The Sun Gap
A Vital Piece of The Puzzle in Reclaiming Your Life From Food
The Sun Gap is a very useful concept in stopping food from being your life manager.
Imagine all your goals for this work as the solar system. The most fundamental goal is to stop or reduce chaotic eating. This is the sun.
Around this sun goal sit others, that are linked to it. For example:
Go to the gym more consistently
Increase body confidence
These are secondary goals. They are planets.
The important thing to realise is this:
Your planetary goals may either contribute to, or happen as a result of, achieving the sun goal of reducing chaotic eating. However, this does not happen simultaneously. It takes time.
This is The Sun Gap - the fact that there is a gap between achieving the sun goal of less chaotic eating and achieving the secondary, planetary targets.
Why The Sun Gap Exists
You experience The Sun Gap not because this challenge is too hard for you.
Not because you deserve to live in struggle
Not because life has to be hard.
It has nothing to do with you as an individual. It is a built-in feature of being a human being.
The Sun Gap happens because the brain hates change. Or rather, cavebrain hates change.
Cavebrain is the ancient, tribal, primitive part of your brain responsible for saving you if it feels you are under threat. You can find out more in this episode about cavebrain
It sees any new routine that challenges the coping mechanism of chaotic eating as a threat.
And so it will probably create discomfort initially.
What all this means is that the tools and strategies we agree on in sessions can feel uncomfortable initially. You may well want to self-sabotage.
This discomfort may surface as self-attack:
I just can’t keep this up
It all seems too hard
I’ve been compulsive for too long
This is a lie.
Your job when you feel this discomfort is to weather it out, to put up with it and carry on taking as many of the actions we agree on in sessions as you can.
Then at some point cavebrain will see that the healthier breakfast that kills your cravings hasn’t actually killed you.
At some point it will see that going swimming liked you planned is not the deadly threat it feared.
That the mortality rate for meditation is not actually 100%
The meal planning does not mean certain death.
The discomfort of The Sun Gap is temporary. You just need to keep going with the changes to prove to cavebrain that they are safe.
How To Keep Going During The Sun Gap
Cravings Busters - make sure you have tried out all these Cravings Busters - it is much easier to not give in to your urges to eat chaotically if you do something else.
Rewards - what can you offer yourself in return for going for that run like you planned? Check out The 5 Minute Reward section in the Cravings Busters page for ideas
The “just for 5 minutes” rule - Tell cavebrain not to worry - you’re only going to the gym / meal planning / looking in meetup.com for 5 minutes. Of course once you have started it is easier to continue.
The Either/Or Question - Ask yourself: Which is more important to me - getting out of exercise/meal planning/meetups ( or whatever you are resisting) ...or getting my life back?
Music - energetic music really gives us an extra spurt of motivation. I was surprised at how much I loved the gym yesterday when I swapped listening to podcasts for listening to The Sex Pistols!
An Extra Check In - message me telling me that you are resisting doing X but you are committing to it anyway. Then message me when you have done it.
Theta Instructions - if you have not done these, you will soon!
Pure Distraction - what can you do to distract yourself from thinking about this struggle altogether? We can discuss in coaching. Here is a page of comedy videos to get you started!
The Jeff Bezos Regret Question
Free Hidden Sugars Checklist
- The 6 main offenders in virtually every health food store
- 42 other 'fake healthy' sweeteners
- The 'health' drink that is more harmful than Coke
- Which alternatives are OK in moderation
- Why you should avoid artificial sweeteners
- all on 1 handy page to print and stick on your fridge