Nicola Griffiths, Cirencester Hypnotherapy Centre, Jan 2019
It’s about this time of year I start smiling at the fact that I know there will be an influx of people saying: “I’m just going to get through Christmas and then I’ll start…”. Starting what can be varied, start looking for that new job, start using Facebook less, start turning a new leaf of some sort or another, etc.
However, I wonder if the ‘Start losing weight’ brigade might be the biggest group of all (excuse the pun)?
Certainly, that’s been me over many years. “I’ll start the day after Boxing Day” or “I’ll start on 1st January” might have been my thought. For a while we can be successful. It’s like we find a magic switch and we’re able to flick it to ‘ON’. But by the time most of us get to February, the magic has disappeared and we’re back to the same old habits.
There’s a jolly good reason for this. Our brains are hardwired to get a reward when we eat and there’s not a huge amount we can do about this. It goes right back to cavemen days when we needed a reward to motivate us to go out into the howling gales and fight the big scary sabre-tooth tiger.
So, when the going gets tough, or we’re weathering the cold of February, our brains will kick into semi-automatic pilot and reach for the comfort food in order to get a chemical reward. The brain will override those positive thoughts of what you were going to achieve in order to get that quick fix and, hey presto, we’re back on the same old pattern again. Well, that’s in most cases, because some people start to get a great positive fix because they’re losing weight, which will sustain them on the straight and narrow pathway for a lot longer than us mere mortals.
How do we overcome this negative vicious circle then? The magic ‘ON’ switch, that allows us to take control of our eating, clicks into action when we’re taking control of our lives. So, if we’re taking positive action (of any sort, not necessarily to do with food), plus having positive interaction with others (i.e. surrounding ourselves with positive people/positive TV programs etc) and having positive thought, then we start producing positive chemicals in our brain. That’s when the ‘ON’ switch works, because we don’t need the quick fix that food gives us, we’ve already got positive chemicals floating round our brains from other positive areas.
All sounds very simple eh? Mmm, maybe not so easy as we’d hope for. The daily life of 2020 will no doubt still involve people hurling abuse at each other on social media or the TV and media etc, there will still be bills to pay and jobs to get done that we don’t want to do. But we do have choice to some degree. We do have choice of which programmes to watch on television, we do have choice as to which friends’ feeds we look at on Facebook etc, and the more we choose to opt for the positive the more you are immediately changing the chemical reaction in your brain.
At the end of the day, as I say to clients, you are the pharmacist of your own mind. You can regulate the negative chemicals and produce positive chemicals and the latter allows you gain positive control, which includes positive control of what you eat!