Track Progress, Experience Success
Neuroplasticity (our ability to modify our own brains) occurs when we have the ability to calmly observe the brain hunger and experience zero anxiety. This doesn't happen overnight; like weight training, it requires repetition, which then leads to healthier wiring and breeds habits. This strengthens the connections between the neural nets (brain cells) and makes them more likely to fire together in the future. A revised neural net, the cells that carry information in the brain, essentially strengthens the affinity between neurons by reconfiguring their electrochemical relationship. The mantra of the neuroscientists is that "cells that fire together wire together."
Experiencing success generates a dose of dopamine. When we begin to feel good about our progress, it is indicative that the Naturally Thin Woman's neural nets are restoring themselves and rewiring is taking place. As we engage in more of the Naturally Thin Woman's behaviors, it should feel easier to generate some level of satisfaction. Remember that achieving goals also generates dopamine! When we don't experience success it means there's no acquisition of the Naturally Thin Woman's behaviors.
In my area of expertise, the computer industry, the importance of experiencing progress has been documented over and over again. In the famous paper "The Importance of Percent-Done Progress Indicators for Computer-Human Interfaces," University of Toronto's Brad A. Myers, Ph.D., found people prefer to have progress indicators when they are waiting for a task to complete. Software development teams where goals are short term, shared with the group, and where progress is prominently displayed are 90% more likely to successfully complete the project than those where progress is loosely tracked and not shared. In their book "Rules of Play," the New School for Design's Katie Salen, Ph.D., and MIT's Eric Zimmerman, Ph.D., concluded that when the participants do not have a meaningful tool to measure progress, consistent engagement is not likely.
We inherently feel good about achieving our goals, even when they are mini-goals. This progress increases satisfaction, which increases the likelihood of continuing the rewiring process. In his article "Need to Complete," MIT's Hugo Liu, Ph.D., stated "It turns out that when you finish a complex task, your brain releases massive quantities of endorphins."
Experiencing progress plays an important role in rewiring as it influences us to seek, complete, and comply with Thin Cognitive Behavior (TCB) protocol, which leads to successful long-term changes in our thinking. Without progress, there is no motivation. What has been proven effective is to tangibly track in a manner that is meaningful to you. This could be an image pasted on the front of the refrigerator that shows your weekly progress in numbers, and/or a picture or graph.
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily."
~ Zig Ziglar, motivational author and speaker
Some suggestions on tracking your achievements might include these examples:
- Progress in recognizing non-physical/brain hunger
- Progress in recognizing your triggers
- Progress in identifying what is causing the brain hunger
- Progress in effectively addressing what is fueling the brain hunger
- Progress in eating mindfully
- Progress in minimizing your external commitments that consume too many of your mental resources (critical in avoiding "ego depletion" so that we retain enough resources to take care of ourselves)
- Progress in managing your stress
You are much more likely to complete the rewiring if you measure and genuinely experience progress when it occurs. Without motivation, we will never complete the rewiring because there is nothing to propel us towards reaching for the next goal, the next improvement. When we don't recognize that it is getting easier, we are 60% more likely to give up than when we are when acknowledging the progress. What keeps us motivated IS the progress, even if it's small, it is critical to continue the rewiring. Without motivation, there is no progress. Without progress, we don't complete!
Changing your brain
- You no longer salivate at the mere sight of food cues: TV food commercials, magazine photographs of enticing food, the cake or bread aisle at the supermarket. Think about it: physiologically, the Pavlovian response is gone.
- You no longer daydream about food all day long.
- Only physical hunger leads you to begin the process of "what do I want to eat?" "What am I truly hunger for?" "What is my body asking for?"
- You eat mindfully: the days of shoveling food as quickly as humanly possible are gone.
- It doesn't matter how much food remains on the plate, you trust that when the food loses its taste, your body is telling you that it is satisfied.
- You experience genuine satiation eating what, in the past, you would have labeled as a snack - a small portion.
- The instances of brain hunger are rare. In fact, they are almost nonexistent. But if they do occur, you recognize them immediately and you can address the underlying need.
- You are able to address life's ups and downs without resorting to overeating as you now accept that overeating feeds the cycle of shame.
- The overwhelming power that food had over you is completely gone.
- You are no longer a food addict. You are no longer at the mercy of your obsessive and compulsive food "attacks."
- Sharing a meal is not the only avenue to spending quality time with friends.
- The overeating anxieties are completely gone, and you can experience genuine satisfaction while eating in a mindful manner.
- You experience the freedom of trusting your palate.
- There are no forbidden foods. Once you are physically hungry, you trust your body's messages as to what it needs. You are now able to experience genuine satisfaction when eating mindfully, and small amounts are honest-to-goodness satisfying.
- You continue to invest in the life tools that allow you to foster self-advocacy, self-knowledge as you are no longer addicted to the cycle of shame.
- You experience freedom. You have reclaimed your ability to select foods that sound good without any fear that you will gain weight.
- Eating has ceased to be hazardous. Eating is now a pleasure. The fear that you might overeat is completely gone.
- The kitchen ceases to be a hostile environment and you can actually reclaim the joy of cooking.
- You are now free from the tyranny of diets, reinstating your self-trust of what truly nourishes you, reestablishing a healthy dopamine level, and finally restoring your natural thin woman neural nets.
Embrace your Destiny
If you are ready to be the leading lady of your life, if you are ready to stop the behaviors that don't serve you, if you are ready to contribute to your community, and begin to live as the awakened citizen who makes a difference to the world, then sign up and become the very best version of yourself!