November 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm #10194
So I’ve been using the breathe/label/choose/allow/motivation procedure for a while now, since reading about at least the last four steps in Gillian’s book. It’s always helped me to get clear on what I’m choosing, but after choosing to not act on the addictive desire, I usually live with the discomfort of the urge/AD for quite a while. Last night I had a different experience. Something happened during the allow and acknowledge the addictive desire step, where I felt so deeply into that wanting, that it dissipated. I truly had not the slightest interest in eating for the rest of the night. This was pretty awesome. I’ve sort of been wondering how long I have to live with the discomfort of AD. I get that it will visit again for sure, but it was just so nice to have the experience of it completely dissipating like that.
I was trying to understand this a bit from the limbic brain/cerebral cortex perspective, but I’m not sure if that’s relevant here. I get that the AD comes from the limbic brain, but why would completely allowing it, feeling it deeply, switch me into the cerebral cortex, if indeed it did?
November 23, 2020 at 10:30 pm #10195Barbara RParticipant
Hi Barbara Ann R Also:
If you haven’t read Gillian’s book “Ditching Diets”, I would highly recommend it. She describes how, when you don’t automatically act on a habit (like eating when you’re not hungry), the brain creates NEW neuro-passages from the limbic brain to cerebral cortex with this new action. The more you do it, the more the old habit begins to fade.
When I first attempted this (not snacking after lunch), I was TERRIFIED I would only grow hungrier and hungrier. I was SHOCKED and delighted when the gnawing in my stomach and obsessive thoughts of food just went away. I find it takes a lot of repetition, and you have to put in the effort. But the relief I feel that I possess the ability to control the amount of food I shovel into my mouth is a relief beyond words!
Barbara Ann R Me Too!
November 24, 2020 at 1:31 am #10196
I love the “Barbara Ann R Also” and “Too”! Yes, I’ve read both of Gillian’s books, actually twice, and after the second reading, it really hit home for me. That’s inspiring to hear how the obsessive thoughts of food just went away for you with practice. The last couple of days I’m experiencing some of that. It does feel wonderful.
November 24, 2020 at 10:14 am #10197LouiseParticipant
I agree with you both, Barb Ann Rs! I remember hearing one of the client stories where a lady says that unlike diets, which are easy to start with and then get harder (as you get rebellious), Gillian’s method is pretty tough to start with, and gets easier as you go along – which I think is why it is a way of life, not a temporary fix!
November 24, 2020 at 1:20 pm #10198Bev GParticipant
That is so interesting Barb R, as it chimes with something I noticed yesterday, too. If I understood your original post, you were maybe expecting your pre-frontal cortex to be ‘convinced’ by almost a rational approach? Whereas the limbic system is all ungovernable emotion? I sort of expected that to happen in my case, anyway. Like you, I have also found that I am thinking about my freedom and choices in a more intuitive way, rather than just putting the case for and against, like an internal barrister!
I suppose if one is applying the technique, it has to be ‘in the moment’, and I have found I am doing it with imagery and feelings for that moment. The imagery is usually of the AD surrounded by a lot of blue space, so that I have mental ‘room’ to choose a different response to it; and, to echo your point, it is very airy – so I can breathe. Another image I have developed is based on Gillian saying ‘include the outcomes of any choice’ so for example when I am in a shop staring at the biscuits on the shelf, I can also see, attached to them, in their own packaging, the things I don’t want from addictive eating: a drop in self esteem, furry teeth from the sugar, continuing to be too big physically.
I think maybe the prefrontal cortex simply takes over when the limbic system isn’t being allowed to rule one’s thoughts and actions, even if the route one takes is intuitive rather than rational. That is purely my speculation – Is there a neuroscientist in the house??!!
November 24, 2020 at 10:44 pm #10201
Oh, Bev, I love the imagery you’re using. It does make me wonder which part of the brain imagery and intuition lie in. I tried to research it, but I didn’t get a clear answer. I did see that the limbic system is where emotions come from, and I wonder if bringing awareness to the sensations and emotions of an addictive desire is putting us back in the prefrontal cortex. It’s all rather interesting.
Louise, that makes sense, and I like that, about Gillian’s method getting easier as we go along applying what she teaches. That certainly is my experience, though I have periods that feel a bit like regression, where the AD flares up strong again, even though I’m not giving into it.
November 25, 2020 at 9:16 am #10202GillianParticipant
For everyone in this thread – both Barbaras, Bev and Louise – there’s a 17-minute video at 4.1 on the Dashboard titled “Research” that will expand on the topics you are covering here.
What I do in this video is take each part of the technique “Working Through Desire” and present the research that explains how and why it works.
November 25, 2020 at 9:37 am #10238LouiseParticipant
Thanks Gillian, will check that out. Ladies, I occasionally get a big AD flare, and often when I reflect, it is linked to something specific, such as thinking about my weight, or seeing an advert for some particularly addictive food that I used to eat. So the other day I tried on a dress I haven’t worn for a while to see whether it fits me now – and a few hours later found myself craving a big sticky bun, which hasn’t happened for ages!
I’m liking that imagery Bev, and the way it’s helping you work through the desire. And yes, I find looking at the packaging and ingredients really useful when in the shop, reminding myself that the sneaky food industry doesn’t care about my health, but I do!
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