Dr Volkow has a number of interviews on the Internet, one of which is depressingly titled, The Impossibility of ‘Just Say No’. She refers to developing new interventions, implying that you won’t be able to overcome addictive behaviour without pharmaceutical or medical intervention.
But people do.
Part of this blindness arises from the lack of scientific agreement as to how mental action could have any effect on physical, neuronal action, especially in the long term. I quote Dr Jeffrey M Schwartz on this in EATING LESS, and he knows his way around an fMRI brain scan as much as Volkow does. His team has published ‘before’ and ‘after’ scans showing lasting changes in brain function following a purely thought-based intervention similar to the technique I teach. Schwartz says,
“Thus, for better or for worse, focused attention creates the brain you will live with.”
This is exactly how it becomes possible to ‘just say no’. There’s significant research on this:
“Data suggest that subjects can indeed learn volitional control over a specific brain region.”
“Motivation and attention can be critical modulators of plasticity.”
Thinking of overeating as an addiction is an excellent way to understand it, and from there begin to overcome it. For many people, the crucial step is to let go of judgments and self-criticism about being addicted. Surely addictive overeating is now our cultural norm!
So if you happen to see a huge animal with tusks and a trunk lumbering towards you, maybe you could start by assuming it’s an elephant, and see how you go from there.
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