I feel such empathy, compassion and sadness, because I've been there myself! Often, I was wracked with disappointment and frustrating that I couldn't kick my twisted, unhealthy sugar relationship.
Back in 1998, when a doctor ordered to quit sweets and refined carbs, I pulled myself together and successfully licked sugar once and for all. In my book SUGAR SHOCK!, I share my Top 21 Sweet Sugar-Free Success Secrets and Strategies (plus a few more).
Now, I'd like to share one tactic. Here's an article I wrote to help you learn this invaluable technique.
Just Delay to Squash Your Sugar Cravings
Creatively Procrastinate Your Way Out of Your Sugar Addiction
By Connie Bennett, M.S.J., C.H.H.C.
Quite often, people who want to kick sugar, lose weight or manage their diabetes ask me: “How can I curb my sugar cravings? Once I start, I just can't help myself."
One of the most powerful and potent strategies is so simple that you’ll wonder why you never tried it in the first place. Simply DELAY before you do anything – especially something that you'll later regret. After all, if you do mindlessly shove those fast-acting sweets or much-like-sugar carbs™ into your mouth, won't you become feel wiped out, spaced out, moody, depressed or even angry at yourself?
Think about it:
Most of us are pretty darn good at delaying or procrastinating, right?
You know how you keep putting off organizing your desk drawers, cleaning the house, giving your boss that
proposal, helping your kids with their homework, getting rid of old clothes or throwing out the garbage? Clearly, we all have things we've been planning on doing but never got around to doing it.
For my part, while I’m certainly not proud of the fact that at times, I haven't completed certain projects, I've found that you can actually transform delaying into something that's fun, clever and positive. In other words, procrastinating can be a good thing -- even wonderful.
I hit upon this incredible simple strategy back in 1998 when I reluctantly kicked sweets and refined carbs on doctor's orders. To this day, I continue to be amazed at how easy, effortless, and darn effective it is to just delay.
What you'll do this this: Just delay away your sugar cravings.
What's so wonderful about this skill is that people of all ages—unless maybe you’re a tot—can cultivate this tactic. Just promise yourself to delay eating that tempting treat for a certain amount of time, say 10 to 20 minutes. You can do that, right?
Then, you can
delay over and over again, ultimately even for hours.
Now think ahead to the next morning when you're so relieved and proud of yourself that you didn't cave into your cravings.
Here are 7 ways you can turn delaying or creatively procrastining your ally to help you pull the plug on your unwanted sugar addiction. (Delaying is one of the "7 D’s” that I developed to help “Sugar Kickers.”)
1. When you delay (first
15 minutes, then a half hour, then 1 hour) before eating that
cookie, candy bar or brownie that's calling out to you, you begin to detach from your destructive impulses.
2. When you delay for 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, etc., your cravings will subside while you get involved with other things. Then, you'll even be able to put your cravings into proper perspective.
3. When you delay, you're taking positive, health-promoting action by simple inaction. Yes, doing absolutely nothing can be pivotal when you kick or cut back on sweets and quickie carbs.
4. When you delay, you turn procrastinating into a useful, proactive skill.
5. When you delay, you can take time to discover what what foods—if any—you’re really craving. Does your body really absolutely have to have cookies, cake, and pretzels? I doubt it!! Isn't your amazing body really yearning for have water, fresh vegetables and fruits, high-quality protein or healthy fats?
6. When you delay, you can get in touch with your true feelings. Resisting the temptation to eat sweets enables you to figure out what the heck is really going. Ask yourself, "Why do I feel like I must have these sweets now?"
7. When you delay, you'll ultimately take pride in yourself! You'll pat yourself on the back for putting off a short-lived, self-defeating immediate gratification in favor of a long-term positive outcome. (Woudn't you rather lose weight, have more energy and concentrate better than give in during a moment of weakness and suffer awful consequences?)
In short, simple delaying or creatively procrastiating is one of the most effective tools a successful Sugar Kicker can use.
Pro-Active Action To Cut Your Cravings
I encourage you to become a delaying artist now.
- Next time you want something sweet (that's processed) or something white (as in a refined carb), delay for 10 minutes. Feel free to look at your watch or a clock to help you along. Then wait another 10 minutes.
- Now, step outside your obsessive sugary thoughts and wait another 10 minutes. It can help if you do something else in the meantime.
- Then hold off for another 20 minutes. Be creative while you delay. You may want to do the dishes, put your clothes away, organize your closet, color your hair, fix your nails, etc. Doing these things can help you pass the time and pull the plug on your food thoughts.
- Then really challenge yourself! Wait 1 hour or 2 hours, or maybe even the whole evening. Do something fun in the meantime. Get going on a project that you've been putting off doing. Fill your time with satisfying activites that allow you to "forget" about the sweets calling out to you. (If you pick going to a movie as a way to delay, then do NOT go by the concession stand! Bring water or a snack with you)
- Finally, write about your experience in a journal or notebook. Just jotting down your feelings can be so eye-opening, as many of my Sugar Kicker clients have revealed to me, and as I personally discovered years ago.
Ultimately, when you just delay or creatively procrastinate, you can learn a lot about yourself and the power of a focused mind.
To this day, I'm thrilled that I hit upon Ms. Delay back in 1998 so that I could learn that Life is Sweeter Without Refined Sweets™.
Copyright © 2009, Connie Bennett, Sugar Shock Blog, Stop SUGAR SHOCK!™
Connie Bennett, M.S.J., C.H.H.C. is a "Sugar Liberator," former sugar addict and author of SUGAR SHOCK!
Berkley Books.). Back in 1998, she reluctantly kicked
sweets and quickie carbs on doctor’s orders, and all 44 of
her ailments disappeared, including the throbbing headaches, severe
PMS, and mood swings. Nowadays, Connie jokingly dubs herself a “Sugar
Shrew No More!” She has coached thousands of people around the world to break free of their sugar addiction and other unhealthy habits. Learn more at www.BreakFreeWithConnie.com. Connie is a life coach, certified holistic health counselor and a journalist and essayist, who has contributed to numerous publications and websites (including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, TV Guide, The Dallas Morning News, Living Fit and eDiets.com). To get free kick-sugar tips and other updates, sign up for her free Motivating Morsels e-zine.This article first appeared on the Sugar Shock Blog.
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