If sugar had frequent flyer miles, I’d be a global traveler 1st class. But my membership to the sugar club is changing. Scientists have found in study after study, rats who habituate to sugar will choose sugar over nutrition to the point of death. My brain knows this craving, yet the cookie continued to win over and over. Until now.
Vice: a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming
What do you do with a vice? Here are four tips to help move beyond vice to freedom:
3pm is my personal bewitching hour for sugar. As a kid this was the afternoon snack time. With an 8-year-old’s metabolism, sugar was an accepted snack. As an adult living in Holland, I participated with the entire country shutting down at 10 and 3 for a 15-minute coffee break. This break is a time to eat a sandwich, a cookie or soup while drinking a cup of coffee. You can bet, my coffee always went with gingersnaps…or stroopwafels…or a knopper… Rather than fight with the 3pm alarm for sugar, I work with it and accept that my brain asking for sugar at this time does not mean my body needs it. It’s just a habit of routine. I’m extra kind to myself when I take my afternoon break and make decaf. My new routine is a 15-minute break with fresh air and the promise of a hot cup of decaf upon return to the office. I also have replacement waiting as well!
Start with identifying what the need is behind the vice. It is startling to find out the real need behind a habitual vice. “I need a break.” “I need support.” “I am bored.” “I want to feel loved.” “I want to matter.” “I don’t feel heard.” “I don’t want this situation.” A coach is better than a cookie. Book a session to talk through what is happening and what you want to have happen to come up with a supportive action plan right for you. Identifying the longing, hurt, or frustration, dis-empowers the vice and pivots toward the action needed to meet the real need. When you can express what you really need, you can begin to build a plan that fulfills you in a way that a vice only masks.
Replacement is important to satisfy a craving. I am LOVING the peaches in season for my 3pm decaf break. Sweet, meltingly ripe, and satisfying. I pick the snack that meets my culinary desires. If I am truly hungry, I eat veggies and hummus. Think through the time of day and craving to see what you can design as great replacements for your vice. Do you need a 20-minute power nap to meet exhaustion? How about a phone call with a friend if you are lonely? Five minutes of meditation to clear the head of stress? Fifteen minutes of walking outside to re-connect with your inner voice and appreciate nature? Replace the vice that isn’t helping with an action that really fills the need in a positive way. Need help designing this? Book a coaching session to brainstorm many other ways of meeting needs beyond a vice.
Imagine your big goal beyond the moment. When I am working out with weights, I imagine picking up my grandchildren that are not yet conceived. When I say no to a cookie, I imagine feeling great in my jeans without muffin material. I imagine speaking at events feeling comfortable in my body because of the nutrition I am choosing today. What’s your big goal? Use this hope and excitement to fuel your resolve to tame your vice and take control back into your own hands. You Can Do It! Need help breaking down the steps to your big goal? Let’s talk it out and get you fueled toward your dreams!