By Sarah Jenks

Today kicks off National Non-Smoking Week, the 2012 theme being: “Breaking up is hard to do.” For those of us with addictions, vices, lack of “willpower,” we’re convinced that we just can’t stop hurting ourselves. That our compulsions are proof that we must hate ourselves.

The reality is that we’re just not built that way. If you’ve gone through sixth grade, you know that our evolution is based on our ability to survive.

When we reach for that pint of ice cream or that cigarette, it’s because somewhere, probably subconsciously, we believe that it’s helping us survive. Survival from stress, anxiety, loneliness or fear. What we’re really doing is reaching out to care for ourselves, to love ourselves.

So when we try to “hate ourselves” enough so that we stop eating cookies or quit smoking, we’re missing the key to our healing. When you can appreciate that your cravings have developed as a way to protect you, then you can finally get down to business.

Once you can see that you’re reaching out for love, it’s clear that we subconsciously assume that the food, cigarette or alcohol is going love us back. But our vices don’t love us back. They give us cancer, they tear our families apart, they bring out our demons. That’s a sh*tty relationship.

The real solution to breaking free from our obsessions, to drop our vices is to find something that really loves us back – like dancing, therapy, kale, bubble baths, walks, the ocean and our mother.

This week I’m hosting a Wine and Cheese Weight Loss Party to celebrate how we can make love to our vices and have them be a nurturing (not destructive) part of our lives. Because I believe in balance, in parties, in screwing your diet. I hope you’ll join me.

Sarah Jenks, founder of theBreathtakingBride.com, helps women fall in love with their bodies and lose weight through exploring the emotional reasons of why we eat. Sarah believes that you can talk about the benefits of broccoli until you are blue in the face, but real change won’t happen until we pull back the veil of fad diets and calorie counting to reveal the true cause of our over eating. Feeling lost about weight loss? Visit her website to download her free guide: “What to do if you feel fat, hopeless and ready to give up.”