Is Your Brain Wired For Success?

You know that feeling -- that feeling when you're just getting into a good "fitness" groove and whammo! Life throws something at you that completely mucks up the works -- maybe it's a busy summer or a vacation or someone getting sick or work getting crazier than usual or knee/foot/back/hip pain -- whatever it is, doesn't it always seem to happen?! The thing is, there is ALWAYS something and there will always BE something. That, my friend, is life.

And we blame whatever thing popped up this time for our "falling off track again".

But the truth is, it's not life throwing shit in our way that determines whether we're successful or not--it's how our brains are wired to handle it.

That's a huge distinction that's unbelievably empowering because it teaches us that we don't have to be unwilling victims to our circumstances.

No matter what is going on around you, you and you alone have the power to decide whether or not you allow it to derail your goals for ourselves/our bodies.

Now, I say that as someone who HAS allowed life to derail her on numerous occasions so it's not a judgment or meant to be critical--sometimes we're just trying to survive the best we can and weight goals (or whatever) need to be put on the backburner for a few days/weeks/whatever. It happens.

BUT sometimes (most times) we just flat out cave because it's literally how our brains are programmed.

It's all we know.

I've been learning a lot about the brain as it relates to our thoughts and habits. The thing about the brain is--when it's presented with a problem, say you start trying to lose weight and everyone in the house gets sick (because this happens in my house often) it looks for a quick solution.

When the brain is presented with a problem its entire goal is to look for the quickest, easiest, solution. That means it stops putting energy into anything new and different you're trying to do because that's just too draining. It immediately focuses all its energy on the task at hand--quick and easy solution for survival.

Any new goals or habits we set become completely unimportant because falling back into old habits and running on autopilot is easiest and the brain wants easy!

That's not being lazy or a failure or screwing up, that's literally our brains doing what they're programmed to do to keep us alive. And every time our brains "solve a problem" with quick and easy, it creates and wires new neurons associated with that problem so that the next time that problem presents itself, it can quickly scan its neurons for the solution and run with it instantly -- autopilot, basically.

Here's how that looks:

Brain: "Uh oh... i'm super overwhelmed and exhausted because the kid was up coughing all night and if I have to listen to one more cough I'm going to LOSE IT!... need a solution to cope NOW!"

*searches neurons for solution that's been used in the past to deal with exhaustion, etc*

"OHHH... there it is... comfort fooooood... ahhhhh..." (or wine or whatever your brain has been programmed to solve problems with)

And thus, the best dieting intentions in the world are derailed, not because you're weak or lack willpower or anything of the sort, but because your brain is responding on autopilot with how it's been programmed and actually WIRED for often decades, to respond.

That's just one example but it applies to literally everything in your life.

The good news is that in the same way those neurons were created, you can create new ones and actually REWIRE your brain with new, better solutions to those problems for it to rely on.

  • First, mindfulness. It takes noticing and stopping the old patterns when they occur so you can begin to create the new ones and it takes time because we typically have years/decades of old wiring to replace. The space between noticing the trigger and your reaction is where new decisions are made and new habits are created. That's the magic zone, right there. This is why I always say how important those little, tiny, wins and baby steps are, especially during the times that life is working is against us. All those tiny little baby steps towards creating new ways to respond are helping to create new neurons because you're not trying to stop old habits, you're rewiring your brain by creating new ones.

  • Meditation can be a massive gamer changer as well because it puts you in an elevated state of awareness and teaches you the freedom to decide how to use your emotions.

  • Forcing some type of movement every day can also make a huge difference because it teaches your brain to get used to enduring resistance.

It IS possible AND you don't have to do it alone. One of the best ways to start to rewire those habits is having someone like me in your corner because life will never remind you why you're doing this or that you need to be working on rewiring... but a coach will.

Think of going it alone like continually going down the wrong path because it's the way you've always gone versus having a tour guide stop you from going any further on that one and pointing you back in the direction of the right one. Email me if you need help.

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About The Author

Roni Davis
Cognitive Eating Founder

Writer, Producer, Host - It's All In Your Head Podcast

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Roni Davis spent over two decades struggling with weight, food (mindless, emotional and binge eating), an eating disorder, depression, panic attacks, and an anxiety disorder. She's also been a nationally qualified champion figure athlete, written for bodybuilding websites, was featured in a national fitness magazine, by and spent almost a decade helping people transform their bodies as an award-winning personal trainer and nutrition and wellness coach.


After over two decades of her own personal weight & food struggles and almost a decade in the weight loss/fitness industry, Roni left the fitness industry and bundled everything she learned from her own recovery, from her time as a trainer & nutrition & wellness coach with everything she learned in her mindfulness-based cognitive behavior coach training, to create Cognitive Eating.  This allows her to guide and support people to live healthier lives through behavior and habit modification at the brain level, where it counts and will actually stick.

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NOTE: While counselors or therapists often use CBT to deal with mental illness or a patient’s mental/emotional conditions and/or processing trauma, MBCT & cognitive eating does not. My roll as a coach, in its most simple form, is to encourage, coach and/or act as a facilitator of a client’s self-reflection, decision making, planning for the future, and creating life changes. As an MBCT & cognitive eating coach, I am obligated to refer clients in need of mental or physical health therapy to an appropriate licensed professional.  

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