One of the most talked about topics among clients is their frustration with and desire to control their cravings. They tell me how they mindlessly snack throughout the workday or late into the evening, and while they recognize that it doesn’t make them feel any better, they can’t seem to stop.
But when we start exploring, we discover that their eating is less about hunger for food, or a lack of willpower, and more about coping. I hear things like,
“I get anxious in the evening and food distracts me.”
“My job stresses me out so I snack throughout the day to help take my mind off of it.”
“I feel like I deserve dessert everyday for how hard I work.”
Cravings Often Symbolize an Unmet Need in our Lives
What if I told you that our cravings might be telling a different story? One not about food, but about our needs that often go ignored or get put on the back burner. To compensate, we reach for cookies and chips in an attempt to distract from or push down what’s asking to be addressed.
For many, we aren’t even aware that our gas tank is on empty, because we don’t know any differently, so we keep on pushing.
For others, we don’t feel as though we’re entitled to self-care, and are met with feelings of guilt at the thought of putting ourselves first, so we bury our needs and continue giving to or saying yes to others.
And then there are those who are terrified at what they might uncover if they start to explore; perhaps a deep hurt that’s wanting to be felt or grief that’s longing to be released.
What is Your Body asking for?
Cravings are our bodies’ way of letting us know that we have a need asking to be fulfilled and nurtured. We all deserve to have our needs met and to give ourselves the gift of self-care on a regular basis.
Take time to learn what your cravings might be telling you. Maybe you need:
- A good cry (God, I love these)
- To ask for help
- To talk to a therapist about ongoing anxiety
- A meal
- To stop saying yes when you want to say no
- To let someone know how you they hurt you
- To find a new job
- To rest instead of go to the gym
- To go get a massage
- To hire a house cleaner
While these may seem simple, they can have a profound effect on your life. Take some time and see what comes up and resonates with you. Are you giving too much of yourself? Saying yes when all you want to do is say no?
I’d love to hear what you discover. Let me know!
And learn more here.