top of page

Are you Suffering from Slick Syndrome?

Are you Suffering from Slick Syndrome?
Are you Suffering from Slick Syndrome?

Photo by Casey DeViese on Unsplash

Some of you maybe familiar with the term slick. Others may not be familiar with the term, but I’m sure you can relate to the concept. I first came across this phrase at the Harvey Brooker Weight Loss Program for Men.

So What is Slick?

Slick is that voice in our head that creatively finds ways to rationalize the most irrational of behaviours.

The lower {reptilian} brain picks up on patterns and habits and fights to keep your habits alive too, because they help you temporarily feel better.

The Little Book of Big Change by Dr. Amy Johnson.

It seductively whispers permission statements such as:

  • “You deserve it”

  • “Start tomorrow/next week/next month”

  • “It’s a healthy chocolate bar”

  • “It’s a carrot bran muffin”

  • “It’s Uncle Lou’s birthday”

  • “Food eaten standing up does not count”

  • “One won’t hurt”

  • “It’s the Sabbath”

  • “One must have a cannoli with cappuccino, it says so in the Bible”

  • “It’s 30°C, I MUST consume ice cream”

  • “It’s a buffet; I just got to get my money’s worth”

My own personal slick voice is: “It’s free food; you have to eat it.”

Slick is the constant chatter of illogical thoughts such as:

  • “I’m not that overweight compared to some people”

  • “Healthy food is too expensive”

  • “I have a good medical plan so no need to worry if I get sick”

  • “I’ll just take additional meds to help manage my medical condition”

  • “If they amputate my leg, at least I have another one”

  • “It’s only one heart attack”

  • “It could be a lot worse”

  • “Nothing has happened (yet)”

Slick is a mischievous devil (or bastard, as we say at MODA); it can be dormant for an extended period of time, then pounce at the first favourable moment. Slick will seek out weak moments when we are exhausted, frustrated, anxious, scared, betrayed, lonely, sad, or looking for an occasion to celebrate. It tells us to reward ourselves with the same behaviours we are attempting to avoid.

In a recent workshop, several members shared their definition of slick

  • License Department to rationalization

  • Slick is a Con artist

  • The Impulsive Mind

  • A Sneak in my mind

  • Slick is a terrorist

  • The Undisciplined mind

  • Slick can impersonate other individuals

  • Slick is Apathy

  • Slick is Situational

  • Slick is a negotiator

  • Slick is the idea voice of being deprived

Slick loves to make us feel sorry for ourselves, with “poor me” statements, such as “Why me?” “Others can eat whatever they want. “This will make me feel better. “What did I do to deserve to be fat?” Even though many of us have so many things to be grateful for, we focus on a handful of challenges, some of which may be manufactured or exaggerated. Slick encourages us to have pity parties wallowing with negative attitudes, or stay in environments or relationships we know are unhealthy. That gives us further permission to stay in the same state.

Some Somewhat Surprising Slick Specifics I Have Stumbled Upon

Remarkably, every environment I have been in – both personally and professionally – seems to have a similar euphemism for this inner being that resides in us. We call it slick. Some have referred to it a devil, a furious bear, a beast, a creature, a lizard, the reptilian mind, the cunning mind, or an untamable lion. Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers, referred to it as her inner Frankenstein.

Eventually, I found a solution that tamed this creature inside… I had to stop eating my favourite foods, the ones that provided immediate relief: the doughnuts, the croissants, the ice cream. Just stop. Whenever I lapsed and tried to revert to what I thought of as the “common sense” notion, that I just needed to learn how to eat properly, I soon slipped back to the same obsessive unmanageability.

Dr. Vera Tarman

Food Junkies: Recovery From Food Addiction

Jean Nidetch had a word for foods so delicious they were especially hard to resist. They brought on a state of wanting so powerful she became an uncontrollable monster. Nidetch loved Mallomars so much she would lock herself in the bathroom and feed on them in secret and then hide the empty boxes in the laundry hamper.

Mark Schatzker

The Dorito Effect

What Have I Learned About Taming Slick?

First and most importantly, do not feed it. Every time we give in to slick, it serves as rocket fuel to ignite a further inferno of cravings and the illogical thoughts that go with it. In the addiction world, it is referred to as a smoldering campfire of ashes: just a little fuel (giving in to slick) will ignite a blaze of hunger and further irrational behaviours or thoughts.

And when you dismiss those urges without acting on them repeatedly, the urges eventually go away. The more you dismiss your urges, the faster they fade.

The Little Book of Big Change by Dr. Amy Johnson.

Does Slick Ever Go Away?

The short answer is no, not really. What we can achieve is to have it (slick) be very dormant. When I was morbidly obese, weighing over 300 pounds ten years ago and eating atrociously, my irrational behaviours and thoughts were a 10+ on a slick (food noise) scale of 1 to 10. Now that I have peacefully surrendered to certain foods (I call them Kryptonites), that number can range from a very manageable 1 to 3, depending on what’s going on in my life. Admittedly, I was able to get that number down to near zero in the first few years of my weight loss journey. I still sometimes ponder what caused it to shift from practically zero to the occasional 3. The best explanation I can give you is the euphoria of the weight loss or, as I like to refer to it, the weight loss honeymoon that empowered me to keep slick very dormant. Ironically, many I have gotten to know who do this professionally and have walked the journey for a decade or more seem to share a similar story.


If you wish to get your slick in a manageable state, contact me to discuss your current situation. Better yet, come check out a complimentary MODA Remote Workshop.

BY Tony Vassallo

Founder of MODA for Men & The Real Food Revival Movement c/o MODA Nutrition Inc.

Contact Tony: Tony@ModaNutrition.con. Learn More at MODAforMen

In 2010, Tony was 37 years old, morbidly obese, with a host of medical issues: Type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, gout, joint pain, constant indigestion and acid reflux. Simple tasks like putting on socks, climbing a flight of stairs, fitting into an airplane seat or restaurant booth and getting out of bed were big challenges for him. Every afternoon, he would have a sugar crash, leaving him with little energy to get through the rest of the day. He was always sweaty and tired. He began avoiding the outdoors and eventually just avoiding life

He lost 130 pounds in 2010-11 and has kept it off ever since. When he changed his lifestyle, the many medical issues he suffered—all of them—vanished.

Tony Vassallo Weight Loss Transformation

Founder of MODA Nutrition & Weight Loss.

Learn More at MODAforMen

MODA For Men Weight Loss


Visit JustEatRealFood

34 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page