Inner Hard Drives

Back in early 2001 a poster on a lowcarb form I participated in wrote what I thought was a stunning analogy about her inner self:

We are in the process of networking our computers at work. I know very little about this, but I overheard my boss having a conversation with the “computer guy” about running two hard drives at the same time. If one crashed, the other could kick in. 

Later that day, one of my co-workers walked by my desk. She had a handful of Hershey’s Kisses and was eating them. She wasn’t trying to tempt me. She didn’t even realize that it bothered me. 

What was so unnerving was the level it bothered me. I was not hungry at all. I was not under any stress. I had not been feeling particularly deprived lately. But, BAM. I had to use a tremendous amount of control to keep from eating some. I knew from reading the posts here that I had the “choice”. I did not succumb, and the desire left after about 15 minutes. I started analyzing in my mind what happened.

I thought about the computer conversation. I realized I have two hard drives in my mind. They record the same info each day. One is the emotional hard drive; one is the reasoning or intellectual HD. All along I have believed they were running the same software. But, no. I also believed the intellectual HD was the stronger of the two. But, absolutely no. I found myself thinking that it wasn’t fair. I should be able to eat like “normal” people. Why, I bet I could eat some of that candy and be just fine. Just like her. This emotional hard drive was overpowering. In the background the other HD was sending weakly. “No. you know that is not true. You know why.”  I forced the emotional side to turn off. But it was hard. 

I haven’t had such strong impulses since. But, I need to figure out how to re-program the emotional  HD. I’m puzzled because I really like this WOE. I don’t dream about being able to go back to “normal” eating. I know this will be what I do from now on. But, evidently there is part of me that has not signed on yet.

What a fantastic analogy! Did you know that when a computer system has two hard drives, one is assigned as the MASTER and the other the slave?

Applying that analogy to myself, I’d say that when I decided to eat clean 24-7-365 (in late November, 1998), I “demoted” my emotional hard drive (EHD) from any food decision-making power.  It’s now second banana, I made that one the slave.  Oh, the EHD is still in there making itself known, occasionally trying to interfere with the intellectual hard drive (IHD), a little jealous that it no longer gets the upper hand—ever.

That same decision assigned IHD to MASTER status (heck, it’s always been the stronger, more reliable drive), and since being given that master status, it has blossomed with its now virtually unhindered ability to navigate me through this part, the eating part, of my life.  My IHD makes me plan ahead and stay prepared to swiftly thwart any attempts by the EHD to stage a hostile takeover.  The IHD is by far the superior strategist.

The other surprising thing about the two hard drives is that now that my EHD is out of the food-deciding part of my life, that drive has been freed up to do what it’s better suited to do—to feel and deal with all kinds of feelings, a lot of the stuff in my life that I had been neglecting because I was too busy distracting myself with mood-altering eating and the physical problems I had from those eating decisions.

And just as an aside, wasn’t it your emotional hard drive that made you choose the words “I can’t have” what’s fair?  My IHD MASTER drive uses the term “I don’t eat” what’s my EHD calls not fair.

I would call the results I get and the life I am leading by leading with my master IHD more than fair.