Healthy Eating: Hang 20 And Ride The Wave!

By Cindy Bishop on 03/03/2009
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1057833_hang_10 I had a strange dream last night. I won’t go into the whole thing, but I was on a passenger jet and we were forced to make an ocean landing. We all managed to get out easily (like I said, it was a dream) and make it to a small island to await our own version of Lost. (Apparently, I watch too much TV).

Must have been the indelible impact made on my brain by the miraculous USAir flight 1549 emergency landing on the Hudson Bay just seven short weeks ago which still brings tears to my eyes…group hug.

I’m never sure whether there’s really anything important to take away from a vivid dream, but all that swimming, bobbing and floating around did make me think about something blog-related that might be useful to readers and that’s a phrase referred to as ‘riding the wave’.

Riding the wave is a term that was coined early on by eating behavior professionals at Green Mountain at Fox Run (most infamously by Linda Crawford a dearly beloved 20 year eating behavior veteran). When the urge strikes for Dunkin Donuts or a bag of Lays Potato Chips, professionals suggest trying to ride out the craving. It’s important not to misinterpret a craving as a command. When a craving hits you with a wallop, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s only going to get worse, until it’s irresistible. When we give power to our cravings, we interpret them as negative, even dangerous.

The truth is studies have shown that food cravings actually start and escalate then peak and subside. Here are some tips on how to 'ride the wave':

• Hang 20! Give yourself permission to eat in 20 minutes. Once you’ve taken the pressure off, you can make a more thoughtful choice about what to do next.
• Distract yourself with something incompatible to eating, like walking or taking a bath.
• Look at your watch. Is it time for a meal? If lunch or dinner is just 45 minutes away, see if you can wait until your scheduled mealtime. (You may just be legitimately ready to eat).
• Now, if your craving doesn’t subside after hanging 20, go ahead and indulge. It is VERY important to give yourself permission to eat whatever it is you crave and enjoy – without guilt!

Riding the wave is just like surfing – the more you practice riding a craving wave, the easier it becomes. Just remember, new behaviors take time to change – so be kind to yourself and give it a whirl

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2 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Sally says:

    Love the wave analogy, also really refreshing to see someone writting realistically about weight loss rather than just trying to push quick fixes that just don’t work. Keep up the great posts.

  • cindy says:

    i really liked the analogy the first time i heard it too, sally. and more importantly, it works. thanks for your post.

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