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Day 3 of 14, The Urges Aren't Me

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
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINIUM 4/6/2013 3:54PM

    How interesting! It reminds me of a friend who gave the advice: 'guilt is not me' to another friend who continually feels guilty. I know it would help me! Thank you so much for sharing! And thank you for the goodie - so sweet of you!
Keep up the great work,

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    Yet another great blog. I'm so very proud of you for fighting that animal urge! I love the law of attraction book. emoticon on another successful day! You have done well my friend! emoticon

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TINAJANE76 4/5/2013 5:00PM

    Boy, do I know those animal urges well. Sometimes I feel like I've got a cross between the Tasmanian Devil and Cookie Monster jumping around in my head and they can be pretty darn hard to ignore. I would really love to get to a place where I can detach myself from these guys permanently. We'll get there!

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HOPERESTORED226 4/5/2013 3:35PM


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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 4/5/2013 3:21PM

    Love it! I don't equate my urges with my "animal brain" but with my "inner toddler."

When my daughter's had naughty impulses when they were younger I had no problem with telling them to sit in "time out"

I have no problem with telling my inner toddler to "time out" now!!

Good for you dearie! Love it!


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`*♥☆ Spread the Spark!!!

Comment edited on: 4/5/2013 3:21:43 PM

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PHOENIX1949 4/5/2013 2:47PM

    Very timely as several major stressors (over which I have no control) have reared up this week & I binged away. My subscription to your Blog wasn't working so I just caught up on the past week's blogs. I appreciate all your research and sharing it with us. PS - resubscribed.

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WILSONWR 4/5/2013 2:44PM

    Sounds like this is really working for you. Thanks for sharing some of the ideas from the book - now on to day 4!

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ADRIENALINE 4/5/2013 1:43PM

    Thanks for providing this strategy. It could work on all of the animal urges.

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MKELLY72 4/5/2013 1:30PM

    Fantastic perspective!! I'm so glad you shared this--your blogs are helping me with the same issues so much right now!

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SLENDERELLA61 4/5/2013 12:51PM

    Love the way you use resources to help you and the way you summarize and share them. Very helpful. Thanks.

So glad you are feeling great! Congrats on 2 very good days!! I'm sure there are very many more to come. Ignore that animal brain and those urges that aren't really you! You are doing an amazing job. Your blog readers can almost see you changing in front of their eyes. Here's to new neural pathways!! Here's to being able to feel hunger, feeling energetic and confident!! Hooray for you.

Comment edited on: 4/5/2013 1:35:03 PM

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RX_2_RV 4/5/2013 12:44PM

    Thanks for sharing this strategy...lost a battle last night...but I still plan on winning the war. I will try this next time.

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