.

This was after competing in a figure (bodybuilding) competition and following my diet plan to a T (LITERALLY, I wouldn’t even take a bite of a food that was not on my plan, I measured everything to the gram and suffered watching others devour pizza while I ate my sad, dry piece of chicken breast and spinach with 5 calorie dressing).

I never binged on foods before my competition or during the prep. I got lean and felt great!

But post-show when I tried a second contest preparation (cutting calories, eating “clean” again), I just couldn’t do it. My cravings were INSANE. I wanted anything and everything. All I could think about was food, when my next meal was, how many calories I could eat, “if I eat 2 of my meals now maybe I could just fast for the rest of the day..”, maybe if I chew enough gum I can delay the hunger a bit…etc.

Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and the binging began.

Cookies, pizza, dry cereal, raisins, almonds, left over spaghetti, cold kraft dinner, stale chips, YOU NAME IT. I ate it.

And all at once, until I felt like I was on the verge of exploding..and then I’d eat some more.

All while wondering what had happened to my perfect disciplined self who used to be able to diet so well.

How did I get to this point? Where is my self-control??

This went on for months and then years. I slowly gained back about 20 pounds (most of it healthy weight but probably a little more than necessary).

I would go through phases of different diets such as vegan, paleo, keto, intermittent fasting..etc.

With each new-found diet and a short-lived burst of motivation, I would think “YES, I FINALLY FOUND THE CURE”

But alas, each time I would find myself slowly falling back into old habits and binging once again.

 

One day, as I was scouring the internet for my next diet-cure, I came across the book “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole.

(Intuitive eating is basically where you mindfully, eat whatever you want when your body craves it and stop when full).

I found the concept interesting and set-out on on my own intuitive eating journey after purchasing additional books on “mindful eating”.

But again, after 2 weeks, I was still binging.

Now I was really concerned.

“I am allowing myself to eat whatever I want! Why, still, can I not stop binge eating???”

I was utterly confused and ready to throw in the towel for the last time, officially classifying myself as a “binge eater” for life.

That is, until I came across the website “The Fuckitdiet“, created by Caroline Dooner. (Definitely check this site out if you haven’t already!)

After reading several of her posts and listening to her podcasts, I suddenly had the most insane epiphany, moment of clarity, break through, fantastic realization EVER.

The reason “Intuitive eating” was not working for me is that I WAS MAKING IT ANOTHER DIET.

While the intuitive eating book was very insightful (and I still recommend reading it for a great intro to intuitive eating!), there are some flaws or at least red flags if you are someone who comes from a very rigid dieting past.

For one, they use a hunger scale to measure your hunger.

For me this meant “I REALLY want this donut my coworker is offering me but I know I just ate not long ago..and I’m only like a 6 on the hunger scale right now, it says you should eat around 3 or 4..so maybe I should skip the donut and eat something later on.”

Second, you are told to eat mindfully. Eat slow, small bites, chew each bite thoroughly, eat with no distractions like the T.V or

 

computer, stop half-way, wait 5 minutes then ask yourself if you really want more, leave food on your plate, etc.

 

All of these suggestions had me and my “diet brain” going crazy.

I would eat without watching my favourite show, try to leave food on my plate and only eat until “satisfied” then I’d be hungry again an hour later, I’d try to chew my food a ton and gross myself out with the texture rather than actually enjoying it. I would not eat unless I felt it acceptable on the hunger scale, I’d feel disappointed if I finished all the food on my plate..ETC. It wasn’t fun and I spent just as much time thinking about food as I did on any other diet.

SO. With the guidance of Caroline’s site (fuckitdiet.com), I decided to do just that.

 

F*ck it.

I started eating while watching T.V again.

I ate the donut if I REALLY wanted the donut EVEN if I wasn’t extremely hungry.

I ate fast, slow, medium-paced, whatever.

I chewed as much as felt normal.

I ate ALL of my food if I wanted it and didn’t feel guilty.

And guess what?

I started eating less and slower because I’d get distracted by my really good T.V show.

I wouldn’t be craving loads of sweets late at night because I already ate the donut I wanted earlier that day.

I enjoyed my meals SO much more.

I started leaving food on my plate because it felt natural.

and finally, after all these years of thinking I was diseased and destined to forever eat my entire pantry each night,

I STOPPED BINGE EATING.

The cure to binge eating,

is

to

just eat.

This means, erasing physical restrictions and rules just as much as the mental ones.

If you allow yourself to eat the donut but still feel guilty doing it, then you are still restricting.

If you say you can eat whatever you want but still try to eat low-fat or low-carb then you are still restricting.

Your body knows.

You need to give yourself permission to eat as much as you need AND want without guilt.

Weight-gain or loss should be on the back-burner during this time (trust me, I KNOW how hard this is to do but you will thank yourself later). You need to give your mind and body time to heal.

IT IS SO WORTH IT,

This will take time, it will feel weird and uncomfortable at first but slowly it will become natural, food will no-longer be the center of your whole universe.

If you do happen to binge or eat more than you think you should during this process, keep going.

If you binge for 5 days straight on all the foods you used to restrict, keep going.

If you only want to eat egg salad for a week straight and wonder what’s wrong with you, KEEP GOING (true story, still can’t explain it but I don’t question what my body wants! Haha).

Binge eating is a habit you’ve formed and it will take a bit to break it but the more you allow yourself total freedom with food, and stop putting it up on a pedestal, the faster you will find yourself free from its grasp.

So go ahead, start today.

Go eat something you REALLY WANT.

and thoroughly, completely, whole-heartedly enjoy it.

Then do it again,

and again,

each day until eating is just another part of your day.

You eat, enjoy it, feel satisfied.

Then you move on to the more important things in your day.

That is how life is supposed to be lived.

That is how you STOP binge eating.

~Sam~