Is giving into cravings a bad thing?

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At the end of last year I declared I was giving up coffee. I was only having one organic weak coffee per day but I still felt like it was causing stress and anxiety. I found minor stresses being amplified by caffeine. I was excited to give it up and feel clear, relaxed and grounded.

But the other day (six weeks into my coffee free year) I was really craving a coffee. After a good half a day of going back and forth between my craving and my mind (or ego) trying to convince me I was a bad person if I ‘gave in’ and had a cup, I decided to relax and have one. I applied the four principles of avoiding guilt when eating and chose to have it without any guilt.

And guess what… It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be! The old me would have beaten myself up for breaking my ‘perfect streak’ of coffee free days.  I would have felt so guilty and frustrated that I gave up perfection for something I didn’t even enjoy.

What did I feel instead? I thought, wow I’m so glad I got that out of my system. I’m glad I’m not missing anything.

I was a little shocked by my reaction, but not hugely surprised considering my commitment to mending my relationship with food. I felt proud.

I want you to remember there really is no good or bad, right or wrong, it’s only how we perceive it. One day I had a coffee. Is that a bad thing? Is the answer yes because I said I wasn’t going to or is it ok because it’s one coffee after a long break.

One day you had some chocolate cake. Is that a bad thing? Is the answer yes because you said you weren’t having any desserts for the next month or is it ok because it’s just one piece and you’ve been eating healthily all day. You decide.

If you crave something, decide to eat it or decide not to eat it and be ok with your decision. You are not a bad person if you give into a craving. Sure, if you’re craving something everyday that isn’t going to enhance your health maybe you need to look a little deeper into why you are craving it – but is still doesn’t make you a bad person. Sometimes I think we need to give in to remind ourselves what we’re not missing.

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