Dealing with Cravings
In his book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking”, Allen Carr says that trying to stop smoking when you actually want to smoke is like torture… You have to first understand the smoking is pointless, smelly, unhealthy, expensive, addictive and not cool. If you understand that, then there is nothing torturous about giving it up.
With Coca-Cola, the last times I tried to stop, I felt like I was really “giving something up”. When the cravings came, I would tell myself “You are strong. You can handle this and even though you want it, you will not have it.” Torture!
Reading the Easy Way, I simply replaced “cigarette” with “Coca-Cola” and read it from cover to cover. What I understood has helped and is still helping me to deal with Coca-Cola cravings, something I know now is not torturous at all. All that is required is a little reminder of the following things:
Coca-Cola does not give you any benefits
It’s true that it gives me energy. But in reality, it’s rather like it takes away the low-energy lethargic state not drinking it constantly (since the last Coke) gave me. If I’d never drunk a Coke, I probably wouldn’t have needed that energy-boost. At least, not just to operate normally…
In Carr’s book, he asks you to remember the time before you started smoking. Did you need a cigarette before doing something, after doing something, when stressed, after a meal, before bed, with every coffee? Of course not! Same with Coca-Cola: Normal people (ie non Coke addicts) don’t need Coca-Cola to do all those things. If you do, you are addicted.
Coca-Cola is bad for your health
Now technically speaking, the guys at “the Company” (Coke, not CIA) will say this is not true. Drinking Coca-Cola in reasonable quantities is not bad for your health. But if you are reading this blogpost, you are not able to drink it in reasonable quantities!
Coca-Cola drunk in the quantities that most Coke-addicts drink IS clearly bad for your health: It destroys your immune system, it kills minerals, it gives you a headache, it’s full of fattening sugar, it excites you with caffeine.
You can open happiness without Coca-Cola
Carr talks about 2 things that make it difficult to stop smoking: The physical cravings (the “Little Monster”, small and easy to manage) and the mental cravings (the “Big Monster”, for some people much harder to handle).
The Little Monster is actually just the nicotine withdrawal and it’s a light physical need for nicotine. (Nothing like, for example, heroin, says Carr). It goes away quite quickly and after a few weeks, doesn’t even come back. For Coke drinkers, this is either a small physical craving for sugar or caffeine. Both cravings last only a short time. Easy!
The Big Monster is the tough one. This is your mind playing with you. You THINK that cigarettes and Coca-Cola are good for you. You THINK they take away stress. You THINK you are happier with them. All of this is false. According to Carr, the manufacturers of cigarettes know how bad they are and that’s why they (have to) spend billions each year in advertising and brainwashing people into thinking they are good. Have a look at the amount of advertising, in all it’s forms, that Coca-Cola does and tell me it isn’t the same!
So, next time you get a craving for Coca-Cola, remember the following:
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