They say it takes 21 days to form or break a habit give or take depending on who you ask.
I say it’s taken 9 weeks for the cravings to subside—exactly three times as long. I have no idea of the significance but an interesting coincidence nonetheless.
This begs the question, (1) can you break a habit but still have associated impulses? If so, (2) what are those considered and (3) have you truly broken the habit if you still have pangs of want, need, desire?(4) At what point is the old habit sloughed off like an old snake skin and truly left behind? (5) Are cravings considered part of addiction? (6) Do cravings come with habits or are they relegated to the realm of addiction?
I find my habits have changed and my cravings are far fewer and more noticeable–giving me time to react and question them instead of being consumed by them. Now when I find myself craving something, I am able to stop and ask, as if to an infant, (7) “are you hungry?”, (8) “are you tired?”, (9) “does your diaper need changing?”. Well, maybe not that last one but sometimes it certainly feels like it ;-).
More times than not, it will be time for a meal replacement and as soon as I have one, the craving stops. Other times, like when I’m jonesing for a drink, I’ve been able to be in the moment and ask myself what’s behind the craving. It’s usually stress or some emotion that I don’t want to deal with. Or it could just be a gorgeous evening and I want to be sitting outside having a drink with friends. That one will never change.
So this week I’ve wandered into new territory with the re-introduction of food to my diet.
It’s amazing how quickly the brain leaps back to old ways and suddenly thinks “Woh, food! (10) what else can I have? (11) What else can I fill myself with? I’m not even hungry but I’m so high from this feeling, from the seemingly mesmerizing act of putting food in my mouth and only tasting for a brief second before my thoughts leap to the next bite, and then the next, and then the next. My lord! This is nuts.” Thinks I.
Perhaps that is my gift at 9 weeks. I am aware enough to see the craziness. I have had to plan my days so I don’t have food at night (my danger time) but only during the day. Get protein that is good but not so good that I’ll want more. And even be religious about how much vegetables I can have. 1/2 a cup. No more. It’s about staying in touch with what I really need and what my body really needs.
Baby steps. I’m relearning how this works. (and I lied. Only 11 questions but it didn’t make as good a title.)