Reply To: Addictive desire when the food is already in the house

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Alison M


Your advice seems reasonable and I’ve heard it before . . . but not from you. I thought that one of the distinguising factors of the methods you teach is that you don’t have to remove temptation to learn to deal with it. So many others preach the “just don’t bring it home, because your willpower is limited, and you can’t handle the temptation of seeing it in your house, so simply learn to not have it in the house.”

But your message seems to be, in part, “Your willpower isn’t limited. In fact you can retrain your limbic system to be less powerful by activating the prefrontal cortex whenever your limbic area starts pitching its little baby fit. You have to have the desire felt in the limbic system to give you opportunity to do this retraining.”

So . . . please clarify.

I identify strongly with the participants in this thread–too many times I have snuck into the kitchen to cut another and another and another piece of birthday cake, even at times wondering how big a piece I can cut without prompting the next person who cuts a piece to say “WHO ate all the cake?” It’s embarrassing when a kid asks such a question, expecting to oust his sibling, only to discover (if I confess) that it was the MOM who was the big overeater!

I also agree that we do have a cultural problem of too much sugar and other fatty foods. I love how you started the course reminding us that not too many decades ago, smoking was 100% normal and few people (if any) were concerned about its negative impact on health. Certainly today in our culture, overeating is so common that our culture largely dismisses the negative health implications of overeating.

But setting this aside . . . I don’t see how your comments to “get it out of the house” sync with your many other points of instruction in this course, about facing the desire and talking through it.