It’s nearly 6pm and I’m practically licking the screen at all the raw food blogs people are posting on facebook right now…clearly to throw me off my juicy path haha! I’d forgotten the challenge of the first day of a juice feast. I’m not hungry AT ALL (benefits of a feast not a fast) but it’s amazing to me just how mentally attached to food I’ve been today. So I’ve been pondering…
For me, it’s reminiscent of giving up smoking. Every so often, and it is very often in the early stages, your mind will say have a cigarette, have a cigarette, you know you want to, just one won’t hurt etc. and if you don’t give in the craving goes away. Slowly but surely those cravings will dissipate altogether. Obviously in this situation we’re talking about food and not just from a physical addiction viewpoint but more from a mental addiction. I guess what I’m talking about applies equally to any addiction or habitual behaviour. Eat something, have this, have that, start again tomorrow, bla bla bla your mind will come up with every single bloody trick in the book to test your will!
Most of this afternoon my brain has been telling me all the wonderful foods I could make if I would just GIVE IN and eat something. I’ve seen umpteen blog posts with delicious raw foods and CHOCOLATES, been invited out for dinner and then the husband goes and cooks a stir fry in the kitchen and offers me some!!! (didn’t give in by the way)
In my experience, whenever you tell the universe (call it what you will) that you are definitely doing something, it goes “ok, let’s see how much you mean it” and will strategically place challenges and obstacles in your path to see how you deal with them, to see just how much you mean what you say. Nine times out of ten it’s easier for us to give up on what we want to achieve than it is to follow through or create a new habit or behaviour. Then the universe thinks that you obviously weren’t that committed in the first place and doesn’t push things your way to help support you… You have to get tested first in my experience 🙂 Then you’re sad and disappointed in yourself and choose to find ways to justify why you didn’t, why you couldn’t, why you shouldn’t! I’m not advocating for one minute that you beat yourself up over anything!!
But yet that still leaves 10% of times where something more powerful takes over and helps to see you through. Something that hears the voice in your head tempt and titilate you but manages to avoid temptation. How do you tap in to that higher power?
I think a major key is not to BECOME the feelings but to observe them, to recognise that sometimes we let our thoughts and subsequent feelings and emotions overtake us, this is natural and perfectly ok. You won’t change that, it’s part of human nature. We can however still let that be and let it pass and still come out the other side. Usually after a few moments of being present and in the moment, the strong urge passes and you’re stronger for it. The trick can often be just getting through those moments! This is a great blog post on how to stay present
The reward for coming through the challenges is far superior than the initial satisfaction of following what your mind dictates. You’ll have renewed your sense of achievement and become stronger. So what you want a biscuit? It’s not like you haven’t tasted a biscuit before. The taste of that biscuit hasn’t changed since the last time you had it and it won’t be different when you have it next week. So do you really want the biscuit or are you hankering for something that you think the biscuit will bring you? It’s not physical satiation surely because if you were really that hungry you’d eat a cabbage. The truth may be that you want an emotion attached to the act of eating that biscuit. You aren’t missing anything by not having the biscuit! That’s the truth. To quote Seneca (favourite philosopher ever):
You have exhausted the very pleasures that make you hesitate and hold you back; not one of them has any novelty for you, not one of them now fails to bore you out of sheer excess. You know what honey-wine tastes like: it makes no difference whether a hundred or a thousand flagons go through your bladder – all you are is a strainer. Your luxurious way of life has kept back not a single fresh experience for you to try in coming years. And yet these are the things from which you are reluctant to be torn away.
Basically what he’s saying is that there is no thing to lose and we are overly mentally attached to many things.
Even still, I recognise it would be smashing for things to go a little smoother, so what else can you do when you’re going through a tough patch? How else can you overcome the initial cravings bit?
- Write down all the reasons why you are doing this (whether that’s juice feast, healthy eating in general or whatever)
- Remind yourself of the benefits of following through
- Take each hour at a time, if it gets tough tell yourself just one more hour and see how far you get
- Ask yourself whether it is your body or mind directing your behaviour – there’s a big difference
- Ask yourself what is the real reason for my wanting to eat/drink/behave this way?
- Before you go against what you desire pretend it’s one hour from now and take five minutes to write down how this future you feels having eaten the biscuit or had the fag or whatever…
- Meditate for 10 minutes until the feeling passes – observe your breath and let your mind have as many ridiculous thoughts as it wants. View it almost as a tempestuous child!
- Get outside and breathe deeply for 10 breaths
- Go and clean/tidy a room in your house or engage in another activity in another room 😉
- Ask a friend or family member to support you in achieving your goal, talk it through with them when you’re feeling challenged
- Avoid your husband making stir-frys 🙂
I hope this helps you, it’s certainly helped me just by typing it 🙂
I’ve had 4 juices so far today, the last one is by far the nicest. Enjoy!
ABC, Easy as…
3 sprigs of mint
This blog was written by Raw Food Scotland's previous owner, Emma Calvert. You can reach her at her new website, https://missmanifestation.com/