When you are making an effort to incorporate a new healthy lifestyle, there are many signs of progress. The obvious scale readings, clothes fitting looser, that lighter feeling. There may be other signs that you need to tune in to your body to notice: not feeling the pangs of hunger, sleeping better at night, less anxiety about your food choices, not having that afternoon sugar crash. Often, you just feel really good, both physically and mentally.
What happens if you slip? Maybe you have some of your spouse’s potato chips, and end up finishing the bag? Perhaps that package of gluten free bread is calling you to toast slice after slice? Or you allow yourself a handful of hot buttered popcorn at the movies and find yourself reaching for more and more?
I believe we have an inner Carb Monster lurking inside us. He lives in our brain stem where our most primal urges still reside: to eat, mate, hunt and survive. His desires have no emotional attachments, nor is he interested in rational thinking. He just loves the high from sugar, in all shapes and forms. He can’t feed himself, so he spends his waking hours trying to convince you to feed him what he wants. He doesn’t have any power of his own, so he is constantly trying to take yours.
Have you ever used the Ferber method to teach your toddler to go to bed? It is one to several nights of holding firm while your little one tries everything under the sun to keep from going to bed: a drink of water, need to go potty, a temper tantrum, tears, sneaking out, questions, more tears, begging, pleading, more tears. You can’t give in or you will lose the battle, the next night will be worse and your toddler won’t forget that you eventually caved.
Your Carb Monster behaves basically the same way. He wants his sugar high and will pull out every trick in the book to convince you to just taste something. Knowing that one bite, just one single bite, will be like throwing another log on the fire, stoking those sugar cravings and keeping him in the fight.
You have to be firm and consistent, all day, every day. At first it is hard, but the longer you keep at it, the easier it gets. The goal is to let that sugar craving fire burn out and with each resistance to your Carb Monster’s demands, you are one step closer. There is no need to argue or negotiate with him – just tell him no, and put him to bed.
When you stay away from sweets and starches, you eventually lose interest. They don’t taste the same. They’re too sweet and leave a horrible after taste. And the way your body reacts with gas, bloating, upset stomach, headache and the like – makes it not even worth partaking. Really, do you even savor the sweets when you eat them, in slow, tiny bites or do you inhale it as fast as you can?
If you do slip up or give in to a craving, DO NOT beat yourself up about it. Your Carb Monster has been pushing your buttons most of your life – occasionally it works. You simply made a choice – you’ll notice that it didn’t give you what you were hoping for and realize that you’ll have to work a little longer to get that fire out. Right yourself immediately – not Monday, not after ALL the cookies are gone, not next month – NOW. Put the Carb Monster to bed, and vow to hold firm the next time.
This picture illustrates my own battle with my Carb Monster: progress, relapse, recovery, progress, relapse, recovery… I kept going. Each time I fell, I dusted myself off, looked at where I went wrong, set a plan for if it happened again, and kept going. As I removed trigger foods and beverages from my life, it got easier and easier. Now, I dismiss my Carb Monster before he’s even got the words out of his mouth. He has no power at all over me, and all those foods I once obsessed over are barely a fleeting thought.
If you need some help taming your Carb Monster, my 90 Day Results program HERE is just the program for you. I have been where you are and have struggled. Those days are behind me now, and we can get yours behind you, too. I would be honored to discuss your challenges and goals, and see if together, we can tackle them. Just schedule a FREE consultation call with me using the LINK button below.