LGN 74.1: Equilibrium

Inside: You are not your brain; Want now; Petroleum and carbohydrates

Home sick today. Not illness sick, but took one too many pills sick. I took two Benadryl type pills last night. Intense dizziness. Check. Drowsiness. Check. (24 hours later and I can finally walk in a straight line again.)

I’ve been watching PBS health specials. So informative. I wish I could convince loved ones to watch them, though. The info is spot on, y’know, and puts health and diet in perspective. I just watched “Super Brain with Dr. Rudy Tanzi”. It resonates with me.

Why am I craving cherry tomatoes?

EQUILIBRIUM

“You are not your brain. You are the user of your brain. Use your mind to take charge of your brain.”

Reptilian brain – about 300 million years old. Instinctive brain. Feeding, fighting, fleeing, reproduction.

Limbic (emotional brain) – about 100 million years old. Emotions and short term memory.

Neocortex (intellectual brain) – about 4 million years old. Intellect. Long term memories, plan and predict, reasonable and rational, free will.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Some people live in one part of their brains. They’re dominated by one aspect and are controlled by it. You may know or be a very emotional person. People who are driven by emotional ups and downs and, in a way, loving it because it feels like something is happening. Because it feels like a rich life, experiencing emotions strongly all the time.  It’s addictive.  “This must be real because it hurts so much (or feels so good (or both)).”

Some people are very intellectual and they will think and reason their way through life. You know or maybe are the type. People who use their intellect as a bludgeon or all-in-one tool.  They can reason their way to any conclusion and may think that any conclusion reached through a logical process must be truth or superior.  They may look down on others who don’t have the flavor of intelligence that they respect or wield.

Obviously, we’re all somewhere on the spectrum and we vacillate day to day or hour to hour, but there are some who are very dominant one way or another.

I want to repeat the following because it’s so powerful to me:

“You are not your brain. You )are the user of your brain. Use your mind to take charge of your brain.”

In one word, the way to take charge of your brain is by being mindful. The brain is plastic and dynamic and flexible. Basically, what you do determines the structure and function of your brain.

Photo Jun 20, 9 24 49 AM

This is for better and for worse. You can ingrain bad habits. You can ingrain good habits. You can turn your brain into a machine of misery and woe. Or you can turn your brain into a tool for achievement, exploration and constructive productivity.

In short, what you do determines the kind of brain you will have. Negative and complaining? Positive and creating?

I definitely spend a lot more energy than I’d like using my rational brain to manage the expectations and wants of my emotional and lizard brains.

Patience, my pet. Patience.

Your history is not your destiny. You are not your brain. You are not your habits. You are not your problems. You are not your weight. You are not your age. You are not your job. You are not your possessions. You are not where you’ve been. You are not your heartache. You are not a sum of your wounds and victimizations.

Sooooo… what are you? Who are you?

That’s powerful mojo.

GO, TEAM!

I’m proud of my mother. She started going to the gym. It’s great to see the family starting to believe. (Hear “starting to believe” the way Morpheus said it in “The Matrix”.)

And there’s effort to clean up the eating in the family. Some relatives out in Indiana are trying to get the Baltimore-centered family to read “Wheat Belly”.

Every time we get off the couch and get out and do something it’s a win. Every false start is a warm up for the next start that can turn into a lifestyle.

THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY

You ever get that feeling like you want it now? I know you do. You workout, you train, you run or whatever outside of the gym. You’re eating pretty healthily, relatively speaking, and you’re even making progress. Clothes are looser. But damn it, you want it now. Not in months or a year.

I fell off the wagon a little bit recently. Every now and then I get low or there’s some subconscious stress and things will get out of whack. Schedule gets thrown off, routine gets thrown off. Next think you know I’m eating a sandwich. Or ordering a pizza.

Then that’s just a cycle.

The world runs on carbs. I get it.  It’s inexpensive fuel.  Not the best, most well balanced fuel.  But yeh.  It can make you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth if you’re not paying attention.

When I used to go to Cosi’s I would order a sandwich and they’d ask me which side I wanted: potato chips or an apple. Order a soup and they ask you what kind of bread you want with it. That’s how fast food places do. Order fries at Five Guys and you get, like, a brown paper grocery bag full of oily french fries. Order breakfast at IHOP. Want a healthy omelet? That’s cool. What would you like with that? Hash browns, home fries, pancakes? Don’t order a pizza, but if you do they’ll try to sell you breadsticks, sugar coated breadsticks, cheese bread and of course soda.

Oh, I’ll have the chicken.

Good choice, sir. Would you like a truck full of rice with that?

Uh … no?

A loaf of bread?

An entire loaf? I don’t think that will be–

Pasta?

As a side?

Eat the carbs!

No! I don’t want them.

Eat it!

No! No I won’t!

Fine, sir. I understand. I’ll just leave a dessert menu.

Oh well. Time to get back on it in earnest. It feels good to make progress so I know what I need to do. Time to clean out the fridge, I s’pose. Again.

“Don’t give up just before you win.”

Want now.

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