(…and eat it too.)
I was sitting at some tables waiting for my lecture to start the other day and I noticed that some muffins in a cabinet nearby were looking at me. They wanted to be in my mouth stat. I sat there thinking about those muffins for a while, and I ended up playing out the following steps in my head:
- Make the decision to buy the muffin, get up and walk over to the shop (at the moment this is a pretty big step in itself).
- Ask for a muffin.
- Pay for the muffin (I almost put 2 and 3 together but I think the act of physically getting out your money and handing it to the person is crucial step. I know that it is really hard to say “oh actually, I won’t,” especially if that’s all you’re buying but it’s still a possibility).
- Take the muffin away, sit down with the muffin and decide “this is something that I want to do” and pull the muffin out of the bag (at this point you have the option to throw the muffin away).
- Look at the muffin and really decide to eat it.
- I then picture myself eating the muffin, like actually visualise it, just a few bites. Thinking about exactly how it would feel/taste.
- Then I picture that I’ve finished the muffin, the muffin is gone, all that is left is a brown paper bag, a muffin liner and some crumbs.
- The evidence goes in the bin, I sit back down (where I am actually sitting at the time) and there’s no muffin.
- There’s no muffin, and maybe I would feel guilty, happy or nothing, this part is sort of whatever (though I think a lot of people focus on this part the most).
- My muffins’ friends are still staring at me but I have no muffin of my own.
- You can’t have your muffin and eat it too.
I’ve noticed that this is a fairly regular thing that I do. I don’t really know if it’s willpower or stubbornness but for some reason the thought of having to get through each of those steps to eat my muffin, only to have no muffin again in the end, is enough to keep me firmly in my seat until my lecture starts.
I do the same thing with that one thing that I have been craving from the store on the other side of campus. I want one so bad but I know I couldn’t make that walk.
As part of mental-health week (exams are coming up) there were people giving out lollipops at the entrance to the uni library. I was so ready to eat that little ball of sugar, I looked up the calories of my flavour and everything. Then I kept thinking about it; when can I eat it? In my lecture? On my way home? Should I carve out some quiet, alone time for me and my lollipop? I started thinking about how I would unwrap it, eat it and then have no lollipop anymore. I ended up giving it to Hugh. Stubborn? Or a weirdo?
Free stuff takes away a couple of steps, which is annoying. It’s interesting to think of these things as a step-process I think; if you think of shopping at the supermarket, you are already there buying your groceries, you’re still going to swipe your card or hand over your cash. The steps it takes to buy that chocolate/those chips/lollies are combined with the same steps that you are taking to buy healthy/every day foods.
I can relate this to our Kitchen Makeover pre-season task too; there is much more effort involved for me now if I want to have a block of chocolate. I would first have to mind-wrestle with myself, put some shoes on (and possibly change out of my PJ’s and put deodorant on), find my way to the shops and proceed with steps 2-11.
These steps don’t really stop me craving/wanting the particular thing but somehow I just can’t get my head around actually buying/eating it.
What have you tried?
What works for you?
I’ve heard of a few different strategies for dealing with cravings over the years. Apparently thinking about rainbows can make them go away?
Also don’t worry, I’m far from being a fully functional 12WBTer. I was going to be right on 1200 last night and then I accidentally ate an extra piece of toast with dinner because I misread the servings of the recipe; everything else was measured fine, what?
Also! Why has no one reminded me that corn thins are the tastiest snack ever?
What else are you hiding from me?