One of the issues that confront people early in abstinence is a craving. If you do not manage a craving while it is just a random thought, it will grow into an irresistible urge and a desperate urgency which can derail your food plan and recovery.
So, in the instant that you begin to realize that this is a food craving, take action. Cravings go away one of two ways: either when you decide to definitely give in to it, OR when you decide definitely not to give in to it.
Usually when you’re having a craving there is a sense of anxiety attached to it (Will I give in? Will I stand strong?). The moment you decide one way or the other, the craving starts to diminish. If you decide to give in to the craving, it starts to go away even before you put food in your mouth because the anxiety related to having to make the decision goes away.
Cravings do not just get worse and worse and worse until you can’t stand them. They will ALWAYS go away, even if you never eat a bite of food.
The more and more times you resist cravings, the easier it will be for you to do so because you build up evidence that proves that you can withstand them and that they do always go away. At worst, a craving might last 15 minutes, but it will go away MUCH more quickly if you distract yourself.
Let’s get more specific.
Interview the craving. Who are you and why are you here? If the UPS man came to your door and had a package and a bill for $97.64, would you pay him/her right away? Or would you first look at the package to see what it is and whether it belongs to you?
Who are you and where do you come from?
Did I eat the wrong food?
Is there too much food around me?
Did I eat too little?
Have I been careless with portion sizes?
Name the craving.
Are you a feeling?
Who are you?
Who sent you?
What situation do you remind me of?
Who are your friends/enemies inside me?
Are you a feeling? Who really owns you?
Am I missing my old food habits?
Or is this bringing up something from the past?
Are there other people involved?
Tame the craving
What do I need to do to be rid of you?
Who really owns you?
Are you remembering someone from my past?
Is there an action I should take?
Thank you for your service, craving. You may leave now.
Turn round in your mind to your Higher Power, and ask for help. Ask to be relieved of the feeling, or to hear the lesson, or to assign it to the person responsible for it. Then – let it leave.
Now get involved in some more constructive activity.
Every single time you have a craving you have the opportunity to either strengthen your tendency to give in, or your tendency to not give in. This is why every single time matters because every single time will reinforce one of these things.
When you’re having a craving, the more you focus on that craving, the worse it will get. The more you distract yourself, the less and less you’ll think about it. Just like an itch – the more you focus on an itch the itchier it becomes. When you get distracted, the itch goes away.
You can say “It’s worth it to not give in to cravings because it creates peace in my heart and strengthens my recovery.”