Wanting does not always = Liking
You can want things you don’t like. You can want to do things you don’t enjoy. You can want to be around someone you can’t stand. And you can want to eat something that doesn’t even taste that good, and will leave you feeling like crap.
When I first grasped this idea, it blew my mind.
The difference, my dudes, is in the brain chemicals. Dopamine is often misunderstood as a “happy” chemical. That’s not quite true. It can be a precursor to happiness, but it’s actually the desire chemical. The wanting chemical. And it’s incredibly powerful. Powerful enough that we can be trained by others or by our own subconscious to want things we don’t like. Like eating tons of candy. Or gambling. Or constantly checking social media. Or SHOPPING (*gasps*). All perhaps things we never actually really enjoy in the moment, and even worse, leave us feeling like crap afterwards.
Dopamine is not serotonin. Dopamine is not oxytocin.
And that means brains are weird. Because wanting does not always = liking.
For me it was booze. As you can see at the top left of this post, it started to have it’s effect by late 2018. I was starting to get… fluffy. Despite being a workout warrior I couldn’t out run or out lift those dead, drinkable calories, which were often piggybacked by pizza deliveries to the front door. Being that alcohol is an addictive chemical like nicotine, I was having a hard time kicking it.
Now I look like this:
The proof is in the pudding. And thanks to simply questioning my automatic, lizard-brain behavior every once in a while (about booze, junk food, etc.) I have a lot less pudding around my midsection.
Also, I feel a lot better.
I know this post doesn’t have a ton to do with clothes. And perhaps you think it’s total nonsense. But clothes are a means to an end. And I hope that the next time you assume you like something that’s not doing you any good and you don’t actually enjoy, you stop and at least ask yourself if you do, truly, like the thing that you’re doing. And if the answer is no, then don’t feel so bad about not giving into that desire. Because you’re not missing out on anything of value anyway.
For those of you who want to take a gander at a few of the resources that helped me change my mindset on wanting vs. liking, check out: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, This Naked Mind by Annie Grace, the Headspace Meditation App and the “Cravings” pack specifically, and the Art of Manliness Post: Unlocking the Science of Habits.