There is a comfort for the brain in maintaining the status quo. It doesn’t matter if that is positive or negative since our brains are wired to find patterns of predictability in a world with near infinite outcomes. It’s about having a semblance of control and so our beautiful brains will do anything they can to keep things as they are. Developmentally speaking, being happy or sad, productive or not, doesn’t matter so much as long as we are alive. This is why we fall into patterns of behaviour, often that go against our own goals, desires or that are bad for us.
Our own subconscious is at war with ourselves, but unlike external threats, it knows everything about us! I recently fell pray to it, delving into negative patterns of behaviour to the extent that I’m back to being fat. I’m uncomfortable in my skin, my clothes don’t fit and weighing myself I’m teetering close to the Obese side according to the NHS calculator. This has undone so much work I put in to become my ideal size, and so I’m back to basics. The first step is acknowledging my lizard brain is against me, and I need to put systems in place to counteract it. It’s easy to fall into the all or nothing trope since we like to think in binary, but sadly that sets us up to fail. This is why systems are important.
“Your brain doesn’t want you to fail, it just doesn’t like having to work harder than needed”
For me to create a system that works, that will allow the positive change I’m wanting, I need to accept that there will be setbacks. I also need to have an idea of how I shall achieve my goal, and this starts with knowing where I am. This is why data is beautiful. It provides a starting point to be able to quantify the changes and measure the incremental growth on my way to my target. These systems aren’t just for weight loss, but a good action plan can be used in all aspects of life, especially knowing that your brain wants you to go back to what it considers normal.
Your brain doesn’t want you to fail, it just doesn’t like having to work harder than needed. It’s already very busy keeping your internal organs functioning, fighting off pesky germs and so for it, having to change patterns of behaviour is another task that it doesn’t want to do. Change is hard and so you need to have systems in place to measure the little wins.
What are my goals?
- Get to a comfortable healthy weight in which I can fit into my favourite clothes
- Promote my debut book and finish writing the next part of the trilogy
- Find a job that I love
How am I going to achieve these? Making sure that I have my targets as focus and working to them each day. I’m back to using MyFitnessPal. I know that I’m a volume eater. I want large quantities of food to satisfy me, hence why I can wolf down a whole pizza and want more food. I love the feeling of being full, so my focus will be on the type of food, something healthy that I can eat huge amounts of. Luckily I love salad and vegetables.
I’ll reformat my book, learn & set up channels for promoting it whilst I aim to write a chapter each day. For work, I’m going to tailor each application to highlight why I’d be the best fit. There are going to be challenges along the way, I’m incapable of being “good” all of the time. These will be incorporated into cheat days.
There can’t be any real changes without accountability though. In order to succeed, I will keep track at the end of each day, not only in the apps, but perhaps a bullet journal. I hate changing my behaviour, but I love the outcomes!
FU lizard brain, I’m gonna beat you and change for the better!