Needs are like grains of sand

Even though the grains are all different sometimes, it’s hard to tell them apart.
Urges are thoughts manifesting as needs.

If we focus on the urge, we overlook the actual need.

We have basic needs according to Maslow hierarchy of needs.

Which include:
1. Safety
2. Love and belonging
3. Self-esteem, achievement, and autonomy
4. Self-actualization, self-fulfillment

All behavior has a purpose. Your urge has a purpose; the question is what is the purpose?

The following is a list of common things we avoid because we are trying to get an underlying need met.

1. Avoid discomfort. To feel safe, we actively try and eliminate both physical and emotional discomfort. Turning to activities such as eating, shopping, and gaming are things people do to avoid feeling uncomfortable.

2. Avoid feeling deprived. Deprivation comes in many forms, physical as well as emotional. When we don’t feel loved and accepted turning to food, especially ‘comfort’ food, helps us feel loved.

3. Proving you have control. One of the best measures of happiness and self-esteem is the degree to which people feel a sense of control over their lives. In our chaotic existence of being overbooked, and over worked we often engage in behavior that makes us feel more in control, even if it is ultimately self-destructive.

4. Avoid the risk of change. To self-actualize is to grow throughout the lifetime. But we limit ourselves because growth means change, and change means getting out of your comfort zone. If you’ve been overweight all your life, becoming healthy has its risks. The risk of failure is common.

Acting on your urges will slow down your progress and lead you astray. Instead, think of them as the minds way of letting you know about an unmet need.

S.W.A.T. that thought!
Stop What you are doing, take a breath.
Ask Questions: What am I avoiding right now? Is there a need I have, if so what is it?
How can I get that need met without sabotaging my goals?
Take Action: Write down the answers to the questions and any ideas you have about getting those needs met.

Remember your health goals are always more important than the need to satisfy an urge. An urge will pass, your goals can’t wait.

If you are having trouble controlling your “urges” email me at smaceyphd@gmail.com, I am here to help and support you through your weight loss journey. You don’t have to do this alone.

For more information, check out Keeping Weight Off Forever.

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