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Day 2 of 14, the power of habit

Thursday, April 04, 2013

“We become what we repeatedly do.”
― Sean Covey, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens

Today is the second day of my binge free streak. Hooray. I feel dramatically better already! I slept soundly, I woke energetic and hungry for breakfast, and I felt strong during my workout.

I'm continuing to read the book "Brain Over Binge" and today I read about the fact that though binges start out as an urge, often in reaction to deprivation diets, because our animal or lower brain only remembers the pleasure derived from them, we want to repeat the behavior again and again, seeking that pleasure. And the more we give in to those urges, the more habitual they become. So what starts as an urge, becomes a bad habit.

The author then goes on to talk about habit formation and neurons. The idea that neurons that fire together, wire together. Again, the more we do something, the more habitual it becomes and the more we are likely to do it again and again. It's like we form a groove in our brain and the behavior becomes automatic.

The trick is to form new neural pathways by repeating a different behavior again and again. For me, this new behavior will be to ignore my binging urges, to meditate, drink tea, read, call a friend, or just sit with the urge, but to remind myself again and again that the urge is just my lower brain and not what I really want. My lower brain doesn't remember the post-binge agony I experience, the self loathing, the indigestion, the weight gain, the fear, the shame, etc.

This summer, I went for four months binge free and I saw that my brain started to form new neural pathways. It became almost effortless to live without binging. I was convinced that I was free. Unfortunately, I went back to my old bad habits when major life stressors arose.

This time around, with new awareness of how and why binging occurs and how and why to stop it, I'm going to reform new neural pathways and live binge free despite any stress in my life. Because my upper brain knows that when I opt to ignore urges to binge, I feel so much more pleasure over time and further, I avoid adding any more stress to my life.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon emoticon and WELL SAID!!! Keep reading that book and passing on information. I think all the info you passed on can go for many bad habits that we can acquire not just binging. Our brains are powerful tools but sometimes we have to be more powerful. It sounds like you are on the right track my friend. Keep up the great work.....I'm ready to read about your Day 3. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/5/2013 8:06:29 AM

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WILSONWR 4/4/2013 10:22PM

    Another day accomplished! That's really great! Sounds like you are learning a lot with that book - I may have to pick it up!

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GLORIAMAJDI 4/4/2013 9:57PM

    You can do it Julie!

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WATERMELLEN 4/4/2013 8:09PM

    Great blog, I "liked" it and I like your increasing sense of confidence as you form new neural pathways. I tell myself, when I have the urge to overeat, that "hunger is not an emergency" and "hunger is a signal that I am going to enjoy my next meal more" and "hunger is normal, thin people feel hungry every day".

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SLENDERELLA61 4/4/2013 7:15PM

    Awesome blog! Awesome plan. I should get that book. Maybe I will. Makes a whole lot of sense. Congrats on 2 days. I can remember when 2 days was impossible for me. I've made a great deal of progress, but I'm not there yet. Thanks for this insight.

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TINAJANE76 4/4/2013 7:02PM

    Hooray for Day 2, Julie! I know that you can keep this streak going and beat down those binge demons again. Those new neural pathways are forming for you too!

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MINIUM 4/4/2013 4:33PM

    Beautiful blog and beautiful quote - ah, Gandhi! Thank you so much for sharing.

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ADRIENALINE 4/4/2013 1:19PM

    Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! Keep up the good work. I drink a ton of tea. It really works.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 4/4/2013 12:26PM

    Cheers for day 2!

Cheers to using the pleasure principal!!

Reaching across space and time and wishing you relaxed and disinterested feelings around all food!!


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BROOKRIVERS 4/4/2013 11:04AM

    So much great "food for thought"
Thanks for posting.
And . . . Hooray for your personal victory!

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MRSVK11 4/4/2013 10:15AM

    Wow Great Blog post!
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