I remember watching several commercials for chocolate chip cookies as a child. I always saw a mother baking chocolate chip cookies for her children; my mom did not bake unless it was a holiday. The children would come home from school and their mom would be there with milk and cookies waiting to hear about their day.
I never had such an experience as a child.
I grew up in a single-parent household and when I got off the school bus and arrived at home, my mom was still at work. I would arrive every day to an empty house, lock the door and put on the television. At three o’clock in the afternoon there were cartoons on, kids programming and the like, full of commercial breaks for the hottest new toys, games and snacks to buy for your lunchbox. Of course, advertisers showed these commercials during times when kids are watching and will relentlessly bug their parents to buy them everything they saw advertised.
No matter how loud the television was or how entertaining the show, the house still felt empty and I still felt lonely. Then, low and behold, that chocolate chip cookie commercial came on and I so desperately wanted to feel the same emotional connection, I began to raid the cupboards and pantry on a daily basis to find some kind of similar, emotional connection through the food we had in our house, since we did not buy junk food.
At some point in my childhood, I made a connection to chocolate chip cookies and milk, assuming that if I had them in my life, I would feel the same warmth and comfort as the kids in the commercial did from their television mom. To this day, after battling morbid obesity for seventeen years, dropping 120 pounds in 2007 and maintaining my weight loss, I can honestly tell you the only connection hidden inside that cookie is the serotonin boost in our brains from the sugar dispensed from its contents – that’s it.
It took me years to figure out that I wanted in my life wasn’t hidden in the foods I was gorging myself on, but rather the people in my life that I had grown so distracted from and to whom I isolated and paid little attention. My mom and I now have a great relationship and we have for years – but it was not until I discovered how to think for myself, to lift the veil of ad campaigns to see what was actually being sold and decided based on my own wants and desires without being impressed by outside sources, what I truly desired as and for my life.
What are you hungry for?
Johnny Potrekus, Msc.M
Personal Development Coach
©Johnny Potrekus. 2014. All Rights Reserved.