In the Whole30 life, especially the first round you go through, you may encounter the Sugar Dragon. It’s the beast deep in your belly that demands ice cream. And cake. And chocolate. And all of the sugar forever and ever, AMEN.
And if you do not provide, the Sugar Dragon will huff and puff and burn your FREAKING HOUSE TO THE GROUND SO YOU FEED HIM SUGAR RIGHT NOW.
The Dragon promises you comfort and happiness and tweeting birds and all of the things you dream of when you wish you were perfectly content. It says “fill that void you have with [insert sugary thing here] and everything will be SO AMAZING.”
The Sugar Dragon is the embodiment of your cravings. Sometimes it’s sugar, for me it’s salt. It’s entire boxes of Triscuits. It’s the pretzels from the mall or the pretzels in a bag. It’s cinnamon rolls and croissants and anything associated with my grandmother. It’s the empty promise of comfort in food.
But when you joust with the Sugar Dragon (or whatever form yours takes…mine is the Salty Scottish Banshee and shrieks any time I am near a chip or a fry or a pretzel) you have to be properly armored. You have to wield something to fight off the craving.
Cravings, on average (according to several different websites and articles) last only for three minutes. Can you make it 3 minutes and then reassess? See if something else will fill the “OMG GIVE ME SUGAR” hole?
I’ve been battling my cravings with hand-to-hand combat. I keep compliant fruit leather and Lara bars (I got a box from Costco of both) in my purse for times when I’m pushing it between meals (like Saturdays, when I feed my children lunch and forget to eat myself until I’m horribly hangry). I keep almonds in my car just in case. I almost always carry a water bottle because I find that when I am dehydrated, I want ALL OF THE CHIPS. When I’m angry, I want chocolate. Lots of chocolate. All of the chocolate forever. I know that talking to certain people for more than five minutes sometimes pushes my buttons and makes me want cake.
I recognize all of those, and know if I combat it with a nice cup of herbal tea or a nice big glass of water or something that IS NOT SWEET (sweet stuff would just feed my sugar dragon and make it angrier next time I don’t feed it), I win.
And it’s all about making that sugar dragon smaller and smaller. See if you can combat it with something that isn’t food. Try a walk or a workout or ten minutes cleaning a space that’s been bugging you or playing with your dog. You have to DO SOMETHING though. Sitting and thinking about cake is not going to help you.
You have to know what grinds your gears. And be ready to fight back. Eventually your Sugar Dragon will get small enough to squish like a bug and it won’t be any big deal.
But at first, it will seem huge. And impossible.
But if I can overcome a serious Cadbury Creme Egg addiction, you can fight your Dragon.
**I am not a registered dietician, a scientist or a doctor. I am not associated with the Whole30 program, other than being a huge raving fan. Take what I have to say with a grain of salt, just like you should with EVERY WORD you read on the internet.