My client is on vacation
And she’s eating more than her body needs.
She keeps thinking “I’ll never have this dessert again.”
Which is probably true.
She noticed that this fact has no effect on her children.
Their attitude is “there’s always another dessert”
Which is probably true too.
This woman is very smart.
She knows that if there’s two truthful ways to interpret a situation
choosing the one that feels most calming will get her the result she wants.
In this case, the result she wants is no weight gain on her vacation.
She’s choosing the wrong truth though.
And she knows this.
I asked her why her kids have such a different approach
And she told me that it’s because they have never experienced food deprivation.
So while her rational mind knows intellectually that there’s always another dessert
There’s a part of her mind that’s suspicious,
because there have been many many days where she’s refused to feed it dessert.
Other days she’s fed it dessert, then been critical and punitive to herself after.
This part of the brain, our irrational Baby Brain, ultimately drives our behaviour.
We adults like to think our behaviour is driven by logical decision making –
weighing all the options, taking the most advantageous action.
Lots of brain research suggests otherwise.
We dieting refugees don’t really need research do we?
We know what it’s like to desperately want to stick to a diet
and be completely puzzled by why we didn’t.
It’s because our Baby Brain didn’t agree with the plan – and it always wins.
So my client has to get to a point where both parts of her brain are in agreement:
‘there’s always another dessert”
No need to finish this one if I’ve had enough.
I can have another one tomorrow.
Here’s the part where you may start to yell at me:
The only way to convince Baby Brain that it can always have another dessert
Is to prove it with your actions.
Babies don’t understand words, logic, reasoning.
They understand feelings, actions.
You have to give yourself dessert whenever you want it
And pay attention.
And notice when it’s not the best thing in the world anymore
And then stop
There’s always another dessert.
I ask all my clients to eat something decadent every day, with joy.
This is because I want you to convince Baby Brain of the new truth in town:
That there’s always another dessert.
Ridiculous things start to happen:
Some days you don’t even want dessert.
Some days you have only a bite and it’s enough.
Some days you have 2 cookies.
And none of this is a big deal.
Because there is no argument in your brain between Baby and Adult Brain.
I don’t know what’s more miraculous –
dessert every day while losing weight, or peace in your brain.