I just came home from Weight Watchers (only 4 lbs from goal weight) and imagine my surprise when the topic was about Hedonistic Eating. Hedonistic???? Never heard that word used with eating disorders before. Interestingly, hedonistic eating comes from our brains and our “eating memories.” Ever thought that your memory cataloged eating experiences? According to Dr. Oz, “ it’s out-of-control, hedonistic eating (that often comes from your food memory), where we eat every cookie in the bag because they look good and taste even better. It’s a craving—and usually for something that’s starchy, sugary, salty, or loaded with fat. ” It’s having just eaten a large meal, knowing you’re full, but walking past the pastry table and needing to having one or two more desserts.

Weight Watchers is performing a lot of research into our brains and how they control our eating habits. But how do we break this cycle? By reprogramming our brains. By following another behavior over and over and then that becomes the norm rather than the exception. My leader used the new year as an example. How many checks will we write that have 2012 on them rather than 2013? At some point, we no longer automatically use 2012 and put 2013 without thinking about it. We have reprogrammed our memories with new information that becomes the norm.

If our brains are so flexible and so teachable, doesn’t it make sense that we might be able to “reprogram” to take up old tasks in the case of stroke, auditory processing issues and aging? Fortunately, there is a lot of focus being put on the brain and its capabilities and we will begin to understand and use it to our best advantages. We only need to live long enough.