Feb 17 2017

How To Stop Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals

Instant gratification is the quick and immediate attainability of satisfaction and happiness. Aka I WANT it…and I WANT IT NOW! Its how our society works these days. Everything is available at the click of a button…. In desperate need for ‘that’ party dress – get it delivered to your door…

Instant gratification is the quick and immediate attainability of satisfaction and happiness. Aka I WANT it…and I WANT IT NOW!

Its how our society works these days. Everything is available at the click of a button….

In desperate need for ‘that’ party dress – get it delivered to your door in under 24 hours!
Want to lose a few pounds before your holiday next week? Just cane the latest juice diet and half a stone will be gone!
Want to buy something you cant afford? Take out one of the million credit cards on offer and BAM! Its yours.

Can you really blame us? It’s all right there under our nose. But here’s the issue…short term satisfaction is often at the expense of our long term happiness. Every time we choose the quick win we lose out on something bigger …and its all down to that pesky little chimp– Ie our emotional brain!

Here’s how it works….

1. There is the human brain, who lives in the real world. The human is sensible, logical – he responds to reason.
2. There is the Chimp (who lives in the jungle 😉 He is the emotional part of your brain – he works on impulse and has little self control!

By the way you might want to give your chimp a name…mine is caller Sir Louie 😉

Sometimes I need to reason with Sir Louie – It is he who demands immediate gratification. My human brain can delay rewards – Sir Louie cannot!

It’s all summed up pretty nicely in this little experiment…

…Called the ‘Stanford Marshmallow’ – which was done on pre-school children.

The children were given a marshmallow to eat and were told if they waited they would receive more marshmallows at a later time. The children who delayed eating the marshmallow were found to be more successful later in life than those who could not control their impulse for immediate gratification.

If you were wondering how it applies to your fitness goals….

We’ve all had them – those conversations with ourselves that go something like this

“I want the chips”
“No you don’t want the chips you will regret the chips. They will make you fat”
“But the chips are sooo salty and yummy and delicious. Lets just have one bite chip then I will be quiet”
“But the chips are bad for us”
“But they will make us happy, Don’t you want to be happy?”

These conversations can go on with ourselves for some time. The simple message here – your chimp is hijacking your brain….pushing his agenda for immediate pleasure. And guess what? This is the part that sucks….

The chimp is 5 times stronger than the human!

So how can you win?

This is where it gets interesting….because you cant really fight the chimp. Would you want to fight someone five times stronger than you?

So you must learn to manage him instead. In essence, if you try to bully the chimp using pure will power, it wont get you very far.

So we have 3 choices….

1. We can give the chimp a banana (aka distract Sir Louie)
2. We can put the chimp in a box
3. We can exercise the chimp (and hope that he goes to sleep!)

More on this next time….but remember the more we can reason with our emotional brain, the more chance we have of getting our human agenda passed.

Get Sir Louie angry and it becomes a whole different ball game 😉

 

Author

Becs Cronshaw