Savvy Therapy

What does a five-year-old watching her parents argue have to do with binge eating?

This is session 2 in my series of free coaching giving you the secrets about how to change habits using my easy five step process.

As you know if you watched my video yesterday I’ve yoyo in  my weight since I was about 30; and you will know also if you watch the video yesterday that a habit is a pathway in your mind that has developed over time.   I

It’s completely unconscious so you’ve got a pathway in your mind but something has to trigger it. Something has to start the pathway running.

What could be the trigger be?

Well it’s either biology, psychology or social/environmental but first we need to talk about the mind: the primitive mind.

When we are born our mind is 30% full.  This thirty percent is full up with all of the routines and habits that make us work: our heart rate; and blood pressure; how our fingernails grow; how our hair grows; everything that keeps us operating is in that 30% of the mind.

Sixty percent of the rest of the mind is present at birth and is empty.  If you think of it like a filing cabinet; it starts to fill up from the moment of birth with every experience that we have; what we see, hear. touch, taste, and smell.

The last 10% of the mind does not kick into action until around 7 years of age.  This is the conscious mind.  I’ve done a video to explain this in more depth and you can find the link for that below.

How does this 30%of our minds we are born with  influence our habits?

Well it contains the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn stress responses.  These responses are completely unconscious but you may sometimes recognise them if the hairs raise on the back of your neck; or  you have a sinking feeling in your stomach when they become very physical.

But I’d like to give you a story about triggers so that you understand what the trigger is; and how it works.  I was told the story by a tutor on a mastermind class that I attended.   She had an adult woman come to her who had suddenly started eating cake.   She was binge eating cake, not just slice of cake but whole cakes one after another after another.   The psychology worked with her and it emerged that she was having a difficult time at home she and her husband were arguing a lot.   But she still didn’t see what that had to do with cake.

Well working with the woman the psychologist was able to uncover a memory; a Trigger from when the woman was 5 years old.   Her parents started to argue and she had the stress response.   The fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response.   Her choice was to flee into the larder and she sat in the larder very fearful while her parents argued.

While she was in the larder she realised there was a cake on the shelf; and she reached up and took a piece of the cake.   At the moment she bit into the cake her parents stopped arguing, so in her mind – in her filing cabinet – it was registered that if you eat cake it will stop an argument. 

The woman was so desperate to stop arguing with her husband that she was eating so much cake, she was binge eating and making herself ill.

This is how a trigger works.  It is the same routine repeated over and over, or it is an exceptionally emotional event – a one-off – until it is repeated and then the food is connected to the event and the habit routine starts.

What we’ve got to work out is what your triggers are.

So we will be covering this a lot in the coming days thank you for watching and listening to me and the links to the documents are below and the link to the video is below.

This is Sheila Leahy of Snap up  Success with Savvy Therapy saying thanks for listening.

Here is the link to the video explaining how the mind works

Here is the link to the fact sheet