Carts and Horses, Horses and Carts
Tuesday, March 09, 2021
A few weeks ago, my friend Christina wrote an awesome blog. I don't think this was necessarily the main point, but my big takeaway was that she follows a strict eating plan to combat giving in to cravings, but what if she could just ignore cravings in the first place? Wouldn't that mean that she didn't need her strict eating plan?
It's like putting the cart before the horse, but that actually turning out to be a more effective way to go driving!
And it got me thinking about Judith Beck's procedure for tolerating cravings. The instructions are (in essence, I'm not sitting with the book in front of me):
1. Acknowledge the craving. Label it. "This is a craving."
2. Stand firm. "I am not going to give in to this craving." Say NO CHOICE.
3. Read your reasons for wanting to lose weight.
4. Ride it out thusly:
4a: Distance yourself.
4b: Drink a low-calorie beverage.
4d: Do a distracting activity.
Later on, you make a list of distracting activities you can try for 4d.
So after reading her blog, I thought to myself, what if, instead of distracting myself after I get a craving, I'm already distracted, so I don't bother myself with the craving at all, in the first place?
And it was like finding another new way to drive. Maybe I...don't have enough to do. Maybe I should busy myself more.
On its face, this is silly. I have two jobs and a toddler. How could I possibly not be busy enough?
Oddly enough, I have managed to have time enough to overeat, thought not enough time to exercise. So there's that, too.
After I had this revelation, I spent the rest of the day in constant motion. I wanted to make sure I was so distracted that thoughts of unplanned food couldn't sneak up on me.
But you know what? That was really exhausting and unsustainable. So I guess the horse does still go before the cart.
That's okay. It did get me thinking about how to fill up my time a bit better. And now I have more time for exercise, and less time for overeating.