About last night
Recently, I started noting down when I get cravings. They mostly involve a craving to put something sweet into my mouth. But I've realised that there are so many more cravings as well. Many times, I have not recognised or acknowledged that it is a craving and the ensuing pattern that follows.
As embarrassing as this might be, let me tell you about last night.
When. Not if.
With Deepavali around the corner, a few friends and students have sent across goodies. Which is wonderful and generous and thoughtful of them.
Unfortunately for me, once something sweet has entered my fridge, it is a question of when, and not if. When am I going to plop all of it into my mouth?
To say I have a sweet tooth is a gross understatement.
Whether I am eating sweets tonight is a foregone conclusion. It is Saturday, there are sweets in my fridge. Duh, what do you think is going to happen?
The good thing is that I've trained today, and eaten 3-4 cups of vegetables already during lunch. While none of these is needed to justify eating sweets, I inevitably find myself justifying it.
Pause before a response.
I eat dinner. I follow my guidelines and get a good, balanced meal in. But every stray thought is about "When do we get to dessert?!?!"
The "we" are the two voices in my head, who weirdly seem to occlude on eating dessert.
I wait 10 minutes after dinner. I already have a plan for what I am going to put on my bowl. I have kaju katli, moti choor laddu, and this delicious amalgamation of a biscuit and a cookie and ghee sweet that a student of mine sent that my wife and I cannot get enough of. I slice half of that and add it to my smorgasbord. I throw in some ribbon pakoda for good measure, to balance out the sweetness.
So far, nothing crazy. Sure, the quantities I used to take down before and now have gradually come down but what has not changed is that rabid want of wanting to stuff it all down my gullet.
I eat the 4-5 pieces of sweets. Happy. Settled.
For all of 5 minutes.
The wes in my head start talking. One wants to eat the other 2 kaju katlis, as well as the other half of that delish sweet. The other is asking the question, "Do you really want it?"
I mean, of course, I want it. But is this just a stupid craving because the chemical hit in the brain is craving more of that hit? Of course, it is.
But, instead of waiting to answer that question, instead of waiting 10 minutes, instead of writing down in my "Cravings journal", I re-fill my bowl.
And then I wait. Who am I fooling?
It is much easier to leave it in the fridge than to put it in a bowl and next to me.
So, I obviously ate it. I ate it before the other guy could even ask the question again.
And then I refilled my bowl. And ate that too.
The next morning
And with the sensibilities of a new morning, I wrote all of these down in my journal.
Yes, actions and not words. Yes, pause between stimulus and response. Yes, be proactive and not reactive. I know all of this.
But knowing is one thing, and doing it is another.
This is not about whether eating sweets is right or wrong. This is not a right or wrong question. This is simply how one part of me shouted over the other part that was following protocol - raise a question and pause.
It happens. It happens quite a bit. It happens in places where it is not as mundane as eating sweets. It happens in serious situations as well.
You are the sane person. You are the idiotic person. Sometimes, one is driving. Sometimes, the other is driving.
What could I have done better? Well, paused. I could still have chosen to eat the sweets. But then, I could've eaten them tonight - they are still going to be there, after all. And it is not the situation where I cannot afford to buy them.
Writing it down in my journal, not feeling guilty about what I did but simply observing what I did, and laughing at myself - that seems to be a good enough lesson from last night.
Let's see what I do tonight, coz the rest of the sweets are not gonna eat themselves, are they?
And yes, I could get rid of all of them but it is Deepavali. Ah, me and my rationalisations.
Enjoy responsibly. And guilt-free.