I can't keep ice cream in the freezer
Shucks. I love ice cream (dairy-free that is).
But I cannot seem to have that dangerously tantalizing pint chilling in my freezer. I forget about it for the majority of my day... Until after dinner...
I innocently open the freezer for some ice and there it is!
Do you ever crave something sweet after dinner? And that little something turns into more than you had anticipated... Like the Girl Scout cookies you bought to "support your friend's kid" are now in danger of disappearing without a trace?
Then you have to explain to your roommate, spouse, kids, or significant other where they went. You might lie and say that you threw half of them out because they were stale. I know your games.
If you would like to stop the cycle of laying in bed at night, wishing that you had foregone the sweets and promising that it will be different tomorrow, read on.
And whip out a piece of paper(or your favorite journal), a pen, and let's get to the bottom of what's causing this habit/craving. Sure, it'll take you all of 10 minutes. But you will save yourself many evenings of guilt and get your brain and body geared for only healthy indulgences that you can feel good about.
Note, you are allowed to indulge in sweet treats after dinner. But you know the feeling when it is no longer a treat... It's a crutch and it's actually making you feel worse in the long run.
Here are the steps for you to take when you are about to go ham on that pint (or whatever it is) in the freezer after dinner.
Step #1: Know the conditions that bring about this behavior
- I keep the ice cream in the house (or whatever food it is for you)
- When I am alone
- When I am rushed through my dinner and don't eat in a relaxed fashion
Step #2: Ask yourself: How do I feel afterwards? How do those feelings affect how I show up in the world?
- Physically: My stomach hurts a bit, I feel bloated, a little gassy. Not super pretty.
- Mentally: I am mad at myself because it's like my words carry no weight. I told myself that I wouldn't do something and I did exactly that!
- When I feel this way I am:
- Distracted: because I am busy thinking lots of negative thoughts about my body and myself.
- Irritable: because I am annoyed for doing what I said I wouldn't do.
- Not able to sleep as well: Sugar in the evening effects sleep! I had a hard time falling asleep and I did not feel rested the next morning... Which leads to the continuation of these feelings through the following day.
Step #3: Ask yourself: What are you avoiding doing?
- I am avoiding feeling alone.
- Being bored and un-entertained.
- Being quiet.
- Studying for my upcoming exam.
Step #4: Brew yourself a cup of herbal tea and begin that thing you are avoiding doing.
- Do not underestimate the power of herbal tea. There are numerous antioxidants (which means anti-inflammatory) properties in herbal teas. See below for recommendations.
- They are also a distraction for your taste buds. This is not about eliminating your evening sweet, but perhaps replacing it with something that has sweet qualities without the buckets of added sugar.
- Once you have brewed yourself that tea, go do what you were avoiding. Do it slowly. Get settled. Sip the tea. It may be uncomfortable at first... You may want to say "eff this" and go get the pint. But as you sit, sip, and get present with what you are doing, you will get into a flow and that thing you were craving won't have the same hold on you.
Give this a try and see how it works for you. Don't get mad at yourself if it's not perfect from the get go. This is about evaluating your own personal habits, struggles, and triumphs! What works for me, may only partially work for you. This is a great place to start and don't be afraid to make modifications and tweaks.
If you do, I want to hear about them! What works for you to avoid that evening overindulgence?
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Stay beautiful :)