For about 15 years of my life I was driven to eat a snack in the late evening whether I was hungry or not.
This bad habit started with my eating a pint of ice cream each night as a way to relieve the stresses of being alone with a baby all day. My daughter was born when we lived in Japan and it was hard to be a new mom. The ice cream was my friend. It didn’t ask anything of me. It was all pleasure.
However, over time things got easier and I probably could have stopped the nighttime eating. But I didn’t feel the need. It didn’t seem like such a bad thing, besides, I deserved it.
As I learned more about nutrition I started to eat healthier snacks at night. At some point I began to feel trapped and helpless about this compulsive habit, but the addiction remained for a very long time.
Today I am free of that habit, but it took me 15 years to figure it out!
Often people will say they want to be like me; health conscious and able to resist bread in a restaurant or a bag of potato chips without complaint.
What they may see is someone exerting willpower and discipline. They may think that underneath it all I am feeling deprived and my life may even be boring. After all, it’s so hard to socialize without eating.
The truth is that I rarely use willpower to eat well and get to the gym. And that is because I have a much stronger superpower at my disposal.
I am not a disciplined person.
I am a person that has developed natural urges to be healthy.
I have learned that if I can create an irresistible drive to eat well, work out, and be mindful then there is no discipline required.
This is the secret sauce!
Way back when I was unknowingly developing an irresistible drive to eat every night, I didn’t even realize that I was creating an incredibly powerful force within my brain. The goal of this force would be to get me to eat no matter what.
The part of my brain that develops and nurtures habits would view the nighttime eating as necessary for my survival, and hence irresistible.
Our brains love habits because they free up precious brain power for other more important tasks like reading this article. We all have thousands of habits we engage in regularly.
But sometimes we discover that a habit is not in our best interest.
Our rational mind says, “wait a minute, this is not healthy, I must stop.”
But habits can become strong urges when we try to resist and lo and behold we discover that stopping a bad habit is really, really hard.
The crux of the problem is that the instinctual, habit-driven part of our brains (I call it the animalistic part) and the rational, goal-oriented part of our brains (the master) are AT ODDS.
If we could just sync them, if we could just bring the animalistic side up to speed with our best intentions, we could achieve anything.
And that is what I did.
First I had to recognize that the animalistic side of my brain did not know right from wrong. It’s like my dog. My dog will eat anything he can get his cute paws on. He has no regard for health or weight or goals. It’s all instinct.
I am my dog’s master (or mama really) and I do know better. So it’s my job to guide him to behave in his own (and my own) best interest. I have to train him. He isn’t born knowing he can’t jump on the table and eat everything in sight. I train him. And guess what? Once he is trained, he does the good stuff automatically.
This is what we need to do with out minds if our best intentions are not aligned with our instinctual behavior.
At a certain point I realized that the compulsive eating at night was bad for me. For a LONG time I did not know how to stop it.
However, when I learned that I just needed to understand the dialog between the animalistic and master parts of my brain and I had to train the animal to behave, I finally saw a way.
And how do we train our animal or lower minds to be aligned with our best intentions?
Well, practice makes permanent.
At first it requires some discipline (although I have great ways to reduce the amount of discipline required).
But the more you engage in the desired behavior, the easier it gets. Day by day.
And after not too long you suddenly see that it’s easy to resist the bread or the dessert.
It takes no effort at all.
That is because your lower brain, your animalistic brain, your habit center is perfectly aligned with your rational brain, your prefrontal cortex, your goal-desiring brain. And together you are now working like a beautiful orchestra.
This is the secret sauce!
Does it take some commitment? Yes.
Does it take some planning? Yes.
But the gift of being able to effortlessly engage in healthy behavior because it is forcefully driven by your natural urges………oh it’s a beautiful and special place to be.
I am no longer driven by a seemingly uncontrollable habit to eat in the late evening. I am free of that urge. What once seemed so impossible to change is now not even a blip on my radar in the evenings.
The secret sauce is waiting for you.
Your body is waiting for you.
You can create a recipe of beautiful synchronized healthy urges and behavior. And I can help you with this process.
I have created a painless and enjoyable process to help you get to the other side; where eating well and taking truly good care of yourself is an instinct, not a dream.
If you would like to learn more about my programs and services please check out the video.