Don’t Think About Pink Elephants
First off, I can’t believe this is my thirtieth entry! I know thirty entries is not that many in the retrospect of blog entries, it’s roughly a month’s worth of entries, but it means something to me. It means that I have stuck with writing for four months instead of writing for a few weeks and giving up. What’s mostly been keeping me writing lately is not having the pressure to write everyday and writing when I feel inspired.
But today represents thirty entries of thoughts, ideas and most importantly, confessions I’m releasing. I’ve talked about my weight, boys, spilt guilty secrets, talked about my family, my not so impressive cooking skills, alter ego’s but, most of the time talked a lot of silly nonsense. And that’s only the gist of what’s been said in thirty entries! I just want to thank all the reader’s who have stuck with me so far and read all the entries but also welcome to the reader’s just tuning in. It really means so much that your here. I know not all my words have been pretty, or confessions people wanted to read, but I try to make up for it with my silliness. Thank you for those that stuck with me and watched me grow. I still have a lot of learning to do. So, with that being said, today’s blog entry.
In the movies, when one actor yells to another not to look down while crossing some dangerously high cliff or bridge, the immediate effect for the other actor is to look down and freak out. Donkey shrieked in fear, “Shrek, I’m looking down!”Well, that’s how I feel about food, particularly soda. I don’t know why I am so addicted to this particularly drink, but I suspect it has to do with the sugar. Because I don’t really like the taste of carbonation in any drink besides Coke, Pepsi and Apple Cider. I know, I’m weird, so sue me.
Drinking soda has gotten to be a problem. I crave it everyday. I don’t get headaches like I hear other people do when they cut the caffeine out of their diet but, I do feel a drain on my energy. I feel tired all the time. I feel sad, like I’m one of those girlfriend’s who abandon’s her best friend for her new boyfriend. I don’t think that thought can truly be felt by anyone except by those who have felt addiction. I start to miss soda and let it fill my every thought till I finally cave and tell myself ‘Oh just one won’t hurt.’
But, it does hurt and it hurts because instead of letting the addiction fade out of my system, I reintroduce it and setup the cycle for addiction all over again. And it’s hard. It’s hard not to think about soda. It’s hard not to think about food. But like I promised myself last entry, I would talk when I was going through cravings. Although I don’t have much of a support system yet (I’m working on building that), I am letting myself feel the urges instead of repressing them. I am asking myself “why do I want this” and I am expressing the urge when I want to throw in the towel, with Chris.
And do you know what Chris tells me every time I tell him I want a soda?Don’t think about pink elephants.
“Huh?” I asked, not comprehending the first time.
“Don’t think about pink elephants,” he plainly tells me. “Now you can’t stop thinking about pink elephants.”
This wasn’t exactly true, I was thinking about pink elephants drinking soda, but his logic clicked. I still had the craving for forbidden food, but I was thinking about pink elephants. The point is, when you tell yourself not to do something, whether it’s not looking down or not thinking about pink elephants, it’s almost impossible to stop yourself.
Today I put this logic into practice when I almost bought myself a coke slurpee. I wanted that slurpee. I could feel my body tense in anticipation at the first cold caffeinated sweet sip and the sigh of relief afterwards. No, I did not just pull a Meg Ryan. But I let myself feel the craving and how badly I wanted it. Then I gave myself choices. What about orange juice? No, too expensive. What about apple juice? Same sugar quality as drinking a soda and twice the price at a convince store. Milk? Not while I have a cold. Water? Not in the mood. I told myself that I didn’t have the money to be spending almost three dollars on a drink I could get for half the price from a slurpee.
So, using the logic of not having something because it was too expensive or too much sugar, I walked past the soda section of 7-11 and to the juices, just to be proven wrong about what I told myself I couldn’t have. And lo and behold, there was an apple juice for cheaper than a slurpee would have been and made with real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. Sure, it was in a much smaller quantity and not really that much cheaper, but it was good enough logic for me. I knew I didn’t need the massive size a slurpee would have brought, and for me, that was enough. It was enough of a reason to stick with my choice of apple juice.
Sure, it was sugar. But the point is, it wasn’t soda. It made it easier to resist the single can of Diet Pepsi I saw floating around for grabs in the break room at work. It made it easier to try to apply this logic to other parts of my life, and job. It made it easier when I get that craving again, I can ask myself why do I want this? How can I substitute this for a healthier choice? Then most importantly, think about pink elephants.