Sep - Oct 2013

Lighten Up By Getting In Touch With Your Inner Doughnut

By B. Charles Ihrig, PhD

I’d like to share a few thoughts with you that may help support your commitment to ongoing weight management success.

Have you seen those neon signs in the windows of doughnut shops that let you know that the doughnuts are hot and fresh? When you see these signs or signs like them, how often have you immediately felt temptation? This may bring back memories of when you were a child and how enjoyable it was to eat a fresh doughnut.

Many of you may be familiar with the notion of the “inner child”. This was a famed concept in the 1960’s called Transactional Analysis.  It was widely popularized in the bestselling book, I’m OK You’re OK by Thomas Harris. (Before I go any further, I am going to pose to you that the child in YOU comes out when tempted by thoughts of tasty foods.) If it were left up to the inner child in you, you might buy a dozen doughnuts every time you drive by a doughnut shop. So, what stops you? What keeps these urges suppressed inside you?

You see, it’s the responsible adult voice inside you that asks “are you really going to eat doughnuts?” It’s the adult voice in you that reasons that your jeans are already tight enough and a doughnut would only make things worse. Your inner child may be tempted by unhealthy foods. The adult voice in you takes the rational approach of driving right on by the doughnut shop without stopping.

For many people suffering from obesity, that responsible adult voice is not always present. This might be a form of addiction which prohibits responsible behavior with the “drug of choice”, which in this case is food. I know that some people will not relate to this particular analogy, but I hope it offers a new perspective on some of your unhealthy behaviors.

We must make a daily search for that responsible adult voice in ourselves. This is the motivator within us that makes reasonable decisions and is honest with ourselves and our loved ones. The adult voice will get us through, keep us healthy and at our desired weight.