One of the phrases you will hear if you go to a few AA meetings is “H.A.L.T.”  It is a mental reminder designed to help alcoholics kill the urge to drink by asking themselves if they have let themselves become too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely, or too Tired.  I’ve added a couple of things to this list that help me: too Bored, too Anxious, or too Thirsty.  (Hence, H.A.T.B.L.A.T., or, as I say, “Hat-Blat.”)  Whenever I get “food thoughts,” (which I define as images or cravings for food that come over me when I know I am not hungry), I “scan” myself to see it any of these things are going on.  Since I have spent a lifetime masking my true feelings and sensations with too much food, this little phrase works wonders for helping me focus on what is “really” going on.

For me, the most shocking part of this little self-appraisal has been noticing how many times I allow myself to get too tired or too anxious (or a combination of these two, which I describe as a feeling of being “overwhelmed”).  I was never one to nap, but now I do if I need to.  Same with taking time-out for deep breathing or meditation when I am feeling especially anxious.  And who would have thought that taking a drink, either of water or of a low-cal drink, would actually take away cravings?  Not me, that’s for sure!  But now I keep plenty of decaf coffee and ice on hand for iced coffee and I actually look forward to having it.

So the next time you are being nagged by one of those pesky food thoughts, think “Hat-Blat” and take the time to fix the real issue rather than eating.  By that time, the craving will have passed – – or at the very least, it will probably be time to eat your next abstinent meal!

March 8, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Tricks (& Tools) That Work For Me Tagged with:

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