Monday, June 1, 2009

Spotting the Cravings

Yesterday was Sunday dinner with the family. It was a good day and I was feeling good. In fact, as the day was winding down and I was getting ready to go home, I remember thinking "Wow, I feel good today. I haven't had the usual cravings that I experience when I am around a bunch of food that I can't eat and watching other people enjoy that food." 

I think that thought came too soon. At least I should have paid attention to it. 

One thing I have figured out about myself and cravings is that the moment I start to believe I have it all figured out is the exact moment that I'm headed off on another binge or crave indulgence. It's like I'm moving along quietly just doing my thing and trying to improve my life and all of a sudden a thought occurs to me like "Wow, I'm doing really well with holding off the cravings lately. That is awesome." 

That is the moment that all trouble breaks loose. 

The minute I become conscious of doing well with cravings or fighting off binges--that is the exact moment I become most vulnerable to them. 

It has taken a long and storied career of experience for me to figure this out. The exact moment I become proud of myself is the exact moment I am set up to take a nosedive. 

So, imagine after dinner on Sunday when I suddenly became conscious of my perceived "success" dealing with cravings that day is the exact moment I should have been on the lookout for a craving to hit me full force. 

I happened to be near the extra fridge in the house looking for something. When I opened the fridge I saw my mom's stash of juice in there. She buys the Dole juices like Pineapple Orange and Orange Peach Mango and I love them. 

But I'm supposed to stay away from oranges. For some reason I'm still having some food sensitivities with oranges and I knew this. But sometimes I like to flirt with the edge and that day I was in a flirting mood because come on! I was strong! I'd been doing such a great job with my cravings that day. I had been such a good girl. I deserved a treat. I deserved a little reward for staying away from all that other food on the table that day. Just a little swig of juice wasn't going to put me over the edge--even if it contained orange juice. 

So, I took a swig. And then another. And then a slight nip of the Orange Peach Mango juice as well. Just a taste. Just a slight indiscretion. Just a momentary flirtation with the food sensitivity line. 

And within minutes I was roaring with cravings. 

Shortly after my little indulgence, I began thinking of chocolate and cookies and candy and potato chips. Anything and everything. And the reality was that I wasn't even hungry! I was full from a great meal! Yet, that little nip of juice had incited a small riot in my body. One that I spent the rest of the night battling back from. Not because Pineapple Orange juice is bad--or really even chocolate cake or cookies--but because for some reason my body reacts so strongly to certain foods that it whacks out my whole emotional/biological system and one way I've begun to recognize those trigger foods is by the intense and overwhelming cravings that appear shortly after the consumption of said trigger food. 

It's like I'm finally starting to unlock the key to managing this whole genetic soup that I've been occupying for thirty years. 

All I can say is: Thank goodness. 

Drank orange pineapple juice and what it did for me. 

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