I had this bad habit of enjoying peanut M&M’s far too much. “The person who invented chocolate and peanuts is a genius,” I’d say to myself while chomping down on this delicious combination while watching a movie. Peanut M&M’s and movies on Netflix or in the cinema are a perfect match. Incidentally, my father shares this same weakness. Peanut M&M’s are the reason I love Halloween so much. My kids just know that when they walk through the door on October 31st and empty out the pillow case of candy, the peanut M&M’s go to me.
A few weekends ago I took part in a course (Neurolinguistic Programming) and one of the challenges was to change an undesirable behaviour. I chose giving up peanut M&M’s. The instructor asked me if I was sure I wanted to give them up since once I’d done the exercise, I probably wouldn’t ever want to eat them again. I was sceptical but I said yes. After all, I know what they taste like. They aren’t anything new or exciting. Binging on peanut M&M’s is simply a bad habit and an unhealthy sugar addiction.
As I sat in the comfy recliner chair and relaxed, I was asked to think of food I didn’t like. I imagined runny egg yolk. Peanut M & M’s covered in egg yolk didn’t work. Then I thought, “vomit.” That should work. But it didn’t. I could still imagine eating peanut M&M’s covered in vomit. I was asked to think of the worse thing I could eat. Cockroaches, I thought. Not the small kind found in infested apartments in North America. No. I’m talking the big ones that fly in from outside. Big tropical cockroaches that when squashed, a nasty yellow oozing mess comes out of them. That did the trick. In this course, eating peanut M&M’s was linked in my mind to eating huge cockroaches.
The test came that night. There was the bag of peanut M&M’s on the dresser. My husband and I settled in bed for a late night movie. He reached for the bag and offered it to me. I declined, completely repulsed. He crunched away with the bag between us. “That’s wicked,” I said. He moved the bag to the other side of himself and continued to munch on them. “Perhaps I could pop one in my mouth,” I thought. I looked at the bag. It was easy to reach for one, but I could not, simply would not put the M & M in my mouth. It was no longer a peanut M&M. It was a big crunchy cockroach.
That’s what the mind is capable of, more powerful than we can ever imagine. What obstacles do you want to overcome?