As we head into another new year and people everywhere jump on the diet and fitness resolution bandwagon, I thought I’d rewind to last year at this time when everyone was probably making the exact same resolutions and I was talking about our real cravings and how to conquer eating issues without counting calories. So often our hunger has nothing to do with cookies or potato chips or eggnog. It has to do with our understanding of ourself and our place in the world and a hunger for inner peace and joy. We just use food to fill the void.
Here’s what we were talking about one year ago when my book Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God was released by Ave Maria Press. I think I just might reread it this coming month because, as I write in the book, it’s oh so easy to slip back into old habits and patterns of thinking.
1. How are our eating habits driven by emotions?
I think it’s a matter of wanting control.
So much of life, especially in our fast-paced society, feels beyond our control, so food becomes one way we can feel like we’re in charge, but often it’s just the opposite.
We stuff ourselves or starve ourselves in attempt to become something we’re not, something we imagine will be so much better than who we are right now.
Most of us recognize that we use food as a reward or a comfort, but I think it goes much deeper than that. We use food to fill a void or a hunger for something more – love, acceptance, a relationship with God or others – but food can’t satisfy that deeper hunger and so we end up with problems.
Of course, as I say in my book, sometimes a cookie is just a cookie. Not every snack or indulgence is a statement on our self-worth, but a lot of it is.
So this work of developing a good relationship with food doesn’t start with calorie counting but with self-acceptance and a willingness to do some soul searching. Read the rest of that interview by clicking HERE.
And if you’d like to really dive into this and get some specific pointers on how to curb your cravings, here’s a 45-minute webinar I did on the topic:
And, of course, you can buy the book, which has questions and meditations at the end of every chapter and a series of exercises to put what you learn into practice. You can get the book by heading to Amazon at this link or Barnes and Noble at this link.