Moving Beyond Perfection

We always want what we can’t have even more

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 8, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/07/health/07mind.html?_r=1&ref=health

I read an article in the NY Times today about how it is when people purposefully try to block out a feeling or a thought or an impulse that they are more likely to end up actually acting upon their impulse.

“Perverse impulses seem to arise when people focus intensely on avoiding specific errors or taboos. The theory is straightforward: to avoid blurting out that a colleague is a raging hypocrite, the brain must first imagine just that; the very presence of that catastrophic insult, in turn, increases the odds that the brain will spit it out.”

The risk that people will slip or “lose it” depends in part on the level of stress they are undergoing, Dr. Wegner argues. Concentrating intensely on not staring at a prominent mole on a new acquaintance’s face, while also texting and trying to follow a conversation, heightens the risk of saying: “We went to the mole — I mean, mall. Mall!”

I thought this to be very interesting. It suggests that people are more likely to commit vices simply because they are viewed as vices. Take drinking, as an example. In many tv shows, high school and college students will often be seen drinking, but behind the eyes of their parents and cops. Drinking is portrayed as a vice, and therefore portrayed as more exciting. It sends a certain thrill because it is illegal. And because it is illegal, people are more eager to do it.

On a completely separate note, I think many women also have a love/hate relationship with desserts. Women often associate desserts with words such as “decadent” or “guilt”, and put them off limits when “they need to lose weight”, but then find themselves just craving, craving that piece of cake. I had a friend who used to constantly be on a diet in high school, and ironically, she was also obsessed with cake. She would know where all the best cakes in the city were, she would watch a show featuring cake decorating competitions, and even her facebook was filled with pictures of cake. Did I ever see her eat a slice of cake? No.  At the time, I thought this to be extremely strange and I just didn’t understand why she loved cake so much. Now, after having gone through my own experiences, I realize it is because she deprived herself of sweets. For a while, I was honestly repulsed by the thought of dessert – the taste was too sweet for me since I hadn’t eaten it for so long – but once I started reintroducing it back into my diet, there were times when I was unable to stop eating, even after I was full. Ridiculously full. It was like my brain was just telling me, I needed more dessert. It would be an uncontrollable feeling- more mental than anything. I would panic sometimes and know how bad I would feel afterwards if I kept on eating, but I physically could not stop. At those moments, I became terrified my eating issues would become a binging disorder. Thankfully, it was only a few episodes and as my eating normalized, the urge to overeat and overindulge also subsided.

These days, I would not even think of depriving myself of anything. I truly believe that if you tell yourself you can eat anything you want, then you won’t even want to to overdo it. You will simply be satisfied with a taste of something. Once nothing is illegal, then the thrill is gone. So ladies, tell yourself you can eat all the chocolate in the world if you want. Sometimes, we just crave a certain food, and I don’t believe there is anything wrong with giving in to the craving. If you deny yourself that craving, then that craving may only intensify.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: