Ritual Meaning; solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.

CONFESSION

I’ll admit I am not the first person finding it extremely difficult to be healthy, be sober and just not numb the hell out with food or booze.

Boy, oh Boy,  is Alcohol and food cravings just about the same.

You want it now, and you want it badly. All your mind seems to do is go on junk food or long island cravings.

I thought I was going to fail, and I thought I was going to break my fasting diet, and I was going to let my good week go down the drain with Vodka Soda and French Fries.

I had to tell myself that I could be good to myself; fasting and staying away from Alcohol was a choice I made to improve myself.

I have no idea where the craving came from; it was out of nowhere, and I felt like I would fail for a split second.

Then I remembered I had some excellent Hot Chocolate and was in the mood for a good Fiction book.

I went into my room, grabbed my prayer beads, sat on my bed and prayed.

I sat on the bed, and there was my answer to my craving.

It wasn’t for me to start making Dua (praying) for all my troubled to go away, although that is a great start. Praying was my first step.

It was for me to remember the power of a Ritual that included prayer (dua).

Most people might use a Ritual to clean their homes, smudge sage to remove negative energy, or maybe work out in the morning, and that is a ritual.

Creating a Ritual when a craving for Food or Drinks comes up can help.

Please don’t take my word for it, however. Try it, but first, let me explain how it worked for me.

Bargain Brain

Have you ever noticed then when you give up something, your brain tries to bargain with you with your cravings?

For example, I started the intermittent fasting, and that voice will say

“Oh come on, you know you’re hungry, just have some crackers,” “when you break your fast, have fry chicken and fries, you have been starving yourself all day, and you should also have cake,” “it’s just one drink on the weekend, God will forgive you for your sins, it’s okay he’s ever forgiving ever merciful.”

While the voice coming from what seems like my brain is brilliant, it is also very good at sabotaging me and what I am working for.

I have to say thank God for my Spiritual practice that included me learning every day to pay attention to my thoughts that I am at times able to catch that voice and do an override.

Geez, that voice can be annoying at times.

The voice that tells us to do the wrong things is only trying to protect us; it is only trying to keep us safe.

I have been unhealthy for many years, and overeating and numbing when I am in pain was my go-to. No wonder my brain thinks French Fries are a great option to break my fast with or have a good old Vodka Soda.

It will take time for your brain to adjust to the emerging new you. Just like 20 lbs took time to come on; it will also require time to come off.

RIGHT CHOICE

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It’s normal for me to feel a bit depressed or even sad, and I have learned that when you are trying to change for the better, there is a very lonely period where you are unsure if you are making the right choices.

Sometimes the right choice feels like Junk Food and a few shots of tequila, but if you want to change, you know deep down that will never be the right choice for you.

Changing habits is hard, not easy. Most of us are unaware of what we feel or think daily, much less try to process five minutes of what our brain is trying to indicate to us.

Over these past few weekends, I became aware of why some people recovering from a habit or addiction use the term “One Day at a TIME” or “ODDAT.”

I found myself using this phrase when my depression seemed like it was overtaking me; I had to tell myself every day before work, “Melissa, just get through today, nothing else, just today.”

When I get home from work, I will count the hours to sleep time, around 6 pm, I would say

“you did it; you got through today,” and my days will go on a repeat like this for some weeks.

This is the first time my mood has been down for so long.

It would have been easy for me to give up my sobriety and fasting for the sake of Pizza and an excellent numbing tonic.

But I had to remind myself of whom I wanted to be, not who I was or didn’t want to be anymore. It is no longer a goal that I scratch off; it’s just not me anymore. I am no longer the woman numbing her pain in any way she thinks is safe.

I am no longer eating for the sake of numbing.

But let’s be real here, we are human, and parts of us crave junk food or the feeling of not wanting to feel our emotions. That part of us needs attention and comfort, not harsh words or treatment.

I used mindfulness to acknowledge what I was feeling, hot chocolate to feel warm and cozy, prayer with each sip to help me breathe, and reading as a way for my heart to be elsewhere.

I use this as a ritual now to heal the parts of me that wants to cave into destruction. This is just one ritual I use.

Somedays, I burn Sage, Pray and watch my Dog play; sometimes, it’s Herbal Tea and meditation music.

No one told me this path to healing would ever be easy; no one said that my weight loss or health would come easy after years of not being kind to my body, mind and soul.

And just like no one told me anything was going to be easy, no one will be able to keep me on track besides “me.”

It doesn’t matter what your goal is right now or who you want to become.

You will have shitty days that suck the life out of you, and it will be up to “You” to make yourself feel better—NO ONE ELSE.

Find a Ritual or a few that works for you, find a prayer that you can go to, find a book that speaks to you, and find your way back home in your body.

Only you will know what helps you and soothes you.

For me, it’s hot chocolate, prayer, and books.

What do you do to beat a craving for Junk Food?

UPDATE ON WEIGHT

No update this week; I am still fasting and eating between the hours of 4 pm to 7 pm.

I like it so far, and this is week 2.

using my exercise game and meal prep is something I have to work on

I need to break my fast sooner and cut off eating earlier as I want to be in bed much earlier.