Recently, a very dear friend sent me a link to this video. I think it’s partly because she knows how I feel about cookies. But it got me thinking about what length I would go to to get a chocolate chip cookie and all about the nature of cravings.
In a recent post I talked about the “Big Fat Cookie Cycle” and how deprivation and binging go together like peanut butter and jelly. There is no question in my mind that systematically restricting our access to certain foods gives us cravings for those foods. But it seems to me the whole issue of cravings is somewhat complicated.
Cravings can also be driven by nutritional needs. And as we become more in tune with our bodies I think we can learn to listen when our body is asking for certain foods. Sometimes I crave things based on what my body needs like vitamin C or protein or carbohydrates or all the happy stuff in green leafy vegetables.
But what about chocolate chip cookies? Does vitamin C stand for “cookie”. (Alas, no.) Cravings can sometimes be about nutrition, but cravings can be about other things too. Am I craving sugar because I’m looking for a boost? Am I craving cookies because they just taste delicious? Am I craving a chocolate chip cookie because it is simply one of the best foods invented ever? And so sometimes these cravings happen and I’m okay with that.
Sometimes I crave a cookie because I’m feeling sad, tired, overstressed, lonely, depressed, or just feel like I need a pick me up. And you know what, I’m okay with that too.
Sometimes I grab a cookie because I have three minutes in which to stuff food into my body before my next appointment and a cookie will allow me to quickly get enough energy to get through the next two hours and still keep one hand on the steering wheel. Unfortunately cookies consumed for expediency as opposed to genuine desire do not taste so good. So I’m working on this whole aspect of things.
The truth is, I crave different things at different times for each or all of these reasons. I am not an “intuitive eating” ninja who always understands why I’m eating what I’m eating. I don’t always have 40 minutes over which to enjoy a leisurely meal complete with linen napkins and candlelight and savor each bite of deliciousness and ponder its purpose in my life and resultant effect on my well being. And I don’t only crave foods that my doctor or the latest diet guru says I should. Sometimes I crave kale and sometimes I crave chocolate. I am a real person with a real life. And so I can’t always tell you why I want a cookie. I just know if I don’t get a cookie when I really, REALLY want a cookie, (see above video) there’s likely to be a backlash. And when that backlash hits, one cookie simply will not do it. Take away my cookies for too long and I don’t even know if that jar on top of the fridge would be enough. So I will continue to eat cookies when I really, really want cookies and try to make time for the deep philosophical pondering later.
Then again, had he lived in our time, Freud might have said, “Sometimes a cookie is just a cookie.”
The Fat Chick