Question about my prefrontal cortex

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    • #8127
      Anne Marie
      Participant

      Hi Gillian and all! I have been faithfully listening to and journaling with all the lessons, plus I’ve read Eating Less and Ditching Diets. I can slowly see changes happening, especially with my all-afternoon grazing between lunch and supper. This work feels brilliant, just brilliant to me and I am grateful to have found Gillian and everyone here.

      I am curious about my own prefrontal cortex. How is it that when it comes to my business, my prefrontal cortex seems in perfect harmony with me? I mean, I have no trouble at all thinking logically about the business that I own, how to work with workshop participants, what new classes to create, how to market my new book…etc. When I think about and process anything to do with my business, I am easily able to apply logic as well as look at outcomes of my behavior.

      BUT… how is it that when it comes to FOOD, my prefrontal cortex seems to be underdeveloped? For many years I have been unable to focus on or even remember to think about possible outcomes of my overeating, yet I CAN and do do that with other things in my life, like my business.

      Just curious… I am looking forward to Gillian’s answer, or if anyone else can shed light on this, that would be helpful too.

      Thank you,
      Anne Marie in MA

    • #8130
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Such a great question, I’ve often thought the same, how in other areas of my life I have it all together, or at least sort of, and with food my PFC goes off line so easily and frequently.

    • #8131
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Anne Marie, it’s not that your prefrontal cortex is underdeveloped, it’s that the food cue activates the limbic system, and in doing so deactivates the pfc. Remember that only one or other of these areas in the brain is activated at any one time.

      The same thing happens no matter what you’re addicted to: cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, sex, gambling…

      The aim is to become aware of this happening at the time and then take steps to cope.

    • #8132
      Anne Marie
      Participant

      Oh, right! That makes perfect sense, Gillian. Thank you. I think I “get” it now.

      And I want to add that I’ve been reading all of the forums and learning SO much here. I really am grateful for you deep and kind attention to all of our questions. It makes the learning and action-taking so much easier.

    • #8134
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Thank you, Anne Marie. I do enjoy it!

    • #8135
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Limbic activation! That’s why in other areas I don’t experience issues, so clear. Thank you.

    • #8141
      guadalupe
      Participant

      Hi everyone. I kept thinking about in which other area I behave as I do with food or in which area Im the contrary…

      It could be that just as I respond to food, I respond the same way to other issues such as money? That having a bad relationship with food can be related also to have a bad relationship with money and shopping?

      In my case, I´ve realized that when I’m anxious, I don’t really know if it’s anxiety or I’m just not well but I don’t know exactly what it is. Ive realized that in that situation besides binging, I eat my nails a lot . And I spent more money and I dont care about it. It is like thinking that I should save, or look more at what I spend, and I end up spending more. As with the roller coaster of diets… It’s thinking that I want to weightloss or stop eating like this, so I shouldn’t eat this or that, and I end up eating even more. Does this have any relation in the brain?

    • #8142
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Guadalupe I agree that spending and eating behaviors seem linked…

    • #8167
      Julia R
      Participant

      I don’t know if this provides more clarity to this question: During a one on one session with Gillian, she made reference that I could take off my glasses. The out come would mean I would not be able to see her as well, have difficulty with my note taking. But it was my choice. I asked WHY do we have all these issues with food. Why can’t we handle food the same way we handle taking off or putting on our glasses (or one could apply other areas of our life)? She shared in her kind and informative way: that is because food (especially food with sugar, fat and salt) has an addictive quality. Not at like taking off one’s glasses (unless there is an OCD). We can thank the food industry that works very hard with making sure food, is in fact, addictive. Hope someone gets value from this post.

    • #8172
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      That’s very helpful Julia. Thank you for sharing.

    • #8213
      Anne Marie
      Participant

      Guadalupe, thank you for bringing this up… I too can relate to chewing on my nails and overspending when I am feeling anxious, along with the food.. and that “I don’t care” attitude. I would love to hear what Gillian has to say about the limbic system in relation to money and overspending as you brought it up in the statement above.

      I am so happy to be here with all of you!

      Anne Marie in MA

    • #8217
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      What I have to say is that any behaviour that generates a biochemical reward in the limbic brain can potentially become addictive. But humans and human brains are extraordinarily complex, so what one person finds rewarding isn’t necessarily so for everyone.

      Spending, earning and/or winning money can all be rewarding activities for some, and thus can become addictive. And keep in mind that addiction is a matter of degree and not as black-and-white and all-or-none as we are often lead to believe.

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