By Jeanne Smith
So you need to lose 10 (or 20 or 30) pounds – or think you do – but we’ll get to that later, missy. Well what is so hard about that? All you need is a little self discipline. After all, you only need to eliminate 3,500 calories from your intake, and whoosh – it’s gone. A one time deal and you never have to think about it again, Right? Right?? Don’t I wish!!
Why is it that I don’t hear cheers and the sound of high fives from around the room? What I do hear is the sneaky rustle of potato chip bags and Twinkie’s wrappings. Ah, you say, I could stick to a diet if it weren’t for those nasty food cravings.
All right, I hear you, and yes, I’ll admit that food cravings are real, and the good news is that there could be medical reasons for these cravings.
Are you pregnant? If you think you could be, please get tested. Don’t wait for nine months to find out, girls. That kid needs to be fed right, and fed right NOW. (You want a pickle? Go for it, mom! Just don’t use pregnancy to justify stuffing your tummy with everything you have tried to deny yourself for the past 15 years. )
Premenstrual? Look at the calendar. Does simply being a woman make you want a candy bar? (Or several candy bars? I’ll take two plain chocolate, one with almonds, and a little bag of…but you get the point.)
Low insulin levels? Yes, lack of insulin could be driving your irrational desire for Real Food, i.e., lots of carbohydrates. If you have low blood sugar or if there is diabetes in your family, your body will try to protect itself by storing every calorie within reach. Go to a doctor immediately, and get this checked out, will you?
Low Serotonin? So your boss hates you, your mom won’t get off your back about your messy living room, and your guy is the reason for the messy living room, in the first place. Sure, everybody wants to feel good, and if you are under a lot of stress, your body may start to holler for a one pound bag of chocolate chip cookies, fudge-ripple ice cream or three Margaritas. Are you going to give in?
Yes, food cravings are out there, but the question is, ‘What can you do about them?’ Well, apart from the very real medical issues that some women face, you can do a lot.
Now I know that some of you do not want to go the gym, but exercise really helps. Not only does it elevate the level of those natural feel-good chemicals, it tones your muscles (making the body you have look better, even if it weighs the same), it reduces the number of calories that are available for storage on your inner thighs, and gets you out of harm’s way (that bag of potato chips can’t see you when you are at the gym). Now that’s not just a two-fer, it’s a four-fer! Of course, you don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. You can take long walks with a friend, go bowling, or swim at your local pool – better than watching TV any day.
Meditation and yoga help, too, and yoga helps keep you flexible, as well as calming your nerves (the ones that are frayed because of your guy, your boss, and your mother: see above). Sex and a bath with candles can help, too. The point is that we do have a lot of control over our lives, so let’s go girls!