Riding Out Your Cravings Like a Roller Coaster

by Karen Mann

image of a roller coaster in motion

Last week’s entertainment included yet another trip to a Disney Resort, only this time, it was our local one up in Anaheim. 

I went with my husband, and he’s not exactly a huge fan of roller coasters, like a lot of people, but he was a good sport and joined me for the super exhilarating Incredi-coaster at California Adventure. 

While we waited in line, I put my coach hat on and offered some advice.  (He loves that)

I told him, when the big drop comes, let your body collapse into it.  Don’t try to hold yourself back, just let yourself fall.  

As you go over that hill, act like you’re trying to get to the bottom even before the coaster gets you there.  Push towards it. Totally embrace it.  You’re going down no matter what, throw everything you’ve got into it! That queasy, nervous feeling you might have felt will seem to evaporate. Suddenly, you’ll be at the bottom, and you’ll realize it wasn’t that bad.

When we fight against what’s in front of us, we experience discomfort.  We suffer.  We are telling the situation that we’re not ok with it, that we don’t accept what’s here. That resistance makes the challenge seem worse than it is. 

Cravings can be seen in the same way.  When the craving comes on, embrace it. You don’t need to feel guilt, like your craving is bad, like you can’t handle it, like it’s got more power than you have.  Free fall into it and ride it to the bottom. It always ends, and when you take the stigma away, you take away its power. Now you’re in control. 

The next time you get that maddening urge to open the fridge and pull out that thing you think you can’t go without, just fly down the hill with that urge so it can run its course.  Maybe even throw your hands up in the air, if you’re feeling particularly brave!

Cravings come and go.  See if you can look at riding them out more like a thrill and less like terror. Every time you get over the hill, you will gain confidence.  Just keep your seatbelt on until the train comes to a complete stop. 😉

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