You know what I’m talking about. That magnetic pull toward the cupcakes; the voice of reason that convinces you to eat “just one”; but then pulls a bait-and-switch as soon as you have your first bite. It starts singing the anthem of women everywhere… “it’ll go straight to your thighs”… the song picks up in rhythm and crescendo and to drown it out you eat another and another and before you know it you look down with regret to see the whole batch devoured. That’s when the food gremlins REALLY take hold! “I can’t believe you did that!” “Sugar is so BAD for you!” “You have no control… how embarrassing… how shameful!” And you spiral into that familiar place of “I’ll start again tomorrow”... Sound familiar?
Food Gremlins are:
- The “good” and “bad” labels we assign to foods
- The diet-culture’s rules about what, when, how to eat
- The food cravings we all experience at one time or another
- The beliefs we create about ourselves when we do or don’t follow the rules
Food Gremlins are very convincing, sneaky little creatures that can wreak havoc in even the smartest, most educated and successful among us! The good news is, when you get up close and look them in the eye, they’re not so scary… they’re kinda cute, even! A lot like a 2 year old who is begging for attention! Once you get over the horrendous nature of their screams, you can see that really, they’re just trying to tell you that they have an unmet need. And in that place, when they’re vulnerable and simply needing something, they are cute and harmless.
The trick is to anticipate their needs, and to pay attention to them BEFORE the tantrum occurs. Like any responsible parent, you will of course bring them along with you wherever you go (and care for their needs to the best of your ability). However, under no circumstances, do they get to drive! Are you with me?
So, how do you shift your relationship with these adorable, mischievous food gremlins? Start by paying attention! What are the foods bring you to your knees? What’s going on when you zombie-walk toward the pantry or the fridge? What happened right before your ate that whole bag of Lay’s? And what is your body telling you now that you see it’s gone? Once we know what these little messengers are trying to tell us, it’s simply a matter of doing just that!
This is quite possibly the scariest part. It’s the part where you’ve convinced yourself that by turning on the light you will see the biggest, scariest, drooling monster, that shining the light on it will mean you will never be able to UN-SEE it.. so you keep hiding under the covers, working up the courage to confront it.
Guess what? It’s just a tiny, cute little gremlin! You can handle that, can’t you? Of course you can! This is your ticket off of the craving-defeat-regret cycle. The first step is always the scariest but I promise you, the only way out is through. You’ve got this!