One of the all time biggest motivators is fear & pain. My guess is it’s a throw-back to our cave-men and cave-women days when fear & pain helped us seek safety, harness fire and stay away from poisonous mushrooms and berries (not to mention snakes and tigers).
I have needed to lose 20 pounds for several years. NEEDED because my blood pressure is too high, my knees too painful and much of the weight is around my middle (considered to be the most dangerous for health). I try to motivate myself to lose pounds by reading about the dangers of being over-weight. Here’s my latest:
Scaredy Cat by Peggy
“More recently, a brain scanning study including more than 500 participants confirmed that being overweight or obese is associated with a greater degree of age-related brain degeneration. These effects were biggest in middle-aged people, in whom the obesity-related changes corresponded to an estimated increase in ‘brain age’ of 10 years.”
“Obesity is a complex condition with many contributing factors, however; so exactly how it might affect brain structure and function is still unclear.” Body fat is the defining feature of obesity, but you’ve also got things like insulin resistance, hypertension, and high blood pressure” . . . “These can go hand in hand with behavioural factors [such as overeating and lack of exercise] and they can all potentially cause changes in the brain.”
If this doesn’t inspire me perhaps fear isn’t my biggest motivator after all.
What is your most potent motivator?
Click here for the article: why-obesity-damages-your-mind-as-well-as-your-body
Warning! This is bad Bad BAD advice.
According to Dr. Tara Swart, neuroscientist: “If you are under stress, eat every two hours for optimal brain function. Your brain can’t store glucose and so it is important to keep replenishing your stores. This will help you to maintain your focus and ensures a productivity boost.”
“It also ensures that your brain is well fed for any of the decisions it may need to make.”
“She adds that if you have the space to develop your mental resilience, then it can be useful to practice intermittent fasting as it teaches your brain that you can manage small amounts of physical stress, because you are in control of your recovery.”
Eating by Peggy
When I’m stressed (which is a chronic state with fibromyalgia) I self-medicate on sugar. Sugar gives me an immediate dopamine boost which then sends my blood sugar crashing which then sends me to my medicine cabinet (the pantry) . . . .
When I read Dr Swart’s advice the pantry was bare (after I ate a package of sugar coated pineapple, 3 prunes, a bowl of Cheerios and a handful of almonds – I’m stocking the cupboards with health food).
Knowing my two hours would be up in another two hours I made a dash to the store. A mix of double chocolate brownies (on sale) was only $3.99 and a better bargain than the packaged bakery brownies at $5.99. Maybe my mental resilience didn’t need practice.
I had already eaten up (pun intended) 45 minutes of my two hour zone by going to the store. So I was doubly stressed making the double chocolate brownies knowing that two hours would be up before the brownies were done and the only thing left to eat were Cheerios.
Dr Tara Swart is a neuroscientist who probably is svelte, prefers salt over sugar and her brain is smarter to begin with than mine. I’ll bet she’s never had to practice “intermittent fasting”.
As psychotherapists we saw more people who were walking worriers (to coin a phrase) than most people meet in their lifetime. Our “treatment” evolved over time based on our interest in neurochemistry and brain research.
Thirty plus years ago, when we were in school, excessive worry was labeled as an Anxiety Disorder. What we weren’t taught was there was a positive biological adaptation for the brain to “worry”. Simply put the “brains” that knew best how to scan for danger were the “brains” that stayed alive long enough to produce progeny.
In our jungle days it was prudent and life saving for acute “worry”. The clients we saw who were anxious actually had very smart brains that were trying to keep them alive. Unfortunately, our 21st century brains don’t realize we no longer live in the jungle and chronic worry is a problem.
We also live considerably longer than in caveman times and recently research has discovered that in addition to creating biochemical changes, dysfunctional worry profoundly affects our genetics.
“Obsessive worries — negative responses to stress — actually can shorten the component of DNA that governs a person’s life expectancy. Under excess stress, this DNA component becomes shorter.”
So our DNA structure is literally changed by dysfunctional worry that does not lead to resolution but that instead leads to destructive biological changes in the body.
Take a look at The Single Most Effective Antidote for Anxiety for a simple and highly effective way to better control, if not curb, chronic worry.
The Single Most Effective Antidote for Anxiety.
Penelope and I met many years ago. I went for a carton of milk and there she was, an albino pig, in a grocery store. She was in a dangerous situation – it was only time before she ended up on the meat aisle. (OIY VEY) So for $9 I took her home with the milk.
I gave her a bit of color and a bow and she went to live in my therapy office.
Very few clients ever commented on her. I always suspected new clients didn’t quite know what to say and my long-term clients knew me well enough that they didn’t need to say anything.
Penelope retired the same time as Freddie Parker but she still has a lot of good advice:
How to Live Life to the Fullest
by Penelope the Pig, CPT*, RET
EAT greedily all the delectable things life gives you.
WALLOW in what’s soothing & cool.
SNORT at those who are not loving.
CELEBRATE how delicious you are.
PRAY you will not be eaten before your time.
PIG OUT on LOVE
*CPT, Certified Porcine Therapist