The Permission Snowball

November 22, 2021

How permission gets away from us and what to do about it!

There’s a not-so-fun little phenomenon I like to call the permission snowball.

It comes from UNPLANNED permission.

It starts pretty small and harmless…like a fun little snowball. You let yourself have an “exception eat”…something not normally on your protocol. (Your protocol is the healthy foods you’ve chosen to live from on a daily basis). 

Maybe this exception was planned, maybe it wasn’t. Either way, it’s your little permission snowball. You eat it and enjoy it. No harm done.

BUT…(and it’s a big but)…then you want more. Or you want something else

Your P Brain (primitive brain) wakes up and says, “Waaait a minute! You let us eat THAT? Let’s have a little of THIS too!”

“Oh we’re eating SUGAR today?? Let’s do it right then!”

And here comes the parade of justifying thoughts:

“Just one more.”

“What the heck, we’re off plan so might as well have that too.”

“And what about THIS? Did you remember those were in the cupboard?”

“It’s FREE day! What else can we have?!”

And before you know it your little snowball is careening down the hill into a giant out of control BOULDER. 

Your brain slides into a “last supper” mentality telling you tomorrow ALL permission will be revoked so live it up NOW!

Sound familiar? Yeah, me too.

So when this happens, how do you stop the avalanche?

Here are 3 steps to help you squelch the snowball and take back control:


The first step, and this truly is the most important part, is to RECOGNIZE the permission snowball is happening and where that voice is coming from. 

When we get into this “feeding frenzy” it’s because we’ve slipped into our “animal” brain…the survival part of our brain that just wants as much food as possible because it tastes good and keeps us alive. Your P Brain doesn’t know that more food will be available later today or tomorrow. It honestly doesn’t know OR care as It can only see about 5 minutes into the future.

All of these sentences running through your brain sound like a good idea because you think it’s YOUR idea. 

But it’s not. It’s your P BRAIN wanting more and more dopamine. Remember, your P Brain thinks whatever feels the best in the moment is what will keep you alive. So it lures you back into your urges and your old way of thinking and eating because in the MOMENT it feels good and it’s easier. Our primitive brains love what’s easy!


As soon as you recognize this is happening, you have a choice. 

You can stay in your P Brain and let it take control, OR, you can shift into your Higher Brain. The part of you who cares about your body and how you’ll feel tonight. The part that remembers and cares about your dreams and goals!

The Higher Brain is where the real you lives.

So how do you make this shift? You do it by remembering. REMEMBER you are in control. Not your P Brain. 

Remind yourself WHY you are choosing to change and what you want MORE than the down hill sleigh ride that ends in a crash at the bottom. 


REMOVE yourself out of your P Brain.

Of course your P Brain goes with you everywhere you go, but you can make a conscious choice to shift out of it and back into you.  

Physically walk away from the food. 

Remove yourself from the kitchen, the couch, the office break room, the buffet…wherever you are that’s stimulating thoughts to keep eating. Walk outside if you can and breathe in fresh air. Just physically getting up and moving to a new space can kick you back into consciousness because binges happen when we allow ourselves to go unconscious

Take a few breaths and become the watcher. Witness what’s happening in your brain right now.  Tell yourself what your brain is doing. You can watch with curiosity and humor once you’re on to your P Brain and separate yourself from it!


Once you’ve done these 3 steps…Recognize, Remember and Remove…you are now empowered to allow your urge. 

Allowing your urge to be with you means you aren’t obeying it, but you aren’t fighting against it either. Fighting only makes it grow stronger, so you just allow it to be with you without feeding it. Allow the feeling of DESIRE (which is all a craving or an urge is) to be in you and move through you. 

Notice where the desire is in your body. 

Notice what it feels like.

Keep doing whatever you need to do and just remind yourself this will pass and you can feel any emotion. It won’t kill you and it won’t hurt you.

It might feel uncomfortable…but you can feel discomfort. You really can. You don’t have to be afraid of it or feed it to make it go away.  Just allow the urge to be with you until it moves through you and dissipates.

Allowing the urge will kill the avalanche and put you back in control!


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