Neuroplasticity tells us that our brains are capable of constantly forming new connections.
But, it's hard. Years of habit can strengthen existing neural pathways and make it extremely difficult to change behavior. It is not a matter of willpower, it is simply a matter of slowly building new connections and allowing the old ones to atrophy.
Imagine you broke your left arm. The day comes when you get your cast off, finally! But then you try and pick something up and ouch! Your muscles have atrophied and using your left arm is both painful and much more difficult than you remember. Your right arm, on the other hand (no pun intended), is all pumped up from the extra exercise and picking that object up is easy and pain free. One day you'll be back to using both arms equally, but it will take time and effort. And that's okay!
Eventually, the discomfort of using a new neural pathway will lessen as connections strengthen. The balance will return and you will find it easier to take part in new behaviours. Neuroplasticity and mental fitness provide a real, non-discriminatory framework for altering habits and behaviour.
Teaching Acceptance and Mindfulness to Improve the Lives of the Obese: A Preliminary Test of a Theoretical Model - Jason Lillis, Stephen Hayes, Kara Bunting, Akihiko Masuda
About ACT - Russell Harris
The relationship between basic need satisfaction and emotional eating in obesity - Robyn Andrews, Roger Lowe, and Anne Clair
The Brain that Changes Itself - Norman Doidge
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