Doing the Mental Work
Friday, June 14, 2019
Here I am again adding my sales pitch for brain retraining. I just can't say enough positive about it so I will sound like a broken record, but that's ok.
So you know how it is when you start a new diet plan and you are all excited and everything is going awesome? And it is working and you are losing and you have your momentum going and you stop and think - Wow if I could just bottle this feeling up and sell it, I would make millions.
Yep, those feelings are wonderful. And having momentum is where we all want to be. So I am doing this now in real life. Yep, I have found the secret and it really isn't a secret at all.
The part that kept getting in my way was my brain. I know I have said this a gazillion times now, but it still is a huge "ah ha" moment for me. Every time you are on a roll and you think you have things figure out, the brain steps in and sort of takes over your automatic pilot control and wants to take you back to your old habits of doing things. It wants to have you choose cupcakes instead of salad. It wants you to sit and watch TV instead of being active. It wants you to give in to urges instead of being strong and taking charge.
So how can you effectively fight the brain? You don't. You use your brain and win the game. What you have to do is retrain your brain into making your new healthy habits become the new automatic pilot. This part is the hard part, though, because it involves a small period of being uncomfortable. But what if you knew that if you could change your whole life by only enduring a few hours of feeling uncomfortable? The problem is that most people give up during those few hours of uncomfortable because the brain is so good at the slick sales technique. The unconscious part of he brain that stores our automatic pilot is where all of our habits live. In order to change a habit you have to be willing to reprogram that part of the brain. It really isn't difficult, it just takes time, effort, and sometimes a few minutes of being uncomfortable where you basically have to use your high functioning part of your brain to stand up and say, I am not giving in. I will not go back to those old habits. In most cases these urges will last only about 90 seconds at the most. And then the automatic pilot settles down and you can carry on for awhile until it fires off another chance to take control. After a few days of this the unconscious brain will really settle down and the urges will be farther apart. But the problem is that most people give into the urges, thus making the old habits and the unconscious brain even stronger. It truly is like a 2 year old that is having a tantrum. If you give in to that tantrum you will always have a 2 year old even when you are 50 or 60 years old.
So the uncomfortable part is the part about standing strong against the urge. The good news is that if you do this long enough and never give in, you actually can rewire your 2 yr old unconscious brain. It takes some time and there can be triggers in the future that will activate that 2 year old, but if you can just be comfortable knowing that the urges do pass and they do quiet down and they actually almost go away, then you know you have been successful at rewiring your brain.
I have been doing this since April 1st this year. I have lost 16 pounds during that time. But the biggest thing I have lost is my urge to eat unhealthy foods. And I have introduced a lot of exercise into my life. So my new habits are just now beginning to take hold in my 2 yr old brain. I still get a few urges, but they are usually for cheese or nuts or coffee. And the urge is just more of a thought - like - oh that sounds good - and then it passes. My brain has finally gotten the message that I am in charge of the food now. And it knows that if the food isn't written on my plan for the day, it isn't going to pass my mouth. It is an amazing feeling to feel that I am finally in charge of my food intake and my exercise regime.
If you want to learn some more about rewiring the brain there are lots of good videos on YouTube. Dr Joe Dispenza is a really good source of information. And I am now reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. Both are very good sources for how to rewire your brain.