Being surrounded by a group of people you can be your uncensored self with can actually help you maintain your weight and control cravings. Sounds crazy, right? Let me explain with a story that happened just a few days ago in the gym.
Despite my best efforts at trying not to care too much about my performance in the gym, I had a day when those efforts flew out the window. A workout didn’t go as planned, and it resulted in me throwing a fit for most of it then storming out the back door at the end. After giving me the appropriate amount of “cool off” time (thanks, guys), one dear friend came out and let me complain about everything in my day that led to such a horrible workout. She just sat there while I vented and had all the right words and encouragements in response. After that little recharge, I decided it was time for my walk of shame back into the gym, where everyone had just seen me throw a temper tantrum. As soon as I walked in the door with my eyes on the ground, another friend looked at me before I said a word and said “It’s not a big deal. This is a place where you can be your true self and no one looks down on you or makes fun of you for it. They just pick you back up. You can’t find that anywhere else.” Whoa. He was absolutely correct and spoke more truth for me than he knew.
You see, in the past I’ve been pretty good at putting on a happy face for people. And what that led to many times was sugar cravings and emotional eating. When I’m feeling lost or sad or stressed or anxious or you name it, I want cookies. Plural. Times 4. This may sound strange, but hang with me for a minute while I explain. From the time of birth onward, humans crave sweetness. Not food sweetness, but sweetness from life. From belonging, feeling loved, feeling safe, having a tribe, being fulfilled, and so on. If we aren’t getting that, or in my case, not allowing ourselves to have that, that innate need can come out in constant sugar cravings, and therefore emotional eating. It seems far-fetched. But I know it has been true in my life. In the past with a situation like the one I described above, I probably would have spent the evening thinking of all the treats I wanted to eat, and then eating many of them. But this time, the thought of food didn’t even cross my mind. I was already “full.” I was my true self in front of people, they allowed me to express that, and then they told me there was no shame in it. What a beautiful gift. What sweetness are you missing in your life that could possibly be trickling down into your food choices?