Why seeking help to lose weight, may not help in the way that you think, and why losing sucks!
Losing goes against our very instinct to survive!
Losing, goes against our drive to forage.
Forage or feeding is based on survival.
Our survival is programmed in our early brain, the reptilian complex which is 650 million years old.
Primitive reflexes originate in our central nervous system, the root reflex, to seek out food and nourishment.
Now this root reflex disappears at around 4 months, as we begin to gain voluntary control.
However, to make sure we continue to seek out food, we have what’s called an incentive salience, a desire or want attribute.
So, let’s think about this.
Our need to feed, once we gain voluntary control is linked to desire or want.
Now here’s a theory!
There is reward in nourishment of course, however there is also reward in finding things.
So, let’s go back to early childhood, as this is where we gain a lot of conditioning and learning that we carry to this day.
Now, our caregiver helps to feed us.
If we lose our teat, nipple or dummy, we are helped to find it, this feels good, because it means we feed, we survive.
Let’s skip forward, and play a game.
Peep-bo or peekaboo.
Now, this game actually shows one fundamental development, and that’s – object permanence, and this is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed in any way).
So, before six to eight months a child may looked shocked at peek-a-boo, as they don’t yet understand object permanence, they believe that because the face cannot be seen the care giver has actually disappeared, they are of course rewarded when they reappear, but this reappearance can come as quite a surprise.
Once they’re old enough to understand the caregiver is hiding, then the game becomes all about anticipation of when they’re going to come back, again this is reward.
And babies will start to have a need or desire to want that care giver to reappear, to seek reward, for what was lost.
So, part of early programming allows our brain to associate that care givers help us to find what is lost, and we are rewarded in finding.
So, how many games of peekaboo did you play as a child?
Cementing in the early brain that there is indeed reward in finding!
When we go to school, finding things brings further rewards.
Finding answers to questions!
Finding our school shoes!
Finding our way through life!
All bring rewards!
So, we are all conditioned to find and to seek reward for finding!
Now in therapy, that is a great thing, we help clients to find what is lost, and what they’ve usually lost somewhere is themselves!
We help them to find their true authentic self, and when they find it they’re winning.
So, what was lost is actually worth finding!
But if you want to lose weight, getting someone to help, probably means you’ll just find it again, because that is the way our early brain is conditioned.
I’ve set up a group on Facebook called Stop losing, start winning!
I’m also running free webinars to help people understand how early brain conditioning works so that they can start finding what they do want, rather than what they don’t!
I want to help you find what you want!
Join the group, and come and say hi, it will be great to see you!
Also, talking about early programming and the reward system, when we go back to the caregiver because we have found what we lost ‘weight’, as most often do, they find that the way they lost weight, which they found, no longer works, this leads to feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment which are a block for reward, to find what was lost, but they won’t change, so they blame themselves, often resorting to unhealthy practices to restart weight loss, and with responsibility given to the caregiver, they will again find as a reward what was lost, and often more than was lost. This will lead to feelings of hopelessness, further damaging the psyche, and stopping the one thing that could help them achieve their goal.
TO STOP LOOKING FOR WHAT THEY DON’T WANT, AND TO START LOOKING FOR WHAT THEY ACTUALLY WANT!
Stop looking to lose and we all hate losing!
Start looking for what you actually want, because there is a double reward for finding!
We gain a reward for seeking a desire or want, looking for what we actually want, and will be rewarded when we find it, which can be heightened by therapeutic intervention, as there will be a certain amount of transference, which is natural, and used in the right way can be a great thing!
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