Friday, April 05, 2013
"Complete peace equally reigns between two mental waves." Swami Sivananda
Today in Brain Over Binge, by Kathryn Hansen, I learned an important mental strategy for living binge free. The author shares the fact that in the past, she would try to fight against her urges to binge, using "white knuckling", desperately trying to resist. She found that she might be successful resisting one urge with this method, but because it's so exhausting, when a second or third urge came, she'd cave. I completely understood what she was talking about.
She then went on to explain that once she realized that urges to binge really didn't come from her, but from her animal brain, she could separate herself from them and just watch them with detachment.
"In separating myself from my urges, I was learning to watch the waves from the shore. I could watch each one rise and fall, without getting all caught up in it and without becoming exhausted and weary. Even if another urge to binge came shortly after the first, I felt I could handle it, because I knew the wave wasn't capable of affecting me."
This is a very interesting distinction for me to internalize. Telling myself, when a binge urge comes, that it's not really me who wants to binge but my animal brain, is helping me stop myself with very little effort. For example, yesterday, at my usual danger times (when I get home from work and after dinner), I had some urges to get more food. But then I reminded myself that those urges really weren't my urges, but my animal brain's urges, and that if I wanted to form new neural pathways, I needed to ignore that animal brain. Quickly I let go of the urge and the discomfort I usually experience when I try to resist wasn't there. I was happy that I remembered, proud of myself, and eager to get those new neural pathways connecting. I said to myself, "time to form new habits".
Earlier today, I also listened to a great Inside Out Weight Loss podcast about the Law of Attraction and weight loss. Renee Stephens reminds us that in order to achieve anything in life, we have to feel good NOW, no matter where we are in the process. I see a great tie in between this notion and the idea of living binge free. Though the scale isn't moving as fast as I'd like and though my pants are still tight, I'm choosing to focus on how great I feel, waking up today, two days binge free! It's so great to feel hungry, energetic, and confident that I'm taking great care of myself with food.
Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough
― Oprah Winfrey