Okay, so call me crazy. I am a huge believer in ghosts. Okay, so maybe not ghosts as in actual sightings of unexplained phenomenon, but definitely an awareness of hauntingly audible noises and voices that I cannot explain.
Well, I can explain some of them. Chocolate, for example. It beckons me. Seriously, it does. It whispers my name with such conviction that my heart is rendered helpless to its longing. It is, without doubt, the longest love affair of my life. And I don’t even care in what form it appears – ice cream, candy, baked goods. I have even known a cup of hot cocoa to speak to me with reckless desire. It is damn near a religious experience.
Yes, I have climbed out on a precariously psychotic limb here, right? And I can see the vultures circling. But have you ever really thought about what triggers a craving? I could guess that my little taste buds are sending me messages about what they want me to devour uncontrollably.
Since I have lost a few pounds, I have also devilishly conspired that it could be the ghosts of those dearly departed fat cells summoning me to worm themselves back into my consciousness. Because we all know – poof - they often just magically reappear without rhyme or reason (ahem). Moving along…
And then there is the issue with willpower. Why can’t I just turn off these ghostly voices that lead me astray and stay on a righteous path of self-control? This is more than just curiosity – it is a dive into the pathology of temptation. Boy did I open Pandora’s box.
First of all, the psychology of self-control starts in the prefrontal cortex (the anatomy of the brain right behind the eyes). And get this – willpower has a biological basis. Who knew? Those with a more developed prefrontal cortex have more control than those with smaller ones. Isn’t that fascinating? Much like a muscle, it can be strengthened, but you can officially cut yourself some slack – it is not just a question of mental grit.
I also read that there are dietary deficiencies that can also pinpoint cravings. Chocolate cravings have been tied to a lack of vitamin B12 and/or Magnesium. And if salty potato chips are your downfall, you may need more Calcium and/or Iodine.
Of course, in my case, it would probably help if I did not keep a bag of Hershey’s Kisses in my freezer. Maybe they call out to me because they are cold? In my defense though, at least they are not in plain view every day. You cannot crave what you have forgotten in your freezer.
So, take that, you ghastly little fat cell ghosts! I exorcise you in the name of science. Next time I hear mystical voices calling my name, instead of soothing my soul with chocolate, I will just call Ghostbusters. Who else are you gonna call? Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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