TRIGGERS FOR UNHEALTHY CHOICES
Are You Creating Your Own Weight Loss Anchor?
Yes I know I talk about weight loss and your health a lot. But hey, if we feel better about ourselves, if we have more energy, we tend to achieve more. We’re able to give more of ourselves and have a greater life. Who doesn’t want to feel the happiest they can?
So many times I have conversations that go along the lines of…
“I want to lose weight”
“…don’t know why my weight won’t shift”
“I can’t exercise, I’m lazy”,
Or “I am just this weight and will never change…..”
Yes we have heard it before I have even written about some reasons. What I haven’t discussed is how we all develop anchors. No not the old ‘ball and chain’ sort but rather the emotional ones.
Just yesterday I was reminded of how we establish unique ways of imprinting a memory. They can be profoundly wonderful and uplifting but they can also be incredibly detrimental.
Say you were a little kid and granny gave you a lolly every time you did something cute. Probably you would try and repeat that behaviour. So up the lolly index! Most likely when you saw granny even at a much older age you would have some cutesy behaviourism, or use that cutesy side of you to receive positivity from others.
But what if instead every time you heard your mum/partner/boss nagging, you found a doughnut. Chances are next time you are upset you go in search of a big round iced treat. Yep now you have anchored feeling miserable with a sugary reward.
We do this with so many things. Who amongst us can’t remember where they were and what they were doing on 911. This highly emotional day will be imprinted upon our minds so clearly that we will never forget even little details. I bet you even know what you did next?
We have many triggers that set off a response reaction without even realising. Certain songs can take me straight back to the 80’s, and I am wearing stilettos, dancing and ignoring my knees. Sadly when I hear those same songs I break into a very 80’s style dance routine. Much to the horror of my kids.
Over time we develop so many automatic responses we don’t even recognize what the trigger was.
I have worked with past athletes that have put weight on. Even though they can go into depth about balancing their nutrition for comp training I have found that they have different triggers for stress that negate healthy choices.
It isn’t knowledge based but emotion based.
Ever felt quite flat and maybe a bit depressed and noticed that your legs feel like they have an extra 20lb attached to them? Resulting in exercising become too overwhelming.
Some triggers that people tell me that have either demotivated them or caused them to autopsy the refrigerator.
My wife upset me and I can’t speak up or I’ll make it worse.
My boss heaped more work on me, I feel overwhelmed.
Parties are for drinking
Pizza makes me happy
Sadness make me so overwhelmed I simply can’t even move.
My elbow twinged time to stop exercising for a week/month…..
Here is the breakdown. The more emotion associated with the trigger the stronger the response the more likely it will be repeated, when that trigger crops up again.
This is largely why diets and those reality programs often don’t have the long term results of keeping weight off. The trigger is not dealt with.
By changing the emotions to happier, more pleasant ones we can re-create neural pathways. Thus find cheerier options, experiences and reactions that don’t hinder our health, or stop us from having a more desirable weight, energy level and overall better wellbeing.
You can change your trigger so you don’t crave that high calorie treat, or suddenly feel immobilised. Seems to me that simply feeling better is a way better option.