Why can’t I stop eating?
Why does that food call to me?
Why? It’s an urge. An urge is a craving for a specific food. What you may not realize is that you had a thought that created that urge.
There are three ways to handle an urge. You can resist it, reward it, or allow it.
Resisting an urge is sheer willpower. You fight the urge and tell yourself no over an over. This just makes the urge stronger. Willpower is finite, eventually it runs out. Even worse, many times you resist the urge and then you reward it. Giving it more power.
Rewarding the urge and eating the food brings pleasure to your brain. By rewarding the urge, you program your brain with a positive message. I had an urge, I ate the food, I felt good. Rinse and repeat. Remember our brains are designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The more you reward an urge, the more urgent and intense it gets.
Allowing an urge, what does that mean? Picture your urge like a toddler at the market. She wants candy, she wants it NOW! She’s on the floor kicking and screaming. Do you reward her with candy? Nope. Do you tell her to stop over and over and escalate her meltdown? Nope. You watch the crying eventually stop and her fit ends. Urges are the same. Urges demand action. Eat that now! Allowing an urge is like allowing the toddler to cry. After a few trips to the grocery store without rewarding or resisting the toddler’s pleas for candy, she’ll stop asking. She knows she’s not getting any candy.
Eventually if you allow an urge to flow through your body without resisting or rewarding it, it diminishes. It becomes easier and easier to allow urges by training your brain.
Take a deep breath and sit with your urge.