“How do I want to feel?” VS. “What do I have a craving for?”
I was craving McDonald’s all evening yesterday. I wanted a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets with honey mustard, an apple pie, and a chocolate sundae. For 4 hours straight.
The ONLY thing that kept me from walking the ONE block from my house to Micky D’s was reminding myself how I was going to feel afterward – bloated, dragging for a few days, feeling foggy and lethargic, probably with a headache and – if I gave into french fries, which, let’s be real I was going to give into french fries – with a hell of a lot of joint pain (I can’t do most nightshades without a fast train to pain city).
Sometimes I don’t feel all of those things at once or with the same intensity, but I certainly always feel not-quite-right for a few days after fast food.
Learning to ask myself “how do I want to feel?” rather than “what do I have a craving for?” has been KEY in leading me toward better food choices over the years.
Sometimes I forget just how gross my body feels, just how down I start feeling mentally, as a result of a meal my body doesn’t process well. I’ve learned that gluten and grains make me feel bloated and depressed, dairy gives me acne and rashes, and most nightshades – white potatoes, tomatoes, etc. – give me joint pain and muscle aches.
I absolutely forget how bad it is sometimes, or sometimes I just figure satisfying the craving or just eating what I feel like eating, damn it, will be worth the aftermath, but I always regret it.
Maybe eating certain foods doesn’t have the same immediate negative result for you and you’re just trying to watch what you consume, but I can bet that there are absolutely certain foods you eat that help you feel good afterward, and certain foods you eat that put you into not such a great place.
Framing eating as rewarding your body and helping it feel its best helps make the whole process feel more positive, rather than feeling like you’re restricting yourself from satisfying a craving.
How you feel from what you eat is your body trying to tell you something.