My wife said an astonishing thing this week, “Cravings are not commands.” A truth about life seeming simple enough to be missed my many, including me. As we pass through our day, we respond to many commands we memorized to make decisions quicker in our “busy” life. Often though, I select the easiest and most gratifying decision at that moment foregoing the best long-term choice. As an avowed procrastinator, the creation of a crisis is a failing that adds another layer to this decision tree. Thus, I tend to make simple decisions imperatives by default.
When we allow ourselves sufficient time to analyze our feelings, we keep our focus and remain true to our values. I know when I rush a decision like I rush through the day, I often forgo the critical questions of hunger versus boredom, thirst, or time dependency. So what brought this to bear?
On Friday, I had my annual physical. As physicals go for me, I have only my weight as an overriding issue. My blood pressure was 132/67 and a resting heart rate of 62 bpm. My weight unfortunately was down only a bit from last year. I attest to this shame since I achieved a much lower weight, 218, in May. However, my doctor was still pleased with my progress. My body composition changed significantly with increases in lower and upper body muscle masses.
After measuring, he placed my ultimate BMI target to be 28.5 to 29.8, meaning an ultimate weight of 182 to 190. He indicated that I would have to lose 20 to 25 pounds of muscle to get an “ideal weight” of 160 lbs which translates to a BMI less than 25. The muscle loss is not likely to happen unless I become bedridden or quit exercising. So, my ultimate target of 167 pounds needs a dose of reality.
I am pleased with my doctor for taking time to discuss potential problems with my current lifestyle plan. During our discussions, the question of cravings arose, and so, my wife’s statement went full circle. I have a chemical trigger that appears to be protein related (based on blood work). I need to reduce my fat intake and increase my proteins. This change will ease my chemical cravings. On the psychological theater of this cravings battle, I must develop better countermeasures for boredom, perhaps walking, drinking water, writing in my journal, etc. I know that repeating my commitment sheet for the Fall 5% Challenge helped me through some difficult times.
As a final word, cravings interfere with our desires by altering our focus. Developing a strong will to remain focused is often the biggest battle in the war to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Once you see success, your will becomes empowered.
Today marks the official end of the Fall 5% Challenge. We have extended the challenge with two more bonus weeks until the winter challenge begins. Of the 446 people who started the challenge eight weeks ago, 286 finished strong. These spark members managed to accumulate 668,507 minutes of exercise and lose 920+ pounds of weight (official results will be posted later this week) over the eight week challenge.
I dare you to take the 2010 Winter 5% Challenge which will begin in two weeks. Space is limited and many vie for specific teams. If you are willing to take this challenge stop by the thread below. If you want to be part of a seriously excellent team, try the Teddy Bears!
Be at Peace