If there is one phrase that makes me sad, it’s this one:
I just can’t stop eating chocolate.
It’s the kind of phrase I hear a lot in the post-Christmas period, and I totally understand it. I understand it, but at the same time, I don’t suffer from it. I enjoy Christmas and the chocolate that comes with it, and then I just stop eating chocolate. For other people though, Christmas is just another excuse to eat LOADS of chocolate (or the stuff that pretends it is chocolate) and then, once the festive season has gone, the newly-reignited sugar addiction is almost impossible to quash. It’s chocolate here. Cake there. Treats coming out of your ears and so forth, and before you know it, your healthy eating plans have gone out the window, and your butt has grown just a tad and it’s nearly Easter.
So, how do I manage to enjoy Christmas and then stop the chocolate?
(Don’t get me wrong – I am no angel, but I just don’t have this compulsion to eat chocolate no matter what).
First; realise that the reason you feel crap when you try to stop eating chocolate is that eating chocolate makes you feel good for a very short time only.
Chocolate doesn’t make your life great. It just makes it taste chocolately for a short while, and then your life just goes back to where it was before you ate the chocolate. Only now you are having a blood sugar dip.
The only way out of that one is to eat a bit more chocolate, so that your life feels a bit better than it did (because it tastes of chocolate again) and you aren’t in a blood sugar dip. And there you have the pattern.
Chocolate = feel good = sugar dip = chocolate = feel better again = sugar dip etc etc.
No wonder you can’t stop eating chocolate.
The only way out of that one is to realise that your life has nothing to do with chocolate, and all to do with how you see your life. If you view your life as crap, then sure, eating some chocolate may well make it seem better for a few minutes, but it won’t actually improve your life in any way.
So what can you do?
Well (and this isn’t necessarily easy, but it needs to be said), here a couple of ways of making the post Xmas-season a little less reliant on chocolate:
1. Don’t decide that chocolate is evil, the root of all your problems and that you should never eat it again. Instead, realise that chocolate is just something to eat, doesn’t cause your problems and that giving it up forever is going to make you want it even more.
3. Figure out what else you can do which will make you feel good without resorting to ‘treating’ yourself each and every time you feel a little bit rubbish. I have no idea what you like, but for me, I know that anytime I have a deadline, I am likely to want chocolate. It’s my way of delaying doing whatever it is that I have to do. So when I am doing something that features a deadline (writing this post, for example…) I make sure that there is no chocolate around and Ipromise to treat myself afterwards to something which I have to go out and buy from the shops. Doing that then makes it a much more conscious decision and I get some exercise before stuffing my face. I also notice that by saving the treat until afterwards, I tend to not need it quite so much as the whole reason for needing it (delaying the deadline) has already gone.
4. Remember that when you think about something all the time – such as ‘I don’t want to eat chocolate’ you just end up thinking about that exact thing. If you think about chocolate 100 times in a day (easily done) then you have to resist chocolate 100 times that day. So turn it around and think about something different instead. Think about sunshine. Snow. Waves. Apples. Your sweetheart instead. All those things are good, make you feel good, and don’t waste valuable willpower. Here is a photo of some trees to move you along from thinking about chocolate right now.
Struggling with sugar/chocolate cravings is tricky. I can help. Here’s how.
Or jump into Start Right and Carry On, and never worry about chocolate again!
(and it’s not because you have to quit it!)