9 May 2011,

Recently, I read a blogpost referring to the fact that we will stand a greater chance of adhering to ˊdietary rulesˊ if we adopt positive ˊdoˊsˊ instead of negative ˊdonˊtsˊ.

So, how do we go about positive action and lose weight motivation when it seems the only ˊpositiveˊ contributor to getting slimmer is buying either new products, more food, more miracle cures, only to find out that they donˊt work the way we thought they were going to? Sorry, this only serves to underscore why ˊDOˊ sometimes takes a backseat to ˊDONˊTˊ. Iˊm not selling my point very well.

The current reality is that we buy foods that are available when we need them. Industry responds to what the consumer demands. Fruits and vegetables don’’t sell as well as Ding Dongs with French fry sauce because they don’’t elicit the same kind of immediate pleasure in the brain. In simple terms, French fry sauce encodes itself more rapidly, we remember it for longer, and we are kind of beholden to that feeling it elicits when we eat it. You know, that crazy thing called ˊPleasureˊ.

Indeed, I am one of the weaklings, the treacherous type who prefers pleasure to pain, and I have a difficult time overcoming temptation. Thus, when Iˊm in the mood, an entire Byzantine Army could not steer me away from chocolate in favour of broccoli. Unless, of course, the Byzantine Army adopted some slightly more machiavellian strategies, and appealed to my selfish, hedonistic side. Convince me that broccoli is, in fact, immediately beneficial to me, and we may be getting somewhere. Key word? IMMEDIATE. Just telling me I’’ll be ˊˊhealthierˊˊ because I’’m eating broccoli isn’’t enough quite enough to quell the gag reflexes.

Yet… by appealing to my more hedonistic drives, say, telling me that I’’ll stand a greater chance of looking like Gisele Bundchen, well, the broccoli starts to take on a different allure. I understand the benefits of eating more flavenoids and that I’’ll likely have less of a chance of developing cancer if I eat them – but all of that sort of pails in comparison with the promise of… looking like Gisele.

We invest hundreds of thousands of bajllions of dollars in products that effectively do nothing aside from glimmering with the allure of making ourselves look better. Please, save the self righteous ‘Killing Me Softly’ videos, and hate mail regarding my backwards anti-feminist stance: If you have ever worn a pair of 2-inch pumps (to say nothing of actual high heels) than you really cannot disagree with my point that we suffer small discomforts to look better. Men and Women both. So why not use this as lose weight motivation for getting over the junk food binge?

I’’m not advocating celebrity worship here, but simply offering a different technique to think about the next time the marshmallows and French fry sauce cravings hit. Obviously, I think my tolerance for brussel sprouts with a side order of steam sauce is relatively low. However, my tolerance for junk food ˊˊshouldˊˊ be even lower. Unfortunately because I am simultaneously neither Gisele and also human, this tolerance for brussel sprouts versus chocolate ratio is sadly out of whack.
…But instead of berating myself with simple statements like ˊDon’’t eat that,ˊ maybe next time Iˊll think ˊstatistically, if I eat more green veggies, I’’ll stand a far greater chance of looking like Cheryl Tieggs (or Beyoncé Knowles, or Gabriella Reese, or even a person with a BMI below 30’).

Or ˊI’ll probably feel better if I eat more raw green in place of cooked brown things.ˊ

And herein lies my second point: doesn’t calling junk food ˊcooked brown thingsˊ do enough to steer you away from it? Now that Iˊm writing, ˊDonˊt eat cooked brown thingsˊ I may be contradicting the thesis of this article. No matter, seeing junk food as ˊcooked and brownˊ may do more things for your lose weight motivation than even the promise of looking like Gisele.
You’re welcome.

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