Today’s episode is an excerpt from my book, The Secret Language of Cravings.
We suffer with an overeating habit when we misunderstand the message our cravings are trying to give us. In this book, author Alexandra Amor explores how to understand what cravings and the drive to overeat are telling us and therefore how to resolve an overeating habit.
- How our thinking can be awfully bossy
- When we’re unaware that thinking is not the boss of us it can run the show
- On the changeable nature of thought
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Transcript of this episode
Hello explorers and welcome to Q&A episode 36 of Unbroken. I’m Alexandra Amor
I’m here today with something slightly different. I’ve been working on recording the audiobook today for the book that I have coming out. So I wanted to give you a little bit more information about that. And what you’re going to hear today is also an excerpt from the book.
For those of you watching on YouTube, you can probably see there behind me, I’ve got my little recording booth set up. It’s a Friday afternoon in October 2023 and my shoulders are sore from standing and then bending over my computer and recording the audiobook chapters. But it’s been fun.
I always love recording audiobooks, because it adds, I don’t know, there’s something about me narrating my own books in my own voice, that I feel like I can bring the words alive, they come to life in the same way that I hear them when I’m writing the book. I hope that for audiobook listeners that comes through as well. The words aren’t just black and white on the page, you can hear the emotion in my voice or the excitement or the emphasis or whatever it is. So I’m enjoying that. And that will continue for the next few days.
So I’m going to attach an excerpt from the book, it’s going to be chapter nine. And oh, and I guess I should tell you the title of the book.
The book is called The Secret Language of Cravings.
And the subtitle is really long. Hang on, let me go and get that for you. Uncover the intelligence behind food cravings and end your battle with overeating forever.
That title, The Secret Language of Cravings, came to me as I was working on this a few months ago, thinking about what it is that we really struggle with when it comes to any kind of overeating habit or any kind of unwanted habit? And what do we misunderstand?
What is the key issue that we misunderstand about what’s going on when we have an unwanted habit?
And what I narrowed it down to for me at that moment, was that we experience these feelings, these cravings – I call it the drive to overeat – and we think that that’s a problem, as I talk about so often on this podcast. We try to manage that feeling and control it and get rid of it and make it go away.
When really what it’s trying to do is help us. It’s trying to give us information about the state of our thinking. About the way that our thinking can get really stirred up and insecure. So again, as I talk about so often on this podcast, that feeling of craving isn’t a problem. It’s not something that’s broken about us. It’s something that’s trying to deliver a message.
So that’s where the title came from. I’ll give you an address if you want to go and see the cover of the book, which I’m really excited about and happy about. So if you go to AlexandraAmor.com/secretlanguage, all one word, you’ll be able to see the cover there and a description of the book as well. If that interests you.
It will be available in ebook, paperback, hardback, large print and audiobook coming up pretty quickly. I don’t have an exact date yet, but probably early November 2023. And so yeah, as I say, now I’m working on the audiobook. And then there’s a bunch of other stuff that has to happen before it gets published. But I’m thinking before the middle of November 2023, the book will be released.
I’ll also put an image of the cover in the show notes for this episode. So you can always find those at unbrokenpodcast.com and then click on Q&A number 36 and you’ll be able to see the cover there as well.
So that’s it for me. For those of you watching on YouTube, normally you would continue to see my face as I talked about the podcast, but today that’s not going to be the case. I’m just going to put a still image there and attach the recording of chapter number nine.
I hope you are doing well and that you enjoy this excerpt from my upcoming book, The Secret Language of Cravings.
Have a great week and I’ll talk to you next Monday. Bye.
Excerpt from The Secret Language of Cravings: Chapter 9
When you were a child, did you use the expression ‘You’re not the boss of me’? I did. It was mostly aimed at other kids in the playground or schoolyard, letting them know I wanted to think and act independently.
There is a force, a weather system, within you that can seem as though it’s the boss of you, but it isn’t.
That force is your thinking. Your thoughts.
We tend to move through life obeying our thinking, without even realizing we are doing so. We all have an incessantly chattering, opinionated, sometimes pushy voice within us that tries to run the show—and often succeeds. The voice in our head that sounds like us can be helpful: “I think I’ll turn left at this corner,” or “Don’t bang your face on that open cupboard door.” It can be neutral: “I think I’ll make some tea,” or “My flowers need to be watered.” And it can also be critical and judgmental, either about you or others: “Gee, that guy has weird hair,” or “Why did I turn left at that corner? That was dumb.”
As adults, we live with this running dialogue nearly all the time. It can vary in volume and intensity, but it’s nearly always there, like the slightly annoying but also oddly comforting narrator of a nature documentary. Let’s call that narrator Nancy. Very often, the comments Narrator Nancy makes are about the circumstances in our lives and whether she approves of them or not. She says things along the lines of, “I should have got that promotion. If I had, my life would be so much better.” Or, “The toe fungus I had when I was eight years old is the reason I can’t wear running shoes.”
Narrator Nancy is very persuasive. We tend to believe what she says, even when she contradicts herself ten minutes later.
What we innocently fail to see is that Nancy is just a part of the documentary that she’s narrating. She’s not the whole story. She’s not the boss, although we sometimes forget this.
Additionally, Nancy can be entirely out of sync with what’s going on in front of our faces. You (or I) could be at a lovely event on a beautiful day consisting of the perfect circumstances. (Picture whatever that is for you: a garden, an outdoor musical event, a Civil War battle re-enactment.) The temperature is perfect. You’re either surrounded by friends or alone (whichever your preference is). Yet Nancy can be narrating an entirely different experience than this.
“That potato salad that Aunt Jenny served yesterday was atrocious. Why doesn’t she ever listen to me about salting the potatoes while they’re cooking? It’s because my sister Mary has always been her favorite. Jenny has never liked me. It started the moment she saw me with that terrible haircut I got when I was six. That hairdresser was clueless, and Mum wasn’t paying attention. Man, I hated those bangs so much. It took me a year to grow them out. Which reminds me, I need to make an appointment for a pedicure soon. Where’s my phone?”
Sure, Nancy is often narrating about what’s going on in front of us, but just as often she’s not. She can go on wild tangents about things that happened years ago. She can also jump to conclusions that aren’t based on anything logical, have fierce imaginary arguments with people (the root causes of which are entirely made up), change her point of view on a subject in the blink of an eye, and create fears that turn out to be entirely unfounded. Oh, that Nancy! What a loon. She has moments when she acts like a barrel full of monkeys doing tequila shots.
And yet, we tend to believe she’s the boss of us, don’t we? We take her at her word about almost anything. Somehow, years ago, without realizing what we were doing, we gave her the keys to the corner office, made her the chairperson of the board, and gave her the unilateral power to make all decisions on our behalf. No wonder she’s drunk with power.
However, there is good news. There’s a reason Nancy can seem so crazed and yet is also so powerful at times: She is not the boss sitting at the head of the table; she is more like the weather outside your window. Weather that is at times calm, at times violent, and everything in between. A powerful force that is constantly shifting and changing.
Take a look outside right now and make a note of what’s happening. For me, it is an extremely pleasant September day as I write this. The sun is shining and it’s about 17 degrees Celsius (62.6 degrees Fahrenheit) outside. There’s a slight breeze causing the leaves on the trees across the street from me to wave gently. Like I said, extremely pleasant. Fast forward eight hours—or even one hour—from now, though, and we could be in the midst of one of the wild storms that blows in off the Pacific Ocean, bringing with it horizontal rain and wind that buffets and batters everything in its path.
Narrator Nancy, the voice in your head, a.k.a. your thinking, is just like the weather. She is utterly changeable.
In fact, change is the main part of her nature.
“So what?” you might be thinking. “My moods and thoughts change. Big whoop. What does that have to do with cravings and overeating?”
The answer lies in two surprising, yet woefully neglected, aspects of the human condition:
1. Where the weather moves.
2. Where your experience of that weather comes from.
So, let’s talk about these things and why they can help you to peacefully resolve an unwanted overeating habit.
The Secret Language of Cravings: Uncover the Intelligence Behind Cravings And End Your Battle With Overeating Forever
Learn more about The Secret Language of Cravings here.