Behind Every Human Action there is a Positive Intent – Even Suicide

The nation is shocked and saddened by the apparent suicide death of comic genius, Robin Williams. Many people are asking, “why?”

I don’t know the particulars, but I know why. Dying either gave Williams something he wanted and needed or it enabled him to escape an unbearable pain. Whatever prompted him to do what he did, there was a positive intent.

Suicide is an extreme example of “the positive intent behind every human action,” but some people are adversely affecting their health and quality of life by repeating actions that result in obesity.

Understanding this human motivator is helpful when it comes to understanding how we can want to weigh less, but fail to do the things that will bring us to the lower weight we want. Instead of doing what helps us to weigh less, we repeat behaviors that cause weight gain.

On the surface it makes no sense, and yet, it makes perfect sense. When we do things that are contrary to our weight-related goals those actions are not a conscious decision to make or keep us fat.

We don’t think about how our actions affect our weight until later. We might briefly consider our weight, but at the moment our weight isn’t as important as getting something we want or need right now, or escaping pain right now.

She's in pain and she wants to relieve the pain. For her, overeating isn't a self-destructive action, it's a way to escape pain. Her means of escape will cause her more pain but she's not thinking about that now...

She’s in emotional pain and she wants to relieve the pain. For her, overeating isn’t a self-destructive action, it’s a way to escape pain. Her means of escape will cause her more pain but she’s not thinking about that now…

These aren’t excuses, laziness or weakness. It’s a failure to align weight related actions with what we want, need and what causes us pain.

It takes work to train the brain to think, “what are all the things I want and how do I get them all?” Many of us think, “what do I want now and if it means giving up something I want (later) to get it, then that’s what I’ll do. We think we can “worry about later, later.”

We can train our minds to think differently. We can learn how to identify all that we want and discover our inner resources of imagination and creativity, among other things, to get it all.

I want to:
1) Maintain a healthy weight
2) Eat food I love
3) Be able to do this without inconvenience or major disruption to my life

These three “wants” look to be so incompatible as to be impossible. If you believe these to be conflicting statements, you’re right. They are and you’ll never be able to get all three “wants.

Think this: I can’t eat what I love and maintain my weight and I certainly can’t do the first two at the same time without causing major conflicts with my lifestyle.

Gets you this: I can’t keep my weight within a healthy range for me.

Think this: It’s within my power to eat what I love, maintain my weight, and do both with just little changes in my habits and lifestyle.

Gets you this: I reached and am maintaining a healthy weight for me and it feels (and tastes!) good!

She found that spending time in pleasant company is a more powerful pain reliever than overeating, and its residual aftereffects helps her move closer to her weight-related goals.

She found that spending time in pleasant company is a more powerful pain reliever than overeating, and its residual aftereffects help her move closer to her weight-related goals.

Tomorrow I’ll explain how to align your thinking patterns to enable you to eat what you love, maintain your weight, and make it work with your current lifestyle.
Clue: It doesn’t include “never eating these 5 foods!”

 

 

 

 

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.