The marathon was this weekend here in New York, which made me think of my experience, back in 2000. What a crazy and thrilling experience—the crowd, the adrenaline, the energy. I have so much respect and admiration for the people who ran it yesterday. I’m reminded also, though, of the surprising feeling I got in the final few miles of the race. I’d never felt so empty, or incapable.
I hit the “wall” at mile 20. My partner’s wife was supposed to meet us, but she wasn’t there, and I was devastated. He was fine—but I’d been using our meeting point as a milestone, something to work toward, and when we missed her, I just felt there was no way I was ever going to finish. It seemed impossible. That well inside that you go to, when you dig deeper—I felt it just didn’t exist, like there just was no “deeper.” I felt so empty. Everything hurt. I could’ve just as easily laid down on the road and slept....
It happens to us all—you’re going along on a new diet or nutrition plan, doing well, and then, BAM. You get a craving.
What do you do?
Here’s one technique to get around those nasty cravings.
First, satisfy it. That’s right. Not with cake or donuts, if it’s sugar you’re craving. Be creative—think of some healthy alternatives, like watermelon. Indulge in it, if you want—have lots! Watermelon has some sugar, but it’s natural sugar, and a whole lot of water, plus nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and lycopene, which is fantastic for your heart. (In fact, watermelon has been called one of the healthiest foods in the world—read more here). So, you’re getting that sweetness, and you’re not putting processed or empty calories in your body.
Then, examine what it was your body wanted. Was your body really, physically craving sugar? Or were you emotionally craving it?
What would you be covering up right now if...
I have a friend from NSA named Jim Cathcart. Once upon a time, he’d been very overweight and he wanted to start running. Now, he hated running, he hated every bit of it—but, he knew, it was going to be a critical component of his weight loss program.
So what he decided to do was this: just put on his sneakers, everyday, and go to the corner. That’s it. If he wanted to go further, he could, but if he didn’t, all he had to do was put on his socks and shoes and run to the corner and come back. His wife asked why he didn’t just run 1 mile or a set distance everyday. He responded, ‘Because I know I won’t do that but I know I can commit to going to the corner.’
He joked about it—one time, he was actually in a tuxedo going to some event, but he hadn’t done this yet. So, as his wife is yelling ‘Come on, we gotta go!’ he actually yelled back, ‘No! I have to put on my sneakers and run to the corner...
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