Greed and Peanuts
Posted by: Stephen Rigby at 11:40, March 11 2016.

You have probably done the same: you are invited to dinner with friends and during the pre dinner drinks a dish of peanuts attracts your attention.  You take a few, then a few more, then a few more and before you know it you have “overdosed” on peanuts!  Is that greed?

Greedy Lady?

One day I purchased a rather indulgent brioche which was layered through with an almond paste.  At the checkout I was served by a rather overweight lady who commented that she could not buy this particular item because she would eat it all in one sitting.  I told her that the solution was to put the brioche in a cupboard and only take one slice to the table at a time, replacing the remaining loaf back in the cupboard.  This is a technique that is scientifically proven to reduce the quantity of any food one eats (cutting the loaf into single slices and deep freezing each one separately would work even better).  Her response was telling “I could not do that because I would know where it is and know that I would get bored of doing that so I would take it all with me to the table”.  Is this behaviour greed?

Are You Greedy?

Aimlessly eating peanuts at a party may be considered to be slightly different to consciously ensuring that a whole loaf of brioche is within easy reach but each of these behaviours could be said to be an example of greed – it all comes down to intent and awareness.  The intent may be obvious – enjoyment of something that tastes nice.  Eating a few peanuts too many or a whole brioche, as single incidents, will not normally have any long term consequences but doing it every day will.  We all know the consequence of constantly over eating is getting fat.  A definition of greed might be: to gratify the desire to experience something whilst ignoring the negative consequence of that action.    

I frequently hear my weight loss clients say things like “I cannot have just one piece of chocolate – I have to eat the whole bar!”  The chocolate is really just the tip of the iceberg (the part they can identify).  This usually indicates a general behaviour of self indulgence.  An excuse of “I cannot stop eating”, really means “I will satisfy my need for self gratification and ignore the consequences”.  This is greed.

Have You Lost Contact With Your Stomach?

We all enjoy eating things that taste nice but for most people the consumption of a whole brioche loaf layered through with almond paste would make them feel ill and would not be something remembered as enjoyable.  Something kicks in telling one that enjoyment has stopped and one stops eating.  People with a weight problem quite frequently have lost the ability to recognise when their body is telling them they have eaten too much and they become trapped in a cycle of excess.

Stop Trying to Lose, Start Controlling

Most people talk about “losing weight” but a short period of restricting ones eating does not resolve a cycle of excess.  One has to take control of ones weight and to control ones weight one must break the cycle of excess and learn to listen to ones body again.  Control also requires learning to understand the emotions that cause one to overeat (e.g. why the lady at the checkout would take a loaf of brioche to the table knowing she would eat it all).  Using hypnotherapy to learn how to control ones weight is not magic and requires some effort but those who come to me for hypnotherapy to control weight usually tell me that the process I take them through enables them to enjoy food more but eat less of it.  Breaking the cycle of excess enables ones body to find its healthy level.