Weight loss and the caveman rules of survival
13th December, 20130 Comments
I personally believe that any of us that are trying to lose weight have a 'thing'. This 'thing' is used by our subconscious to motivate us to eat, and make it ridiculously difficult to resist the primitive need to eat. For most of us that have struggled with weight, food is not fuel...it is comfort, stress relief, punishment, camouflage or simply love.
This 'thing', is based on one of the three caveman rules of survival:
1. React first, think later, or you'll die - When being attacked by a predator, if you took the time to weigh up the options, you would be eaten. So, our subconscious creates an instant physical response to a perceived threat. As there are no predators these days, it still responds this way, but it's an appropriate physical response to a perceived emotional thing. In our case, it's eating.
2. If your parents don't love you, you will die - In the caveman days, a bond with our parents was critical, because if they didn't bond with us, they wouldn't feed us and we'd die. So, we are genetically programmed to equate everything in our childhood to a meaning, a meaning in terms of love. So, for example, if you fall over and scrape your knee and your mother gives you chocolate to comfort you, then your subconscious might think "when I'm hurt my mother gave me chocolate, which means she cares about me which means she loves me", and then as an adult, eating chocolate makes you feel good, loved, and you wonder why.
3. If you are not part of a pack, you will die - It was almost impossible to survive in caveman days, if you weren't part of a pack. This means we are genetically programmed to try and belong to a pack, or to single out people who don't. We can choose to go against that, but it's a choice. This is the basis of a lot of bullying at school - it's the pack mentality. We feel very uncomfortable if we are singled out.
So, the first thing to do with weight loss coaching clients, is to remove the 'thing'.
Regard weight loss as a journey of change, rather than a race to a target. In time, I believe it is possible for anyone to have a natural healthy relationship with food and themselves.
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