How NOT to Think [about Polar bears] – (Vegans Made Simple Part 7)

Have you ever made a concerted effort to NOT think about a Polar Bear?

Like every day? 

Multiple times?

Sticky note reminder on the bathroom mirror.

Do NOT think about Polar Bears.

Sign on the Fridge.

Do not THINK about Polar Bears.

Reminder message on the home screen of your phone.

Do not think about POLAR BEARS.

Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.

The above quote is from Fyodor Dostoevky’s 1863 “Winter Notes on Summer Impressions.” 

(In the early 1980’s, I was a Russian Major and I get a charge if I can get a Russian cultural reference into the blog.)

So what have Polar Bears got to do with reducing or eliminating animal products?

When we first try to go Plant Based, many of us are trying all day long NOT to think about the animal products we have traditionally built our diets around.

  • No meat.
  • No eggs.
  • No dairy.
  • No fish.
  • No Polar Bears.

It is a recipe (LOL) for feelings of deprivation.  

Psychology researchers have examined this “White Bear Problem,” also called the Ironic Process Theory.  In a nutshell, they found that individuals actively trying NOT to think of something end up thinking of it more often.  


Can we file that under, no s#!%, Sherlock?

If you’re struggling to start or maintain a Plant Based Vegan diet, you may find yourself fixated on all the foods you are trying NOT to eat.

Instead, make sure that you are focused on 

what you DO want to eat 

Sometimes, when faced with an animal product that seems very enticing, you might even allow the possibility that you could have it if you make the conscious decision later on.  

Saying out loud, “I CAN’T have it,” makes you sound like a victim. 

Of course you COULD have it, but you are choosing other options, because the hero of our story makes deliberate and thoughtful choices.

I’m talking about you, Hero. 

With the Vedge Your Best coaching process, we support our clients as they learn the skills and thought-shifts that make eating Plant Based easy.

Instead of what you CAN’T eat, you think about all the things you GET to eat.  You keep yourself rested and nourished to help you make your choices from the most intentional and powerful part of your brain.

And if those Polar Bear thoughts are sometimes intrusive and you make a choice that isn’t in support of your Plant-Based plans, you just make the next best decision – you Vedge Your Best.  

Vegans aren’t perfect people and you don’t become a practicing Vegan by making perfect choices. 

You become a practicing Vegan by…. practicing.

Spoiler alert: the skills you practice and learn going Plant-Based or Vegan will supercharge your skills in any endeavor.  Because no matter what goal you have, there will be Polar Bear thoughts.  

I created the Vedge Your Best coaching process specifically to help my clients painlessly and happily transition to a Plant-Based or Vegan diet.  If you think it’s hard, I understand.  Ironically, I used to think I could never commit to a Vegan Diet until I stopped thinking that thought. 

And now it’s easy.

To discuss your goals, email me today at info@micheleolendercoaching.com and we can set up a time to talk about how the Vedge Your Best coaching process can work for you.

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