What a time to be alive.
Technology has turned my futuristic childhood fantasies into ho-hum iOS updates.
Our cars have a better entertainment system than most homes did 20 years ago.
In the west, we have a level of comfort beyond anything mankind has ever seen.
And the abundance! Oh man, the abundance is....abundant.
But with all of this has come a new level of anxiety.
We no longer spend each day fighting for mere survival. We now have the time and space to ask, "What is my purpose? Is my work meaningful?"
We no longer try keep up with the Jones's across the street. We 're now tasked with the impossible mission of keeping up with the Jones's on Facebook and Instagram. And they come fully equipped with filters, editing apps, and the ability to curate what appears to be the perfect life.
Of course, this leads to a wagon full of heavy emotions for us to contend with. Anxiety, depression, pressure, worry, fear, etc.
But you know what's worse than all of those things?
How we feel about them.
When we notice we don't feel happy, we think there's something wrong. Why am I not happy? Aren't I supposed to be?
When we feel anxiety, we stress out because we don't think we should be feeling that way.
It's not enough to deal with the pressures of life and the variety of emotions that come with it. We also deal with the fear that there's something wrong with us, and we need to be fixed.
And that's the worst part.
My family just left after a week-long visit from Canada. We spent the week eating, laughing, sight-seeing, eating, and eating.
But my sister keeps a strict diet. Much stricter than me, if I'm honest. She feels better when she sticks to her plan, so she sticks to it, no matter what.
While we destroyed enchiladas, pizza, BBQ, and ice cream, she stuck with her lean meats, veggies, and seafood.
Is she tempted? Of course. Cravings? Dealing with some light peer pressure? Absolutely.
But she soldiers on, keeping her goals in mind.
And you know how she does it? She has a super power:
She doesn't worry about the fact that she's tempted. She doesn't feel like she needs to 'solve' her cravings.
She feels the craving, and instead of wondering, "How do I get rid of this?" Or, "How do I prevent myself from experiencing this in the future?" She just sees it for what it is, then makes a decision about what to eat.
Of course, there ARE strategies you can use to minimize cravings. And you SHOULD use them.
For example, high protein and high fiber foods to keep you full, packing as many veggies into your gut as you can, and sugarless sodas when you crave something sweet. These strategies will go a long way to keep cravings at bay.
But they won't eliminate them all together.
Sometimes, you're going to crave huge amounts of food that doesn't jive with your goals. If you're going to win at this fitness thing, this needs to become an accepted fact.
And just like the worst part about feeling 'unhappy' is thinking there must be something wrong with you....
...cravings are no different.
When you experience cravings and ask, "How do I fix this/ Never feel this again?" you're assuming there's something wrong that needs to be fixed.
This only adds to the struggle, in the form of over-thinking, and trying to solve a problem that won't ever be completely solved.
Aside from eating whole foods, plenty of protein, and doing our best to avoid ravenous hunger, there isn't much we can do about the occasional food craving.
So, instead of trying to solve food cravings all together, take a cooler, more aloof approach.
When you experience a craving, notice it without judgement. Then decide what you're going to do about it with a calm, cool, rational mind.
Will you succeed every time? Hell no. This falls firmly under the 'easier said than done' umbrella. But this is why we practice. And practice is how we get better.
And the better you get, the leaner and more muscular you get as a result.
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