Archive | October, 2012


30 Oct

Motivation could be the buzzword of the century.  Serious. Who doesn’t hear it at least once a day? If you’re into fitness and health and you’ve got goals, you have likely thought long and hard about what is going to keep you motivated and moving toward the finish lines you’re racing toward.

Not to throw an obstacle in your path, but I’m here to tell you that as great as motivation feels, and as much as you think that it’s motivation guiding you in the direction of a lean body, being removed from your diabetes meds, developing increased patience, or learning how to more optimally recover from setbacks, for example,  it’s not the end all be all to reaching success.

A long-time client of mine was in for training just recently and after her workout stood there looking discouraged. She had just finished up an intense leg session and anyone watching could easily have cast her as pretty hard core! But what she was feeling was nothing short of downtrodden. “I need motivation…” she stated forcefully. She actually looked up at Evan and said, “I need you to motivate me!” Evan looked at her thoughtfully and said, “What’s going on?”

Frustration oozed from her. In a flash she made it clear that she knew what to do, but she just wasn’t doing it. She wanted to lose weight but wasn’t doing what it would take to make it happen.

I would argue in this case that she was motivated–she was training regularly and she had just acquired a stable job. But what she was lacking was  volition– will & desire combined.

Many of us say we want things. I want to be able to say no to food. I want to have better energy. I want a new job. I want to run a marathon. I want to visit Italy. I want to write a book. I want to …..

The thing is, wants just hang there if we do not actively CHOOSE to take a step toward them. The old saying “Where there is a will, there’s a way” is spot on. Will is mental. Choosing is mental. And acting starts in the brain.  So would it not be accurate to say that motivation is created? My client was motivated, but unless she intentionally stopped to decide what direction she wanted to go in and how she was going to get there, she’d be locked in the perpetual hamster wheel.

Motivation can elude any one of us, no matter how much drive or ambition or determination we have. I’ve been asked a million times “How do you get it all done?!” Am I motivated? At times I feel like I’m driving in a car whose windshield has been egged. I do what I do because I know that I need to, because sometimes I have to, and most times because I don’t want to bear the intense disappointment I’ll face if I don’t!

How many times have I written about how we often act impulsively? I think so I do. I want so I get. I crave so I eat. I feel so I emote. When you behave this way though, how often does it go the way you want it to? How often are your expectations met?

Your motivation level cannot be your guide for accomplishment. If it is you can guarantee you’ll get lost, stuck, and spinning your wheels. Volition, however, means you’ve got the ball. You’re volleying. You’re moving around the court, diving, passing, dodging, and assessing. You’re committed to getting to finishing the race.

What do you do when you notice your motivation is waning? And do you allow it to drag you under, stifling your will and determination?


Stuff the Turkey—Not Yourself!

30 Oct

This blog went out recently in my newsletter, but I wanted to get it out to those of you who are not on that mailing list. (You can email me if you’d like to receive the newsletter each month — you’ll receive articles related to food/nutrition, mental edge and health tips and strategies, and recipes for healthy living.)

The recent events on the Eastern sea board I hope have given each of us a reason to pause and acknowledge how much we have, how fleeting the moments of wonder in our lives can be, and to be more present for those who may need our help in the wake of the disaster. You can apply the tools in this blog to just about every situation you might encounter in life that feels difficult– not just Turkey Day.

New research presented in San Antonio, TX at the September 24 Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting indicates that our feelings of fullness are somewhat governed by how much we perceive we have eaten. Wait, what? Seriously? There is psychology involved in our eating behavior? HOLD THE BOAT!

Research findings like this make me laugh. Perhaps it’s because of the nature of my every day work—psychology and nutrition consulting—that I easily go straight to “Um, that seems like a no-brainer!” But when I consider the general population’s goals and overall tendencies; the terrible state our nation is in; and how the holidays are quickly approaching and represent one of the riskiest periods for dieters and those who are working on losing weight and getting more fit, I take a step back and value the work going into parceling out the intricacies of eating.

Studies have shown that the amount we eat is guided by multiple factors—we’re humans with a prefrontal cortex and emotions that have made eating behavior about much more than fueling our bodies. If we’re talking about one meal in particular, portion size and plate size influences how much we consume. A small plate with no real estate showing appears to us as a lot more food than the same amount of food put on a large plate with the edges of each food item cleanly separated.  In a similar experiment, individuals drinking from a tall, thin glass thought they consumed more than those drinking from a short, fat glass. What does this data tell us? Well, a number of things, but importantly, that we’re pretty poor judges of our own consumption. Secondly, and perhaps even more compelling is the evidence demonstrating how our expected satiety, how full we think we will feel following a meal, influences how much we decide to eat. Similar results have been found just based on how a food item is labeled. Most people will think twice if something is “high calorie”, but they will eat more if it is “low calorie.”

Consider another experiment that had two groups of participants drink fruit smoothies made exactly the same way, and containing the same calorie counts. One group was told that their smoothies contained a lot of fruit, and the other group was told that theirs had just a little. Can you guess which group reported feeling fuller for a longer period of time?

With the holidays on our heels, I have clients already discussing their desire to plan ahead for how they will approach the parties, the baked goods brought into the office, the incessant flow of goodies given as gifts, and even the grocery store aisles laden with decadent desserts. Top this off with their concern regarding the pressure they may feel from others to partake in more food than they may want to.  We all know how tough it can be to “go against the grain”, and when everyone else is stuffing their faces with sweet potato pie, mounds of gravy- laden dressing and mashed taters, and piles of turkey, sometimes it just feels easier to “go with the flow” than to resist being poked and prodded and told “Oh, c’mon, have some more!” Yes, the gluttonous person next to you is right, “Thanksgiving only comes once a year”, but how badly do you want to spend the next year working off your holiday weight gain?

Most people don’t engage in this amount of consciousness-raising. We just eat when it’s time. We eat what’s familiar. And we eat when everyone else eats whether we like it or are hungry for it or not. We are creatures of habit, but we are also creatures of connection. We want to be accepted and if we expect that we’ll be looked upon unfavorably or teased for being more discerning about our food choices, we’ll avoid doing so. Essentially, we are on automatic pilot around food.  But we can reprogram ourselves to respond more intentionally, and it’s the only way, save for wiring your mouth shut, to avoid becoming a holiday heavyweight.

Ready? Follow these guidelines for mitigating mindless munching. Holiday meals do not need to end up with you lying on the couch in a carb coma thinking yet again, “Why did I do this to myself?”

(I get sarcastic with myself, and yes, I talk to myself…out loud sometimes. Keep in mind there is a specific reason I use each of these thoughts).

1.  Really? You’re THAT hungry that you would actually compare yourself to a starving child in Africa? (Brings me back to reality and out of emotional reasoning).

2. You do realize that you just ate, right? You consumed ___ protein; ___carbs; and ____ fat. I think you’ll be okay. (This is an objective, just-the-facts assessment of the situation; we can easily get carried away by our emotions and make poor decisions as a result. Think about the years past when you’ve just eaten a plate stacked high with food and then decided to dive in for a second round when you already felt full).

3. You can always eat again later. (Another objective statement; no emotion attached. Most holiday meals end up in leftovers for a week or two).

4. You could have pumpkin pie anytime. Why is it imperative that you have it—or 3 slices of it– RIGHT NOW? (Changes my perception of the situation; when I’m craving something or feel a sense of urgency to eat it, reminding myself that it’s always available takes away the thought that “if I don’t eat it now, I’ll NEVER be able to eat it,” which just isn’t true).

5. They’ve got their goals and you’ve got yours. You’re seriously going to justify eating that because everyone else is? (We are easily swayed by the actions of others. We want to fit in, we sometimes don’t want to explain ourselves, and let’s face it, when everyone else is doing the same thing, it can be more difficult to stay true to our convictions).

6. It’s not that you can’t have it, Kori. You could have it any time you want. You choose not to. (When we feel limited and caged and like we do not have a say, we want to break out of our box and prove that we have control. Think of the last diet you were on that mandated you eat a certain time, in a certain way, with a certain recipe. How long did it last? Structure is good– we thrive with it. But make it too rigid –”you can never eat that food again”– and you’ll likely want to bend the rules. Get back to reality and recognize that you can have any food you want; yes, you really can. But you are choosing not to have certain foods because you feel better without them, mentally and physically. Don’t eat every holiday food just ‘because it’s there’. Would you eat it anyway? If not, leave it well enough alone.)

7. You’ve been down this road before. Is it worth it? NOPE. (If your immediate, impulsive, no-pause answer moves you in the direction you desire, great. Impulsivity is a problem for most people here– I want it, so I eat it. Instead, develop some rules or standards for yourself. Rules are appropriate in some situations. For example, “I don’t walk into the break room” or “Cheetos give me a stomach ache. I don’t like them.”

8. You know the negative consequences far outweigh the short-term pleasure. Walk away. (Here I’m thinking of similar situations I’ve been in and where they have led when I make a certain decision. I love pita chips, but I don’t even go down the pita chip aisle. Why test myself? It’s like a recovering alcoholic going into a bar, sitting down, ordering a drink and willing himself not to take a sip. Why risk it?)

9. Is what you are thinking of doing in line with what you’ve said you want to accomplish? (We’ve all been there. We say we want one thing but then we act in a way that is incongruent with those wishes/hopes/desires/goals. Pause for a second and ask yourself if you want to be the broken record. Aren’t you tired of asking, “How come I self-sabotage?” I will answer that for you– because you don’t stop and RESPOND. You are impulsive and act without thinking.)

10. Are you even hungry, Kori? Genuinely, physically hungry?  (If I have to ask myself this question, there is a high probability that I’m not. And in that case, I am not going to tarnish my winning streak of positive decisions!)

Finally, follow these practical tips for keeping a food fest at bay:

  • The likelihood is higher that you will eat more if all the food is spread out in front of you. If you’re preparing the holiday meal, how about asking everyone to get what they like and then sit down at the table.
  • Put your fork down between each bite and take a drink of water. This will help you to slow down and for you to more easily register satiety.
  • When you’re chewing (rather than swallowing whole) your food (while your fork is out of your hands) focus on your senses. Tune into the smell, taste, texture, and sound of your food. Mashed potatoes make a “plop” sound on your plate and a “slosh” sound in your mouth. Crusty bread “crackles.”

The big takeaway here—if you are going to eat, just eat.

Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. But when we discover that we know what we’re unaware of, we can start to take notice and begin changing our behaviors accordingly. I’d use the next month to start practicing the skills involved with operating in a more emotionally intelligent manner so that when the holidays roll around, you more skillfully stuff the turkey rather than yourself.

P-A-I-N is a 4-Letter Word

27 Oct

Our Program Director wrote his first blog this week entitled Train with Pain. He describes his experience with exercising despite injuries, the value of modifying positions, and developing creative alternatives to facilitate continued work toward one’s desired goals. It’s an excellent article- you can reference it here—but it got me thinking along the lines of the psychological components of pain and how that pain often serves to derail our best efforts just like an injury in the gym might.

I’m no stranger to pain during my workouts. In fact, I relish it. My license plate frame is emblazoned with “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” an old quote that I adopted as my motto in high school when I wanted to be GI Jane. I still want to be Demi Moore in that movie. I think most of you who know me would argue that I am that tough, mind-of-steel, hard core woman, but my personal journey toward mental toughness and the power of the psyche to guide you through life has far surpassed what I  believe GI Jane ever endured or intentionally sought to practice. And I will forever be in a state of learning.

That stuck place where many find themselves, wondering what to do next, questioning how they are going to climb out of the holes they  feel buried in or perhaps feeling like there is no way out all,  stems in part from the mindset they’ve adopted. I give lectures often on this concept. Mindset is a word used in so many different ways. “I need to change my mindset” or “my mindset needs an overhaul” are common sentiments of those recognizing how their ways of interpreting their circumstances limit the accessibility of more novel ideas and new methods of behaving.

“My work is fast and furious now and I really like it that way, but I am not thinking about the eating bit the way I should.  I have been thrown into this new role of constantly having 5 or 6 things in progress or waiting on another project to come together.  I still prepare for my meals but the exercise is not something I am faithful about particularly since I spend the whole day with much on my mind and when I get home I am downright tired.  It’s like Murphy’s law – everything that can go wrong, does.  I have not been visiting the fitness place lately.  I don’t plan to give up this new life style, but it has become harder for me to stay focused.”

A great example of how mindset can cloud motivation and the determination put toward pursuing goals, this email from a client recently made me pause to consider just how much each of us can differ in how we make sense of our worlds.

For the most part, I would argue that we are more alike than different when we look at how we think instinctually. The majority of our actions are often geared toward a desire for acceptance, connection, and meaning. I see it all the time—random events being linked to something for the purpose of it being explainable. The unknown is hard to accept. We desire control over our worlds. So humans have developed in a manner that has us thinking in a more conceptual versus literal way. Take this simple example: when looked at literally, pain is nothing more than a 4-letter word. P.A.I.N. But when you see the word “pain” or you say the word “pain,”  you almost automatically conjure images of what you’ve interpreted as painful experiences. You may see a face, you may be taken back to a moment during your last leg workout, you may be reliving the moment when you had to put your pet to sleep, or perhaps something occurred more recently and  you’re back at home getting ready for work when you burned yourself while making breakfast. You get my point. In essence, this conceptual style of relating to something is based on a  mindset formed through processing of information.

A more literal interpretation of events is rare—even if we consciously try to access it, it can be difficult to separate ourselves from what we’ve already formed interpretations around. Ever tried to solve an old problem a new way? Generating solutions to common issues using a novel approach often proves to be quite difficult. Scientists have addressed this in studies of brainstorming, showing that the technique, despite being popular, is really quite ineffective for what its purpose is. In a group of individuals with a singular goal, everyone is being guided by everyone else’s thoughts, thus limiting the creativity of each individual. The likelihood that one person will keep what could turn out to  be a novel idea to himself because of the risk of ridicule or perceiving that it won’t be accepted is very real. We’re dealing then not only with sociological and relational issues at that point, but cognitive ones as well.

In other research, savants have provided us with telling demonstrations of the more literal cognitive style. Savants typically fall within the autism spectrum, but their skill in accessing the unfiltered information that each of us would benefit from, shows up usually in childhood or after trauma to the brain. Using the pain example above, a savant who is exercising might not necessary say during a particularly intense workout, “I can’t do another rep—this pain is unbearable!” Instead you might hear something like, “There’s a burning sensation in my bicep” or “My heart rate appears to  be elevating.” Obviously there are advantages to seeing or interpreting the world this way- such objectivity can net you a great ability to persevere through what others might deem too uncomfortable. On the flip side, of course, looking at situations in a purely literal sense may not bode well for other circumstances in daily life that require empathy in relationships or even reading comprehension.  Take the savant child who when asked to explain the ending of a book read in class recited word-for-word the final page but exhibited no concept of the meaning conferred in the words.

Pros and cons exist on either end of the continuum. What is the meaning of all this then? That we benefit from having a flexible mindset….a growth mindset. Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University, wrote a book about this concept, in fact. She describes the fixed versus growth mindset and the barrier to adopting a “this is just the way I am” stance. Essentially, one who views achievement in a more effort-based manner than on innate skills and talents will thrive. She has demonstrated it in studies of children and their successes. The growth mindset in essence, embodies a desire to learn, to embrace opportunities for accessing new thoughts and ways of being to facilitate the achievement of a goal, and for training with pain–enduring the discomfort because it will eventually result in success.

One more example to exemplify how accessing a more literal frame of mind can enhance your life comes from a client navigating the choppy waters of a potential divorce. In therapy we often talk about process versus content. Process means the underlying meaning, for example, if your friend said to you “I’m really hurt by what you did the other day,” and you replied “I can’t believe you didn’t bring this up before,” a process focus would mean you are looking at HOW you are interacting with each other. In this example, you missed the boat. You just ignored that she was expressing to you a feeling. But your friend did a nice job of not blaming you. The how. The content is the WHAT of the interaction. She’s hurt. You’re confused. You can look at the conceptual versus literal  mindsets in much the same way.

Recently having gone through the death of his father, this man shut down a bit, became withdrawn, angry, and was lashing out at his wife in a manner she’d never been accustomed to from him. He struck out in hurt, criticizing his father and her. Some time had passed and he had reconciled his pain with having lost his dad, but now was dealing with the reactions of his wife regarding how he had behaved toward her at the time. He explained to me that he had recently had an epiphany of sorts, interpreting his experience in a new way and that he had wanted to share it with his wife. At a time when they were contemplating separation and actively engaged in significant relational strife, it took much courage for him to approach her with this. When he did, being desirous of a discussion about the content of his words, she brushed over the topic with surface-level attention, saying “everyone deserves some mercy now and then.”  For me, the impact of this was profound. She was explaining what he should have done for his father, and it was exactly what she was refusing to offer him.

Two things are demonstrated in this example:

  1.  My client had not considered this in her reaction to him. He said, “I’ve never thought about it that way.” (This is my whole point—we often see things in the same way every time  based on our mindsets)
  2.  With this new interpretation, they would be able to move in a new direction. She might be able to see that the more important aspect of this interaction was that it happened…that  he went to her with it.

Training with pain then, essentially involves us learning how to see things in a fresh way. Often that may mean taking as objective an approach as is possible, often getting feedback from others who can point out our biases, and by assessing the values that we infuse into our interpretations. For my client who described having difficulty staying focused, I offered her the following insights under the auspices that it might prompt her to think of her circumstances in a disentangled manner. Perhaps my response will help you too:

“I know the game of adjusting to a new role, new responsibilities, a new pace, and a new structure. A lot of my time is not MY time, if I’m not in appointments, my door is open and people can walk in at any time. I may be mid-thought writing an article for our magazine, or an email to a client, developing an exercise program, and WHAM!, I’m taken somewhere completely different. I also always have pending tasks–long term projects that always have aspects of them left undone and short term projects that can get done in two minutes. Wasn’t easy at first, but it got easier and feels just “normal” now. Tired — I know this well too. Tired is not synonymous, however, with being useless or unable to plan. Now we delve into the characteristics inherent in motivation and commitment– perseverance, determination, autonomy (someone not forcing you to do this but doing it because YOU recognize its importance), values (you have defined for yourself why it’s important), and competence (understanding that the more you practice, the better you get at it).
Please remember too that the thought you had that “it has become harder to stay focused,” is temporary. It is not that it’s harder permanently. Your circumstances currently are such that you are having to juggle your priorities differently. If you imagine your responsibilities like a pie chart (divided into sections according to their level of importance), even day to day the pie chart can take on a new look, the chunks expanding or minimizing.

Those who you would look at and call determined or driven, don’t necessarily want to be doing what they’re doing all the time. I certainly don’t. Do I get tempted by food? Yep. Do I eat every time I’m tempted? Nope. Do I take the time to think through what I’m going to have for dinner even when I get home at 8pm and feel exhausted? Yep. Do I want to? Nope. Why do I make the effort? Because the consequences of not doing these things are far worse than the short term discomfort required to get through them.

What to say when you don’t know what to say….

17 Oct

I think we could avoid a lot of heartache, hurt feelings, defensiveness and conflict in our relationships if we were willing to forgive ourselves more often and decide that we don’t have to have the answers all the time.

As much as I write about getting to know ourselves, developing our emotional intelligence, being able to discern what’s going on inside of us, defining the thoughts and emotions that are driving us so we can more appropriately respond to our circumstances, sometimes all we know is that we’re just darn uncomfortable. There is no word in that moment to articulate the feeling. The ability to articulate anything that we would classify as meaningful at all may elude us.

But rather than leaving the moment open to interpretation by the other party, rather than risking being misunderstood, rather than feelings being hurt unnecessarily due to the looks or context being mis-perceived even if we have no idea what to say to prevent any of these things from happening…..

what if we said just that.

What if we said “I don’t know what to say.”

What if we said, “I’m pretty uncomfortable right now. I want to be able to articulate what I’m feeling right now, but I’ll need some time to think about it.”

What if we said, “I need you to not think that by my silence I am saying ‘I don’t care what’s happening right now’, because I do.”

What if we said, “You’re so important to me that I need you to know that if I say something that ends up hurting your feelings, it’s not my intention.”

When you don’t know what to say, there are still things you can say…to be true to you… to be genuine in your relationships.

Gain Control by Letting Go of Control- An Approach for Cravings

2 Oct

It’s not a huge surprise to me when the individuals I am working with who initially come in with struggles related to emotional eating, stress binges, and feeling out of control around food report having far less cravings, urges, and impulsive reactions around food after just a week or two of more structured, balanced eating. Small tweaks to what they are consuming at each meal net them big dividends in blood sugar stability, even-keel energy levels, and satiety after meals. The drive to continue eating after a meal is dampened, and that “I have to have something sweet after a meal” thought often begins to feel incongruent with what their bodies are telling them. Relief!

Unconscious incompetence – I don’t know what I don’t know
Conscious incompetence – I know what I don’t know
Conscious competence – I know what I know
Unconscious competence – I don’t know what I know
Reflective or enlightened competence – I am aware that I don’t know what I know but I can shift back into conscious competence to teach someone else

“Kori, if I wasn’t working with you  on the consciousness aspect of all this, I’d still be doing what I was doing and just getting more and more frustrated.”  This is a quote from a client call I took just this morning from a woman who started with significant binge eating issues. Her food logs have gotten better and better each day– meals balanced with some protein and some carbs, moderate fat spread out through the day in foods that she really enjoys, 1-2 lbs of fat being lost each week. When asked what she felt was making the biggest difference she said “I’m learning.” Our first phone call as part of her Life Transformation program was all about her being educated about the physiology of nutrition– what actually happens in her body when she eats, how is her blood sugar influence, how come she would feel hungry so quickly after a certain meal. She was getting questions answered that would allow her to start making healthier choices, and she said, “I’ve never felt so empowered!”

There was a lot she didn’t know she didn’t know. There was also a lot she knew but didn’t know she knew! And she knew she needed to continue learning and asking questions and said to me, “I’m teaching others too, Kori!”

YUMMY! implies emotion. Contrast this with the objective response: “It’s just pink frosting with a spongy base made of sugar, butter, flour…”

For her birthday the colleagues in her office teamed together to bring in a batch of decadent, beautifully decorated cupcakes. Without hesitation she gathered them together to thank them profusely for their gesture and then explained that she wanted to share with them something very important to her. She proceeded to describe her goals of better health, fueling her body with whole, nutritious foods, and having better energy. Nowhere in her explanation would you find the words “can’t eat that” or “diet.” “Everyone enjoyed a cupcake for my birthday, and I didn’t have one because I just didn’t want to,” she said to me.
If it were another day, another time, and after assessing the situation she decided she would like to eat it, she would have.

My client is developing a new relationship with food….and with herself. She hit the nail on the head when she said she has never been more conscious. Think about what this means. Alive, awake, alert, paying attention. How many people do you know who really are that focused and attentive to what’s going on around them? Mindfulness is  what she is practicing– seeing her situations in full color, broad spectrum, and approaching them non-judgmentally. The word “seeing” is important here.  Consider seeing the words on a page. You view each letter, each word, and observe the sentences. If you look, you delve into the “meaning” of the words and the sentence they construct, and may be pulled into an emotion from reading the words. It’s the difference between being a copy editor and being the writer wrapped up in each character.  The difference is significant, and it can have a big influence on craving control.

Just today I received a tweet taking me to an article about the spiritual and physical meanings of cravings. A common myth is that cravings mean your body is lacking in some specific nutrients.  A craving implies a desire. Don’t confuse this with low blood sugar telling you that you need glucose for energy. You might have a craving for something sweet and you just ate a full meal. You are not requiring additional carbs at that point. In this case a craving would appear to be about a lack of satisfaction…a feeling of incompleteness. This is where mindfulness comes in handy.

You could get swept away by this craving, immediately begin searching for the chocolate on your co-workers’ desks and impulsively scrambling to find whatever is available to satisfy what feels like an uncomfortable restlessness OR you could recognize your craving (“Hmm…that’s an interesting sensation”); observe it and see it for what it is– “just a craving” with no emotion attached; and remind yourself that cravings are fleeting. They come and go. Just like emotion, the thought of wanting a certain food is transient– it changes. If you just watch it, rather than becoming attached to it and moving with it, you will notice it dissipates. I’ve had plenty of instances where I will think, “Mmm, I really want some frozen yogurt!” and if I get busy with something (distract myself) OR notice the thought and notice by body posture it becomes obvious that it’s not necessarily food that I need– it’s comfort or relaxation or a break from what I’m currently doing. When are the times I find myself most likely to crave something? When I’m anxious or frustrated or not wanting to be engaged in what ‘s right in front of me! When I’m attempting to push away what is here and now, I’m not being mindful. I’m not being present-focused. I’m not giving myself permission to be human and experience emotions and thoughts and realize at the same time, that they aren’t permanent. They’ll roll in like a wave and then roll right back out. Unless I decide to grab my surfboard and attach to one.

The next time you notice a craving, rather than telling yourself, “I can’t have that”, consider another approach. Say “Interesting. There’s that thought again. It’s not a part of me. I’m just going to watch it and see what happens. I don’t need to do or be anything right now but a fly on the wall of my mind.”

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