I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had few cravings throughout this diet. I think this is much more a nod to psyche than it is to physiology, because after all, cravings can be largely psychological in nature.
At the beginning of this diet, I had loads of cravings and it was hard. I fell asleep dreaming of chocolate cake and during the day, I longed for bed so that I could fantasise about it again.
This kind of fantasy is completely normal on SCD. Also, don’t Google ‘chocolate porn’.
59 days in, my cravings have mostly abated. Perhaps my psyche has simply given up the ghost! But regardless of whether my mind has surrendered to this diet or, as I prefer to think, triumphed over chocolate, it does still wander into the candy aisle every now and then. And when it does, here’s what I do:
I say no.
Unexciting, I know. Unhelpful? Maybe. But think about it again. ‘No’ is actually a very powerful word. We say ‘yes’ a lot – which is why so many of us ended up in this position. We said ‘yes’ to everyone who placed demands on us, so we elevated our stress levels and damaged our bodies. We said ‘yes’ to every type of food we laid eyes on, and we overloaded our systems. We said ‘yes’ to fad diets, fast food, too much partying and too little sleep. And we ended up here.
So now’s the time to start saying ‘no’. Saying ‘no’ to stress, unhealthy food, fad diets, lack of sleep, laziness and pushing ourselves too hard is the only way we’re going to get healthy again. ‘No’ is one of your most powerful tools, not only on SCD but in life in general. ‘No’ means that you know your boundaries and you respect your body, and your disease, enough to put measures in place to protect yourself and heal. Without ‘no’, your ‘yes’s are going to undo you.
For those of us with IBD, ‘no’ is the only way to get the space we need – from our own bad habits and everyone else’s. Saying ‘no’ to the cravings and unhealthy habits will actually give you a lot more room to say ‘yes’ – to good food, fresh air, less stress, healthy hobbies and more me-time. ‘Yes’ to the things you love, because they make you happy, and ‘yes’ to the things that are helping you to heal. And ‘yes’, also, to the occasional cheat food. Because that’s okay too 🙂