I had a very interesting conversation with a client this week. She shared with me an epiphany that was so good I have to share it with you.
On some level, we are all trying to improve an aspect of our lives. Whether it be work, health, self-care, or our relationships... we crave continuous progress. Because of this desire, I am always teaching you how to shift your psychology so you can change your behaviors at the core (just a reminder, the core of all behaviors are our thoughts).
Regardless the category of improvement, the way to do this is by changing what things mean to us, to change how and what we associate to this behavior: does eating this/doing this give us pleasure or pain?
This client and I have been working together to kick her sugar habit for a little while now. This week, she shared with me that as part of her graduate work in the medical field, she wrote a paper studying the evolution of smoking. I know it’s hard to believe, but at one-time, smoking was thought to be completely harmless. She mentioned finding ads from doctors back in the day that read, “I have my clients choose Marlboro Lights.” DOCTORS!
I don’t know about you, but at this point, with all the information we have on the dangers of smoking when I see young people smoking I just don’t get it. How could they start a habit so dangerous that it is actually guaranteed to be the thing that kills them?
The truth is that sugar is no different from smoking. Right now, sugar is in practically everything we eat and drink, and most of us are completely unaware of how much sugar we intake on a daily basis. In 50 years time, our children and grandchildren are going to think we were completely crazy to be poisoning ourselves like this on a daily basis. Just the same way we feel about smoking now.
Her “aha moment” was that she can now associate sugar with a pack of cigarettes. The meaning of sugar that was once a sweet release, is now no different than working her way towards a slow degenerative sickness.
Quite frankly, I was floored. I’ve done a lot of mind work on sugar and addiction with my clients but never have I connected it to smoking. You might think that’s a little extreme, but it is a well-known fact that sugar weakens the immune system and feeds every single disease, most notably, cancer cells.
I want you to remember that the body is very resilient, and a little sugar here and there would be the equivalent of smoking a few cigarettes each month… not a huge deal that the body can recover from, especially when everything else you do is quite healthy. So I leave you with this thought: how much poison do you think the body can take in before it starts to compromise your health? Whatever the answer is (mine is about 1-2 small doses per week as long as you are juicing, eating clean, exercising, meditating, thinking positive thoughts, hydrating and getting to sleep on time) make sure your sugar intake frequency matches.
If there is something you are doing right now that is not good for you, try changing your association to that behavior. Add more pain to doing it, and more pleasure to not doing it. Drop the idea of using willpower and start working at your belief about this behavior at its core. Remember, “the mind is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.”
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