Tag: dieting

Do You Boss Yourself Around?

Do you have a habit of telling yourself what to do? Are you loving and encouraging or bossy and curt? I think most people tend to be the latter, when it comes to ourselves. But let me ask you something. How does it feel when other people try to boss you around? I’d imagine that your defenses go up and you don’t want to do what they are telling you to do. Not necessarily that you are against doing what they are asking, but you want them to treat you with love and respect and ask you politely. So why do we expect our subconscious mind and body to be any different? When your conscious mind tries to order them around, can you blame them for not wanting to listen?

So why is it so much easier to be patient and compassionate when asking something of other people than it is with ourselves? I think the answer comes down to guilt and a desire for control. We know that when we are not doing something we are supposed to, there is no one else to blame but ourselves. This results in a feeling of guilt, which causes us to get angry with ourselves and then we lash out. We are mean to ourselves and say derogatory things, which distances our subconscious and body from our conscious mind even more. Then the control freak in us comes out. Especially when the world is so chaotic and you can’t seem to get other people to listen to you, you know the one person you can control is yourself. And you’re also the one person you don’t have to be nice to, so you are ruthless. You let out all of that suppressed rage you have from feeling so out of control all of the time and take it out on yourself. To make it worse, when our subconscious mind and body don’t listen to us, our negative emotions snowball.

This is probably another reason why most diets fail. You blame your body for forcing you to go on a diet. Questioning what’s wrong with it, when plenty of people can eat whatever they want without gaining a pound. You feel disgust and anger when you have to turn down something you want to eat and then think derogatory things about yourself. You yell at your body to shed those pounds so you can go back to living a normal life. And then, you wonder why your body doesn’t listen. Do you normally want to do things for people who put you down and treat you with disdain? Why would your subconscious mind and body be any different?

I think that is why so many people swear by positive affirmations. They train you to give yourself loving encouragement, instead of angry orders. They create an environment where you support your mind, body and soul, as a whole. I think the idea that the only thing we can control in this world is our self is a limiting belief. While it might be easier to force ourselves to do something than someone else, are we being as successful as we think we are? If we were, then procrastination probably wouldn’t exist. Instead of trying to control ourselves (which doesn’t always work), we should treat ourselves as we would any other loved one. Be polite to yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Don’t assume that whatever order you bark at yourself will automatically be followed. Make yourself want to listen to you, out of love and respect.

It’s funny. As I was writing this post, I couldn’t think of the word procrastination. The more I demanded myself to remember the word, the harder it was to focus. So I took a walk, sang a song in my head and told myself I was confident it would come to me. It only took a minute or two before it popped into my head. I know we have all experienced this without knowing why. I think we put so much pressure on our mind to remember the word that it panics and stops working. I think we all have been put on the spot with something and our mind goes blank. Perhaps when someone asks us a simple math question, when we are not expecting it and all of a sudden, your mind just goes blank. We are also capable of doing this to ourselves. And the more annoyed we get about it, the harder it is to perform. That’s why when we stop, relax, and let it go, our memory starts working properly again. We are so conditioned to boss ourselves around, that I was doing it, even as I wrote this post!

It seems like this is how I end every post recently, but I see more “tapping” (EFT) in my future. It’s exhausting carrying around all of this emotional baggage all of the time!

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Could Stress be Behind Your Weight Loss Failures?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I can do everything right, eat healthy, portion control, go to the gym three times a week, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I have been interval training several times a week for over a year now and I have only lost six pounds. I eat a lot of fish, vegetables and whole grains, try to limit my carbs and never indulge in seconds, but none of it seems to matter. How can this be?

I went to the gym today to do my interval training and decided I was going to take it a little easier just to be on the safe side. I recently had the flu, which I think is usually a sign from your body that you need to slow down. Yesterday, I woke up with a lot of neck and back pain, which had improved today, but was far from gone. And I happened to read my horoscope for the day which said to be careful not to hurt yourself from too much physical activity. I took these things as a sign and let my body dictate how fast it wanted to go during the intense periods of the interval training.

When I was done, I realized how good I felt when I didn’t push my body to the breaking point. Then I realized how stressed I must normally be when I am forcing myself to keep going at the max speed possible. How my body yells at me that it is sore and tired and needs to stop and I tell it to keep going. If just activating the stress chemicals in our body can stimulate the fight or flight response of running from a predator, how much worse it must be when you are actually RUNNING and not allowing yourself to stop! It probably convinces your body you are in immediate danger and not just wary of a possible threat.

When we exercise because we want to get healthy or want to lose weight and are not just doing it out of sheer love and desire, it can be rather stressful. But we are told that we must force ourselves to do it and persevere. So when our body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, we remind ourselves that it is “mind over matter”, but what we really mean is “mind over body” and we want to prove that our brain is in charge and we have enough will power to push our body to continue.

Meanwhile, I wonder how with all of this exercise, my belly fat just will not go down. Probably because of all of the cortisol resulting from the stress of the exercise itself! I’m not saying that the answer is to stop going to the gym. But maybe if I allow my body to dictate how fast is fast enough, instead of just pushing it as far as it will go, time after time, I just might start seeing a better result.

With all that stress from simply exercising, image how much more stress dieting must cause. We all know that panicky feeling when our stomach starts growling and we don’t have immediate access to food. Our survival instincts kick in. Which obviously, is no way to live. But even if you are not on a starvation diet and don’t experience that constantly, it’s stressful if you do not allow yourself to eat what you want. You resist that donut at work and then stress so much about not eating it, that you might as well have just eaten it. Because all of that cortisol has now flooded your body and is at work creating more body fat.

I think EFT can be helpful for these things, as well. When I was reflecting on how much stress I was putting on my body all of the time with the interval training, I had a memory flash from my childhood. I pictured how awful it was when I had to run in a race on “field day” each year. Forget about always being last, but it took all of my strength even just to finish. My side would feel like someone was stabbing me and my legs wouldn’t want to move anymore, but the teachers would make me go the whole distance. There was nothing I hated more than running. And now I am voluntarily running on an elliptical, pushing myself to the limit. No wonder my stress is high and I can’t seem to rid myself of my belly fat. I will definitely have to do some “tapping” on those childhood experiences.