Dumbo was really having trouble flying. Too fat! So he did what everyone does, he tried to lose weight

He tried to do it himself. He went to weight watches. He tried Jenny Craig. He tapped danced.

All to no avail.

Now we all know Dumbo is pink. We all know that thinking about pink elephants is dangerous. So during this talk, by the way, please don’t think of pink elephants. It could be dangerous to your health.

So Dumbo just gave up. He said if I can’t lose weight I just might as well eat myself to death. So he ate and ate and ate and pretty soon he couldn’t even fly to the Seven Eleven for his Ben and Jerry’s Double Chocolate Deep Fudge Brownie German Chocolate with Triple Mocca. So he had to walk to the store. He bought the ice cream, and came home. You know what? He didn’t want to eat it. He felt disgusted. He was surprised. To feel better he thought he would read. He happened to have his handy dandy collected works of Siggy Freud and he opened it at random and low and behold it said : "The mind does not admit to negatives." So he became mesmerized by this thought and had this insight: He figured that is why he was not losing weight; that he was thinking to much about it!--- That is if you tell the mind not to do something it is going to do it--- He saw that the more he thought about not eating the more he wanted to eat. Once he stopped thinking about it there came a point where he hit a brick wall and you know what happens when pink elephants hit walls? They break! He had a break through! He found that at this point the only thing to do was to think of why he was eating in the first place.

A guy named Silvan S. Tomkins, had a break through, he came up with the idea that all emotions are tracable back to 9 organ like centers in our brain. He gave these centers the names: Interest, Joy, Surprise, Anger, Fear, Distress, Disgust, Dissmell and Shame.

The different ways in which we respond to, especially the negative emotions , we in this business call "Scripts." They are how we learn from an early age to deal with emotional hurt and turmoil. A psychiatrist named Donald Nathanson says we do one of four things: We; Withdraw, Attack Other, Attack Self, or Avoid. Now we in this business consider overeating an avoidance. Dumbo stumbled on these truths by himself(and I use the word stumbled figuratively because we know what happens when elephants actually stumble).

So Dumbo worked and worked on why he was feeling so distressed, and angry, and fearful, and he found out that just by thinking about these things he felt better and with only this effort he started losing weight. So he could fly again. Now being able to fly. He had a brilliant idea. He could open his own weight loss centers and could do his own flying banner adds and low and behold he now he has franchises in 50 cities.

So my friend, if you are doing something that you feel is not a good activity. Smoking, eating, drinking, even looking to hard for a mate or trying to get a job and you are failing at it. Take a deep breath. Do an affective checkup. See if you can find patterns tracing the feeling to the action and the consequences. Do think positive. Do get interested in yourself. Don’t tell yourself not to do things. Tell yourself to do things and you will achieve your goal.

Now I told you at the beginning NOT to think of pink elephants and I am sure you haven’t.


A discussion of these ideas can be found at Affect and Script Theory.

Brian Lynch,M.D.

Brian Lynch,M.D.

Do you want to lose weight?


On Death and Dying

It's The Little Things(coming soon)

SHAME AND PRIDE: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self, DonaldL. Nathanson.

Silvan S. Tomkins: ACI

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