Bad habits are easy to create, but extremely hard to break. You would think that if someone made a decision lose weight, it would be as simple as making up their mind to do so. Once their mind is made up, each day should be a progressive journey forward until they’ve reached their desired weight. But we know it isn’t this simple. So what prevents our bodies from following decisions that we’ve already made up in our minds? What convinces us to go against these decisions after we’ve made them? Does the mind control the body?
NEW YEAR, STILL OLD ME!
The end of each year we create a New Years resolution of all the things we desire to change for the upcoming year. At the top of these resolutions are usually goals revolving around health. We say things like; I’m going on a diet, I’m going to start working out, I’m going to lose 30 lbs, I’m going to go vegan etc. If you feel you have to wait until the new year to create change, chances are those changes will only be temporary.
For about the first 8 to 12 weeks of the year, everyone is motivated working diligently on their goals. Every gym around the world seems to be packed to capacity during this time frame. This is the time of the year when the regular members become angry because they have to alter their workouts due to lack of equipment being open. Around March, the crowd begins to taper off and you start seeing less of the new members around. Why does this happen? Why does it seem like we create the same resolutions each year that we can never seem to accomplish?
Does The Body Have A Mind Of Its Own?
I once read somewhere that the intestines were the BRAIN of the body. From a visual standpoint, the intestines definitely resembles the brain. Supposedly, that’s where those “gut feelings” comes from. I’m not saying whether that statement is true or not, but we all know having a gut feeling is some type of warning sign or intuition system that the body gives off to alert us in important situations.
The body may or may not have its own brain, but what it does have is its own intelligence that we can program to benefit us or to work against us. When you drive your car, are you consciously thinking about the process of driving? Or is your mind focused on more important things while your body automatically drives for you?
When you first learned how to drive, your mind was super focused on every little step of the process. But as time went on, driving became 2nd nature and now you’re able to drive without thinking about the process at all. You simply get in the car and let your body handle the rest. This same concept applies to anything that we do in a repetitious manner.
The Mind Teaches The Body Through Repetition
When a professional basketball player goes to the gym, he practices shooting from various places on the floor for hours on end. This repetition creates a natural rhythm that takes the mind out of the equation so that the body can operate without the mind instructing it to do so.
When you drop something, your mind doesn’t first think “catch it.” Instead, your body’s reflex mechanism automatically engages and before you know it, you’ve caught whatever you dropped by the time the mind realizes what just happened. Anything that you do repetitiously is simply the mind teaching the body how to do it on its’ own.
That’s why in time, you are able to do things without consciously thinking about them. Your body has gone through a process so many times that it no longer needs the minds’ assistance in order to operate. In fact, the body can actually function better and faster than the mind after its been programmed.
Practice Makes Perfect
There’s a huge difference between a good basketball player vs a great one, especially in clutch situations. Those players who actually practice and prepare for those moments, are usually the ones that end up with the ball in their hands. Damian Lillards’s buzzer beater vs the Oklahoma City Thunder is a perfect example of how the body performs with little to no influence of the mind.
In the post game interview, Damien mentioned how confident he was in taking that shot . Because he practiced it several times, the body was able to perform and nail that shot in such a big moment without him thinking about it. The body automatically did what it was programmed to do.
Let’s use boxing to drive the point home. The primary adjective of boxing is to hit your opponent as many times as possible while taking the least amount of hits. Due to the way boxers train, the body develops a reactionary mechanism that tries to prevent it from getting hit at all costs.
If you’ve ever watched a boxing match, you will notice how boxers have a super-natural ability to dodge and block punches in split seconds. When the opposing fighter throws a punch, do you think the other boxer first “thinks” before he reacts? No, the body automatically counteracts based on of the way it was programmed through a boxers training regimen! If a boxer has to think before he makes a move, he will surely get hit!
Take a look at Gervonta Davis’s training video below. You will see how quickly the body responds without the absence of thought. There’s no way his mind is commanding him to move after each swipe from his trainer.
No Days Off!
Now that we’ve explained how the mind trains the body, we can now tie all of this into dieting. Any and everything that you do, you’re literally programming your body to respond. Doing nothing at all programs the body to DO NOTHING AT ALL! There are no days off! 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you are programming your body to operate a certain way in the absence of your mind.
If you constantly eat fast food, then that’s what you’re programming your body to want. When it comes time to eat something healthy or change your diet for the better, the body will lead you right back to those places you go to get fast food. Even after you’ve told yourself you won’t!
Why Healthy Diets Fail?
Healthy diets fail because the mind and the body are on 2 different pages. It’s called Mind & Body Opposition. In laymen’s terms, the body wants one thing while the mind wants another. If your diet mostly consists of unhealthy food choices, then when the time comes for a healthy change, the body will attempt to convince the mind to give it the junk it’s used to receiving.
Remember the intelligence that I mentioned earlier? That’s how the body is able to convince the mind. When you begin to say things like; I’ll start my diet tomorrow, I want something sweet, I’ll cheat today and get back on my diet tomorrow, or make any excuse to not stick to your diet, these are all things the body does to convince the mind to give it what it wants. Another tale-tell sign that the body has convinced the mind is if you meal prep healthy foods, but then end up throwing a few meals away because you just didn’t want to eat that anymore.
Break the Body!
In order to stick to a healthy diet, you must first break the body. It’s imperative to break the habits of eating bad foods by substituting them for healthier ones. The reason most of us break our diet is because we allow the body to convince the mind into giving it unhealthy foods before were able to create the new healthy habit.
When you continuously choose healthy food options, even in the midst of intense cravings, the body eventually breaks and gives in to the mind. The body stops trying to convince the mind and now they both operate on one accord.
You Can Do it!
It’s imperative that you get the mind and the body to work in unison. Continue to choose healthy food choices no matter how intense those cravings get. By doing that, you will replace those bad habits(cravings) and create a new habit. In time, those craving will go away.
Remember how I said that the body can act on its own? When you finally create those good habits, the body will continue to find its way to foods and things that compliment your diet, instead of things that work against it. But first you must use your mind to program the body by continuously choosing healthy food options. NO MATTER WHAT!
Create the change you desire today! Good luck on your journey!!!
Please feel free to share your thoughts & opinions below.
Peace & Blessings!