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.