Does that Chocolate have Your Name on it?
By: Connie Bennett
Are you convinced that the chocolate candy bar over there is calling out to you? Does that decadent dessert give you a come-hither look? Does the scrumptious-looking brownie beckon you?
Hogwash. No offense, but it's time for a reality check.
Look, I don't mean to sound callous, but it's simply preposterous to think that those foods are deliberately whispering out to you or that they have your name on them! Yet, these are exactly the phrases that I frequently hear from people overly attached to sweets.
Whoa! It's time to squash those desperate desires right now!
Now before you get angry at me and claim that I don't understand your feelings, you need to know that I am an ex-sugar addict myself so sweets often used to lure me, too. So remember that I deeply empathize deeply with your plight. But now, I'm here to show you the way out of this sugar trap.
To escape from this “addiction” or over-attachment to sweets and refined carbs, here are 4 sure-fire techniques to squash that temptation immediately, just as it confronts you. When those sugary foods "call out" to you:
1. Pinpoint the source of your hunger. Are you really famished for those nutrient-lacking pieces of red licorice that you gaze at so longingly? Or do you instead really long for love, tenderness, joy, friendship, laughter, sympathy, a good workout, a dose of spirituality, a better job, or improved communication with your significant other? In other words, are you completely malnourished because your heart and soul aren't getting the things you most cherish and need? (When I kicked sugar back in 1998, asking myself such questions helped me to turn away from sweets time and time again until proudly saying “no” became a wonderful, ingrained habit.) So I urge you to become conscious in the moment as to the reason(s) for your so-called "hunger," because powerful knowledge like this can lead you to better, healthier actions. Or, you can think of this in another way, as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (where I studied), suggests. When sugary temptations are about to get the better of you, ask yourself, "Do I want that sugary `treat,’ or am I really yearning for “primary foods” such as relationships, exercise, etc.?”
2. Get really angry at your destructive habit! At this point, I suggest that you get furious at your pitiful reliance on sugary and processed foods. I'm not suggesting that you become hateful at yourself; just become outraged at your behavior and the fact that you lean on these culprit carbs so much when you're blue, lonely, moody, etc. Now go ahead -- get downright repulsed by your heinous, potentially health-damaging habit. Become revolted by the fact that you let these sweets strip you of your dignity and force you to do demeaning activities such as digging into your garbage pail to retrieve uneaten candies. (Sound familiar?) Get really livid at just how low you’ve sunk. (I'm not a therapist, but I'm telling you that tapping into your fury -- what I once did -- can have a potent, effective, life-affirming result.)
3. Claim your power. Realize that you are in control. It's totally up to you what you stick on your fork and into your mouth and stomach. You can consciously – and easily – make better selections as to what you'll feed yourself and how you'll spend your time. Stand in your own corner. Stick up for yourself. Choose to treat your body and soul with respect, dignity, admiration and even encouragement.
4. Choose nourishment instead. Now that you’re armed with valuable insights – such as that maybe you're really not hungry for sweets but instead need a strenuous workout, a fun time out with a friend or some tenderness from your significant other – you can make a better, more positive, healthier choice. Instead of mindlessly cramming quickie carbs into your mouth, pick an activity that nurtures and feeds your soul. Now go do it!
Remember, if it's been your pattern to turn to sweets for solace, at times you may still feel that sugary foods have control over you. But you need to remind yourself that this is just not so!
You alone have the final say as to what you put into your mouth -- not your sugar-pushing relative or insensitive, sugar-addicted friends or loved ones. You can choose health by saying no to this potentially damaging white powder (or foods using it and other caloric sweeteners).
Now take back your power now. Decide that you just do not have to cave into temptation. Choose to nourish yourself in other ways instead.
Please bear in mind that as someone who has been where you are, I bring you abundant hope. You can win out in your battle against processed sweets and refined carbs. In fact, you have many easy tips and tactics on which you can rely. These are just four of many simple strategies that you can use to break free from your sugar habit.
Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C. is a former sugar addict and author of SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books), with Stephen Sinatra, M.D. Connie now helps thousands of people worldwide to break free of their debilitating sugar habit through her www.SugarShockBlog, her 21-Day, Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Countdown Diet™ and other programs. Connie is also a certified holistic health counselor and an experienced journalist, who has contributed to eDiets.com, The Los Angeles Times, and many other media outlets. To get more simple strategies to squash sugar's temptations, grab a sneak peek of her book SUGAR SHOCK! at www.SugarShock.com.