How to Stop Food CravingsOn September 14, 2020 by admin
I had been dumped about a week before, a friend of mine had invited me to get out of the house and see one of her favorite authors speak. I sat with her and her husband towards the back of the room. I was glad to be there; I needed the company and I needed the author’s pep talk, but I was distracted. My heart hurt, my thoughts were racing, and all of a sudden I wanted a California burrito like I had never wanted anything in my life. I wasn’t hungry; I had eaten only an hour or two before and burritos hadn’t been a part of my diet since I left LA. As I frantically searched the area on google maps for the nearest burrito joint, I realized that this craving was about more than wanting crispy fries and carne asada wrapped in a flour tortilla, this was about the needs of my soul.
It had been a while since my last California Burrito, maybe 6 years at that point. I always had them when I went to San Diego with my boyfriend at the time. We would take long road trips from LA to see his family and we would make it a point to have multiple California burritos when we were there.
We had dated for almost 5 years. I felt safe with him, so much so that I didn’t really see the breakup coming. Sitting in the back of that room in the East Village those memories came flooding back. I didn’t want a California Burrito at all. I wanted to feel safe in a relationship. I wanted stability in romance where I wasn’t wondering where I stood or if I was about to be dropped. It was what I had with him, and it was exactly the opposite of what I had with the guy who had just dumped me.
Where the Craving Really Came From
As soon as I realized what my heart really wanted, the food craving disappeared. It was like my head wasn’t listening to my heart’s needs and my heart was screaming so loud that my body picked up the signal. The wires got crossed, my heart screamed “I need love without conditions that won’t leave!” My brain said, “Message unread”. My body said, “Let me see how I can translate this into something I can get easily.” When I realized a California burrito couldn’t bring me security in relationship, the craving instantly disappeared. It was like actually listening and acknowledging my heart was the key to getting my heart to heal, and being able to find a way to meet my need in a truly satisfying way.
If what my heart really needed was love that wasn’t going to walk out, I needed to find a healthy way to meet that need. I needed to call on friends that I had depth with. I needed quality time with people who understood me. I have found that most cravings, especially when they come on fast and furious, are usually about an emotional need that hasn’t been met.
The more I paid attention the easier it was to soothe my heart. When I want tea it means I miss my mom and I should give her a call, because we always used to drink tea together. Craving mac and cheese is an indicator that I’m overwhelmed. It was my favorite food as a kid and the food I turned to when I was in an unhealthy relationship. Doughnuts remind me of late nights with friends at a 24 hour doughnut shop in Burbank and it means I need to go on an adventure with some cool peeps.
Your Cravings are a Gift
The more I valued my emotions and cravings as tools and pointers to the map of my soul, the more I learned about the state and needs of my heart. Emotions and cravings are not enemies to be squelched or shoved down, they are there to help you realize what you need and want. As you learn how to listen, your body doesn’t have to translate your heart and scream at you like a game of telephone. Soon your body doesn’t need to send you craving messages at all. Because you’re finally listening to your heart the first time it speaks up.
What are your major food triggers? What associations do you make with them? I would love to hear in the comments below!
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