Conflicting Messages


There have been a number of old movies I have seen, mostly in the comedy genre, when one of the main characters is about to make a decision to either follow the right, smart, ethical path OR go down the road of doing something “bad”. What pops up is a cartoon-like angel with wings on one shoulder telling the person in one ear to do the “good” thing and on the opposite shoulder, is the devil with the red outfit and pitchfork whispering in the other ear to do the “bad” thing.

Well, how often in real life, do all of us sort of go through these mental machinations when confronted with a decision point where one road is the “right” thing to do and the other is “wrong”? Specifically focusing on weight control, when we are about ready to stop at that Dairy Queen for the Blizzard or order dessert at the Cheesecake Factory, do we sometimes have the “angel” pop up whispering in one ear to forego that derailing behavior that is about to occur? At the same time, does the “devil” appear whispering in the other ear telling us just how good these foods will be?

In the case described above, I like to think of the “angel” as the intellectual part of the brain that is able to evaluate the risk, cumulatively, of the deleterious eating behaviors and allow the person to make the “right” choice, which is to take a pass. The “devil” is the instinctual part of the brain that compels our behaviors in more of an immediate gratification pattern.

Listen to your “angel”….the food/drinks that make you less healthy and ultimately less happy need to be avoided.

Author
Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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