Un-association: Giving yourself a leg up to get to your goals

Have you ever noticed that your brain is making constant associations? Perhaps you realize that you get heartburn after eating spicy food or that you will become sore after the gym. So you learn the association and you’re ready with the Pepcid next time you enter an Indian restaurant or you’ve got some epsom salts waiting for you by your bath after a hard workout. 

Our brains want to constantly make associations. It helps our brains process things we see and do so that it’s quickly organized and accessible. 

Two associations I deal with constantly is that carbs are bad and more food can never lead to weight loss. My job, as a nutrition coach, is to help people UN-associate things that don’t hold as much water as they might believe and to start associating things that will help them get to their goals (seriously, a piece of toast is not why you can’t lose 5lbs and eating 1200 calories a day might be why your weight won’t go down). 

One of the problems of associates is that even if we move away from past associations, we often fall back into them when under stress….like say, during a pandemic. These associations further create a certain “state” of being. Ie. You feel at ease when that first sip of coffee hits your lips in the morning or you know that ice cream will “soothe” you. It’s not that the coffee has started to work yet or that the ice cream has crawled up and given you a hug, they are simply associated states that our brains have created. 

So, to move out of your current state of mind, you may need to literally distract yourself from letting that happen by changing the room you’re sitting in and turning on some classical. You could get up and go for a walk instead of mindlessly walking to the pantry or fridge. Or maybe you start drinking more coffee to create a chemical stimulation and keep yourself moving constantly. 

Take a quick second to think about your associations or maybe what it is you need to un-associate. If these associations aren’t working for you, try to change the narrative in which your brain is using to associate items. Turn on some classical or jazz, spice up your morning routine with a special drink like golden milk or a chai latte, or start to look at what you believe to be true in nutrition and dieting and research them. 

If you would like more information on nutritional counseling or how I could help you change your brain, give me a shout HERE.