Three weeks ago, I thought I had a great life. We moved to our new house by the sea in Spain this spring. The weather was a big change from the heavy gray Belgian sky. I have a great husband and now two small kittens that I adore. Moreover everything was going fine with our business projects and I had time for some creative stuff. And one day... one day I bought a package of organic cookies. I don't eat sweets normally, just once a while when we travel, some good chocolate dessert. First I take a look at what my husband orders and then decide if this is really the one for me, and then I order the same for myself.
That day I bought cookies for a family visiting us, and in the evening I tried two of them, leaving the rest for the children so they could snack on something healthier than commercial sugary things. The next day I woke up and I just couldn't stop thinking about the cookies, about the crunchy feeling that felt so good in my mouth last evening. There was one more package at home, and in the evening I ate 10 of them. The next day that still wasn't enough. I couldn't come back to my normal healthy rhythm. For our next food delivery I ordered five packages of cookies. I ate almost two packages after lunch and my stomach was feeling so heavy but...
I remember that afternoon laying under my cat. I felt so good as if all the feelings of freedom, adventure, and joy just embraced me at once and I was in some ecstatic state experiencing courage, confidence, that only the sky is the limit. I realized that I had everything in my life but I was starving for fun, more joy, more enthusiasm. I needed a kind of adventure to be experienced alone, almost in secret while my husband had his afternoon siesta. An adventure of a traveller, conquistador, but I was an amateur at life, an amateur in search of a great taste.
I tried eating cookies for several days, and I discovered that there were many associations with cookies that were buried when I switched to a healthy lifestyle some time ago: all the craziness, spontaneity, creativity, music, fun, play. Of course there was something left because I built my business empire not on cookies but on a healthy lifestyle. But my life was too balanced, too elegant, too kind and too nice.
So the cookies were the trigger for me that there was something lacking in my life. It took me two weeks to rediscover the feeling of freedom, joy, fun and play without binging on cookies. I started listening to creative music when I worked. I managed to write a few more chapters of my book after suffering from writer's block since January. I began just having much more fun with everything: swimming in the sea even though it's quite cold, climbing a mountain, reorganizing the house a bit and so on. These looked like small changes but they were really quality changes in my life that I had to restore. It was about my well-being, my mindset and lifestyle in general.
Many of you are probably binging on cookies or other sweets without being aware of the psychological reasons behind those cravings. Our body just needs sweets so we automatically feed it. That's all that we think. But this craving isn't only for a sweet taste -- there is much more stuff behind it. In nature animals don't have strong sugar cravings. Why? Because they eat only natural food and they eat only when they are hungry. House pets and humans can become fat easily. And this is not only because of a change to a more artificial diet or any hormonal imbalance. It's about a sense of freedom.
Many times we don't live the life we want. We fulfill the dreams of society and family but not ourselves. And we even don't know what we dream about because we suppress that by our hectic schedules, being busy, all the daily activities that we perform almost automatically. And then only the cookies we eat know about how much passion, fun and joy we have with each bite of them... and how much of this we are missing in our real life.
How to find out what lies behind your sugar cravings:
- Buy a special separate notebook and any time you desire to eat something sweet, write down the situation you are in, the emotions that provoked sugar cravings and what exactly you crave for (the product, the amount).
- When you finally taste what you wanted, stop for a moment and start celebrating chewing, the taste, and open up for positive feelings: what you are experiencing right now, and write it down.
- Twice a week meditate for 20 minutes reminding yourself of those positive states of mind (you can try it after eating sweets) and go further on in the discovery of more images, thoughts, emotions, dreams, desires that are associated with those states of mind. Every time right down in detail what you have discovered.
- After one week of the practice you can already figure out what other activities would bring you a similar pleasure to that of eating sweets and start replacing the sweets by other real fun.
- After three weeks of observing yourself and meditating on your sugary states of mind, decide about small steps to take to move your life in the direction you want. Start small but dream big.