Oh man, you guys are gonna love this! Before we begin, let me say that I know that we can all experience cravings which are purely physical in nature and our body’s innate wisdom is to be trusted. This post however, is about EMOTIONAL and MENTAL cravings. You know, when you just gotta have that bag of crisps or bucket of biscuits? Let’s start with a bit of background…
Back in the early days of my transition to a raw food lifestyle, I found myself having some pretty intense cravings for the ‘bad’ stuff. It made no sense in my head. I knew all the raw she-bang. I knew these foods were not serving me, but yet I felt I had to have them. It was making me miserable. No matter how much raw I ate I still felt drawn to the chips, the biscuits, the ice cream! That’s when I went to see a jolly amazing man called Brian.
Brian just so happens to be a super amazing NLP, Self Improvement, Personal Development Coach extraordinaire. We delved deep and he helped me figure out what was lying behind these cravings that were throwing me off course. Once I understood what was lying behind my behaviours, I was better equipped to deal with it going forward. Sometimes, just becoming conscious of our actions can help to shift them. That’s been my experience anyway.
When I got some feedback from my forthcoming book ‘7 Steps to Becoming A Deliriously Successful Raw Foodist‘ (out soon I promise, cross my heart and hope to marry Michael Hutchence if he comes back from the dead), a few of you seemed to be dealing with a similar thing, those pesky CRAVINGS. So I thought, why not ask the lovely Brian to guest blog dealing with this very issue? So, here it is…
“I didn’t want to eat the chocolates Brian, but they were speaking to me and I couldn’t ignore them”
What a crock of bollocks.
My name is Brian Costello and I work with people every day helping them take control of their own mind again so they can stop being afraid of what they’ve been afraid of, make decisions about where they want to go with life, stop putting themselves down and become capable of living up to their potential and a whole collection of other things that aren’t important right now.
What is important for you to know right now, is that I live on roughly the same planet you live on and I’m telling you, unless they are those Dutch ‘special’ chocolates that your mate Billy brought back from his city break in Amsterdam, the ruddy chocolates don’t speak to you and neither do the biscuits, the steak, the lasagne, the fags, the wine or any of the other items that you hear inside your head tempting you with their sultry tones!
See, here’s the thing. We are decision making machines, that’s what we do. Our minds are perfectly designed to do nothing more than make one simple decision over and over again; “is what I am about to do going to give me pleasure or will it give me pain?”.
Once it has the answer to that question it now knows what to do and it acts – as a rule it will move towards pleasure and move away from pain.
Your whole life has been programming you to be able to make a call on that question in a whole collection of scenarios and places and, of course, we don’t call it pleasure and pain, that would be too easy. Our mind loves labels so we also learn to label pleasure and pain with loads of different words that differentiate our pleasure and pains.
For example, words like ‘love’, ‘excitement’, ‘happiness’, ‘beautiful’, ‘joy’ are all words we use to describe pleasure while words like ‘stress’, ‘anxiety’, ‘helplessness’ and ‘hate’ describe our pains. (Don’t go forgetting the talking chocolate, I’m coming back to that). Think about it, since you’ve been a baby you have been taught by everyone and everything you’ve ever experienced about what is good and what is bad, the things you like and the things you don’t. At some point, I’m guessing since you’re reading this blog, you have decided that making changes to your diet is something that will, either in the long or short term, bring you pleasure or, perhaps, help you avoid pain.
Does this make sense? Let me expand for a wee second so that it is totally clear and I’ll make it specific to you as much as I can.
Why did you decide to start investigating raw food? Was it because you met someone that followed the raw lifestyle and they looked the way you think you want to look and talked about how they felt and you wanted a part of it?
That’s a pleasure decision.
Or, was it because you’ve had health issues and you had heard that people with the same symptoms as you had controlled their symptoms by changing their diet to raw?
That’s an avoid pain decision then.
That should therefore make life so simple shouldn’t it? Yet, here we are with our talking chocolate. Why the hell is that so bloody complicated then?
Well, in most cases it’s because we haven’t really got enough reasons to do something. Without enough reasons, we end up telling ourselves we ‘should’ do it and then we enter into the whole thing – whatever it is – a little ‘half-arsed’!! We’ve made a choice not because we totally want to but more because we think we ‘should’ do it.
Your mind is not designed for ‘should’.
So now you’re faced with a decision that your mind is not designed to help you with – do I do X (e.g. go make a juice) that I think I should do and might bring me pleasure or avoid pain, or should I do Y (e.g. eat the chocolate) that I know is going to bring me pleasure.
Ohh, add in that making the juice means you’ll have dishes to wash (pain) and chocolate comes in its own disposable dishes and you start to see how the scale is tipping inside your head?
And it’s now that your mind helps you out. To avoid having as much guilt (aka pain) about the fact you indulged your mind deflects the pain by inventing talking chocolate. Although you know it’s not real, it helps you feel better (pleasure) about the whole thing because now it wasn’t your fault, it was the chocolate, and now the cycle begins again.
It’s fiendishly simple. Your mind is an amazing thing. The same decision over and over again. Which thing will give me most pleasure or least pain?
So what do you do about it?
Part 2 of this post continues tomorrow. I know, I’m a cruel bitch, right?
Meantime, check out Brian’s website Headstrong (totally sign up for his newsletter, it’s fab) and his AMAZING upcoming Breakthrough Weekend (which I’ve done and whoa, talk about trans-for-mation, baby!) in Glasgow. Also check out (and LIKE) his fab facebook page for daily doses of inspiration and good happy vibes with the occasional mental input from my good self. What? I say good stuff sometimes…
Part 2 of this post can be found here
This blog was written by Raw Food Scotland's previous owner, Emma Calvert. You can reach her at her new website, https://missmanifestation.com/