Carolyn Chaffey

Our bodies have an intricate balance of fluids flowing in our bloodstreams and other systems and one of the key elements to this balance is the hormone interplay. Women, in particular, have a cycle that plays havoc with the ability to have a sense of control. I've know this is the week to watch for yet, somehow, when I found myself wandering around the house, looking for something baked to put into my body I didn't make the connection between what I wanted and the impending start of my menses.

I know what I wanted. I wanted something sweet. Baked. I tried chocolate, didn't do it. I tried popcorn, still not it. I would have had a couple of cookies and called it quits however I had nothing in the house. I finally last night, said out loud to my husband, as I was making my nightly tea, "I really want a cookie" and he said "oh, I have some chocolate chip cookies and some cinnamon buns in the truck". OK, sweetheart,love of my life, soul-mate, man of my dreams, a little advice, I'm pmsing here, please don't hold back the cookies! So he(quickly) brought them in, and I had one cookie and two cinnamon buns(tiny ones, don't panic!) and that was it. Craving satisfied. The remaining cinnamon rolls were left for the children and I could not be bothered this morning.

I know from experience that the sugar cravings will subside after today for another three or four weeks and I also know it's better to have exactly what you want, once you've identified it, than to try to satisfy it with other things. They key is to indulge, not overindulge in the treats. In trying to satisfy my cravings I sampled ice cream, smarties, cheese and crackers, popcorn, cheese and crackers again and then eventually, a cup of tea and the sweets I wanted all along satisfied me.

Sometimes it's better to give yourself permission to eat a little of what you really want. I think that depriving yourself completely of the treats, labelling things bad or good, is detrimental to your overall attitude and that impacts your overall health.

Another thought. We are all born with counter will. Counter will is that thing that children have, you see it in 3 year olds a lot, where they will say and do the opposite of what you tell them. Well it doesn't go anywhere. How many of us like to be told what to do? I don't, I've got a well-honed counter will going on. It's immediate. I will do the most kind, wonderful, generous things for people who ask. Tell me to do something and my first instinct is to do the opposite. There is something to be said for presentation.

The same goes for the messages we send ourselves. "Don't eat cookies" immediately triggers counter will. The thought that follows is "I want cookies and I'll do whatever I want".

Yesterday's challenge wasn't counter will for me necessarily, I just didn't have cookies in the house. But often it is and I thought it worth mentioning. In order to avoid the pitfall of counter will, don't send yourself the shouldn't messages regarding food. Give yourself permission to eat whatever you want whenever you want and then find tools to change what you want and when you want it.

So what a switch! What a paradigm shift! In order to set myself up for success to lose weight, I need to have cookies in the house. I just need to only eat them when necessary. I actually practiced that a lot last week. I baked a batch of cookies and the jar was only emptied two days ago. Today I'm baking more. And the truth is, I did eat one occasionally, but not every day, and only one or two. They didn't call to me as the have in the past.

Affirmation: I am learning new, kinder, gentler, accepting messages that allow me to make decisions about food in a normal natural way, accepting that the nature of my body is fluid and that I will have fluctuations in the desire for different foods on different days and I'm learning to be in tune with them.


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