Stopping cravings by negative association - N. J. Lindquist

Stopping cravings by negative association

I've been thinking more about what Paul McKenna said last week about losing weight by taking control of your cravings through associating a very negative taste (rotten, with worms, etc.) with whatever it is you crave. (I wrote about that in my last blog.)

I was struck by a memory from long ago. It's not about eating, but it is about a similar craving.

I was in my early teens when my father stopped smoking. To his disgust, neither my mother nor I noticed for two weeks. He finally had to tell us. Shows you how observant we were, because he'd been smoking at least a pack a day for his entire adult life.

The youngest of 12, his older brothers had initiated him in the manly rite out behind the barn when he was seven or eight. And he likely would have kept on smoking a pack a day except that someone put together a documentary that he watched on television one night. The documentary basically showed pictures of what smoking did to your lungs.

As my dad watched it, all desire to continue smoking died. Every time he thought about picking up a cigarette, he had a vivid mental image of those pictures of what smoking would do to his lungs, and he refused. To my knowledge, he never smoked another cigarette.

I know this wouldn't work for everyone, but it certainly worked for him.

Hmm. I don't have pictures, but 'm thinking about what eating lots of sugary and other high calorie food will do to my body. Not a good picture. Enough to keep me from eating the wrong foods, or more than I need to be healthy? We'll see.

  • Lisa says:

    I think of a big chunk of fat, like the one Oprah brought on stage in a wagon when she lost a lot of weight back in the 80’s. Picture what that fat looks like on your body, yuk, then imagine that when you think of eating something that will put that ugly unhealthy fat on your body.

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