When you have an urge to eat something that’s not “on plan” it’s really hard to resist that urge.
Yes, that urge for cupcakes, for chips, for pizza is STRONG. Resisting it seems impossible. The good news & the bad news is that there are reasons. So, when you see the donut dopamine floods your brain. Dopamine is the hormone released when you anticipate a reward. You anticipate the sweet, sugary, soft goodness of that donut.
The tricky thing with dopamine is that it’s stupid. Well, it’s not smart at least. It thinks the reward is sustenance since that’s what your brain is programmed for. So, from dopamine’s POV, that donut is full of life-sustaining calories that taste way too good to be true.
But you know better, don’t you? You know that as soon as you eat one (or two) donuts you probably don’t feel very rewarded at all. Maybe you’re immune to what that much sugar and flour does to your system, that’s possible. Hint: it’s not good. More than that, if you’re on a plan to improve your health, you probably feel regret. You don’t feel rewarded, you feel like somehow you punished yourself. You see, the dopamine and donuts lie!
But wait, there’re more. It’s also highly likely that you’ve got some sugar-craving microbes in your gut. They’re in there like a bed of Ursula’s garden, begging you for more, more, more sugar. (or flour or other unhealthy crap.)
That’s because that’s what they thrive on. Somewhere down there, swimming around like a pretty little mermaid are the good microbes that want you to eat some vegetables. But she might be outnumbered by the sugar-lovers.
Okay. So what we know is your brain and your body are working against you. I get it. It’s harsh. What’s really cool, though, is how quickly you can overcome!
Take another look at those poor, unfortunate souls. That is also how I see your urges for the crap you (and me, let’s be honest) think you want but don’t really want. This is how they look just as soon as you overcome them. Yes, as soon as you acknowledge and overcome an urge, it shrinks. It loses power. If you do it more than once, they get super shrinky.
The first time you don’t get the “reward” after dopamine, the process starts to breakdown. Likewise, when you stop feeding those sugar/flour-loving microbes, they start to die out. Well, truthfully, I think they start to cry out first. But, if you can overcome those urges, then they start to die out.
So, overcoming urges like….three times in a row is super powerful. All of the sudden you’ll find it’s a little bit easier. As long as you don’t continue to reward the bad urges, it will continue to get easier NOT harder. Crazy, right?
Back to the beginning—this is why it’s important to have a plan. You can’t get to a destination without directions and you can’t get to your goal without a plan. Unlike other coaches, I’m not a huge believer that one plan fits all or that your plan has to be super strict. The only two criterion I have for your plan is that:
- You have one.
- It’s working.
You’ll know if it’s working if you’re getting closer to your goal. If not, we’ll work together to tweak it a bit. We will also work together to figure out how you can get over those first few urges so you can have a fighting chance!
So, knowing is always half the battle. I want you to start to picture your annoying little urges like these worms. Understand that they cry out but you can overcome. Understand that their promises of reward are lies. Understand that just a little overcoming can go a long way!