What does a craving look like?

I have recently signed on to join an online Bible study based on the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. This week, we are invited to blog on the topic of craving. As noted in her book, one weight loss company personifies craving as a little orange monster that chases us around, tempting us to eat unhealthy foods. I find myself picturing my cravings a little differently than that.

At first, as I thought about what my cravings could be pictured as, I thought of my cravings as peer pressure – all my friends pressuring me to eat them. ‘Oh, hello, Kit Kat. I’d love to take a bite.’ ‘I’m so thirsty, I’m so glad you’re right there Mello Yellow.’

But as most peer pressure goes, these ‘friends’ so quickly turn on me. Before long, these friendly invitations sound more like centuries-old traditions that dare not be broken. ‘You’re thirsty? The only thing to solve that is a bottle of pop.’ ‘You just finished a meal – now it’s time for some chocolate.’

After further thought on this topic though, I realized that cravings may start as peer pressure, but eventually they become more like an anchor. When an anchor is used on a ship, it holds the ship in place. These cravings of mine have been holding me in place for a very long time. When the anchor is down, there is no forward movement. I know this full well – I use my weight goal as a password for some of my computer needs. It has been the same number for about 4 years now.

Anchors can be used in another, very destructive way. If you want to sink something, you just tie an anchor to it and toss it in the depths. My cravings have actually become this destructive at times. As I mentioned, my goal weight has been the same for a long time. My actual weight, on the other hand, has gotten further away from my goal over the last four years. My cravings are at the very destructive state now.

So now, as I see my cravings with a picture in mind, I may just be able to do something about them. When they are behaving themselves, like nice friends do, I can tell them “No”. If they don’t listen, I can treat them they way I would treat a friend that is trying to pressure me to do something I don’t want to do.

When I see them becoming more ornery, like traditions sometimes do, then I can start to address them they way we address making changes to familiar routines. What is the benefit to doing something differently? Having a clear picture of why I’m changing my response to my cravings will be so much more helpful.

And when the cravings begin to act like an anchor – I need to remind myself that I don’t want to stay in this same place any longer. I want to sail with the wind – I want to move along in my journey. It’s time to pull the anchor up and get moving.

And when that anchor starts to pull me under – there’s only one solution left. Cut the rope. I haven’t quite figured out what that looks like yet, but I know that’s the only solution left.

The cravings themselves will always be there – it’s how I deal with them that will make all the difference. It’s time to get my cravings behaving as friends again – I’m tired of being pulled under all the time.



8 thoughts on “What does a craving look like?

  1. Those cravings sure can be like an anchor…wow…you hit the nail on the head with that similarity! They can hold us back and down from turning our cravings over to the Lord through quoting a bible verse and also prayer. When I began my new eating plan, I would quote Lamentations 3:22-24, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for Him.;” And then Lord would remind me in this verse over and over again, that HE is my portion and not what I was craving. Thank you for sharing from your heart. You blessed me today. ~Stacey

  2. Barb, knew I needed to do something about my cravings for cigarettes so on August 10, 2006, after 35+ years of being a smoker, I became a non-smoker. I went through…”your nervous, or your hungry, or you need a break” trying to hold me to the traditions that had become a part of my life…like breathing, sleeping or eating. Then there was the peer pressure, “are you saying that smokers are bad people? What’s wrong with a smoke here and there?’, who are “they” to tell you where you can smoke and what you might be doing to your body?”. Oh boy, I had a constant battle going on in my head all the time. Finally the anchor that told me I was going to go crazy if I didn’t get a fix of nicotine, then I was going to get fat if I quit smoking because that’s what everyone says happened to them, and of course the one that says I can quit anytime, just have one once in a while. I had to cut that rope and say, I don’t care if I gain weight, I won’t go crazy, and I certainly don’t want to do this ever again, so just get over it. I had to admit that I was an addict to cigarettes. I had to tell myself that it wasn’t easy, but I have been through harder things than this. I took one hour at a time. I told myself if I could wait one hour, then I could have one. That hour came and went and I realized I did really go through an hour without smoking. One step closer to doing it! It was a very hard 3 months, then another less hard 6 months and then a once in a while want to hit something for a few months. Finally it became seldom and with less intensity. I taught myself to breathe deeply and not listen to my peer pressure thoughts, but the thoughts that told me the Lord was with me, He made me to be strong, and that He believed in me.
    It has been over 7 years and sometimes that peer pressure comes back and nags at me. I think back to the work that it involved to be successful. It just isn’t worth starting over again. The discomfort is short lived now and very seldom. You can do this Barb! You have been through the worst, you are a survivor.

    PS. My hips DID get bigger, my clothing size did go up, but it is OK. I beat the addiction and there is so much freedom in my life now!

    1. Thank you, Linda, for your journey. I have siblings that have tried too many times to count to stop smoking. The battle against cigarettes is just as hard, if not harder, than the one against food and sugar. It is encouraging to hear that my battle is not unique.

      To be honest, I have been without a pop for three days now and I don’t even feel delighted in that accomplishment. I am very much still in the I-hate-this phase and the feeling of this-isn’t-fair and when-will-this-be over are never far from my mind. But I am continuing to hand this over to God to let Him do a mighty work in my life.

      Again, thanks for your encouragement.

      (BTW~ when can you and Mark come over for a meal?)

    1. Thanks, Amanda. Just last night and this morning, for the first time I could just slightly smile at the fact that it’s been three days since I’ve had a pop. Considering I was drinking 3-4 bottles of pop a day – that’s a pretty significant change! I’ve started marking on the calendar a big “X” on the days that I thrive without extra sugar in my body. It feels great to have a visual way to see my little successes.

  3. Barb, let me talk to Mark. We would love to see your new home and catch up. Maybe we can touch base on Wed. if I see you. XOX

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