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04/26/2016

Got Cravings? How To Turn Your Failures Into Success

Come on, admit it! You DO have cravings for foods that aren't good for you. I know I do. I love sweets. I love chocolate. I love fried foods too. Sometimes I just want to have a big greasy meal at some restaurant. I've gotten past craving things that aren't vegan but that took some time. Dealing with food cravings is a big part of making long-term lifestyle change.

Here's what I discovered in my own journey and in working with others on their transition to healthy eating. (I shared even more ideas in my free webinar):

Your failures are the secret to winning the struggle.

Sounds crazy right?

Right now you probably see your failures as a bad thing. What I want you to do instead is to see that failure as an opportunity for your success. It's your best teacher. Your roadmap for how to reach your goals.

Here's what I mean. Let's say you've been doing pretty good. For the last two weeks you have stayed on your program and have only eaten healthy food. You've had lots of raw food. You've avoided sugar. You've been drinking your water. You're feeling pretty good about yourself.

Then you get a call from your best friend. She says she and some others are meeting up at such-and-such restaurant. Why don't you come too?

So you go. You have too many drinks. You give into your cravings and eat some of everything. Even the chicken. You have a huge chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream. The next day you feel like sh*t!

You hate on yourself. You feel guilty and shameful. You see it as proof that you're weak. You feel like all that goodness from the two weeks is wasted. Whatever. Your failure drags you down. For the next three days you're on a downward spiral, eating worse and worse.

There's a better way.

Let's back up. You go out with the girls (or boys) and mess up. But this time instead of heaping the blame and shame on yourself you do this. You take some time to deconstruct what just happened. Your cravings (or your inability to control them) are triggered by something. What are your high risk situations? Let's figure out what the something was.

You say, "What were the points at which I made a bad decision? Why did I make that decision? How was I feeling? What was happening?"

Think about the interactions you had. What was your emotional state? Do you have support in the group? Did something upset you?

Once you know where the problems occurred you can create a plan for how to avoid them the next time.

Can you influence where you go so that there is plenty of healthy food available? Can you say something to the group to so they won't push you into bad behavior? Is there someone you need to avoid hanging around with? Maybe a non-alcoholic beverage will keep you in control.

The specifics will depend on your situation. The point is if you use this experience to learn how to prevent it from happening the next time, then you have a recipe for success. You'll be one step closer to winning. You'll learn something about yourself that you might not otherwise have seen.

The goal isn't to mess up but to use those mess ups that do happen to your advantage. Become a researcher of yourself. Keep a daily journal of the good times and the bad times. Notice the factors the help you have good times and which ones lead to bad times.

You can win this struggle! 

For even more ideas about handling your food cravings watch the replay of my video training. 

 

Now it's your turn. I'd love to hear you thoughts about this idea or about your struggles (and successes) with cravings.

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

3 Comments on “Got Cravings? How To Turn Your Failures Into Success

blackawayfromhome
04/27/2016 at 11:33 am

This has been my biggest struggle! Sweets and the guilt that comes with consuming them. I have gotten better this time around. I slip up and keep at it, before I would get so consumed with guilt, I would convince myself not to keep going. I am better at seeing that a lifestyle change takes time. There is not light switch to make it happen.

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Ama Opare
04/27/2016 at 11:46 am

blackawayfromhome, you have made an important mindset change. Keep on steppin’! You’re on the right path.

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Fran
04/27/2016 at 3:28 pm

For me I cravings have become more manageable. If I slip I just quickly get back up. What annoys me is the lack of support my some family members. For instance. Several years ago, I shared that I was needed to cut back on sugar. The next day, I walk in to find a double chocolate cake waiting. Not vegan and with white sugar. yikes?? Is this common?

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