I'm talking about lying to yourself. You may not realize you're doing and you've probably not thought about it before today. I'm talking about accepting a negative thought as a fact, instead of thinking it through and choosing the honest decision.
We all do it. All of the time. We do it in regards to the food we put in our bodies and a million other daily decisions. I'm specifically talking about the food we eat and probably why we don't exercise. But let's start with being honest about food first.
How many times has the voice in your head said anything like this:
"Just one bite would make me feel amazing."
"Just a taste won't make a difference."
"One cookie won't hurt."
"It's a special occasion. I don't do this every day."
"I don't want to hurt her feelings. It's easier to just eat a small piece"
"It's a shame to let it go to waste."
"Just this once."
"I deserve this after the day I've had."
"I'm still hungry."
You can think of self-talk as the inner voice equivalent of sports announcers commenting on a player’s successes or failures on the playing field. Unlike that sports commentary, which athletes never hear while they're competing, you can actually “hear” what your own self-talk is saying. When this is upbeat and self-validating, the results can boost your productivity. However, when the voice is critical and harsh, the effect can be emotionally crippling.
How devastating would it be for an athlete to hear the harsh words of sports announcers as they are playing? That is exactly what's happening in your mind when you allow that critical self talk to derail your goals. The good news is that you can be in charge of that voice. And being in control changes everything.
Every time you open your mouth to eat is a decision where you can choose to be in control. Next time you hear that inner voice telling you that one taste won't hurt, ask yourself this:
Is that one taste going to help you reach your goal or is it going to postpone your goal? If you are dedicated to staying on plan, you are only going to choose to make decisions that help you reach your goal. It's black and white. One path ensures you reach your weight loss goals and one path ensures you do not. You are in charge here. You choose.
It sounds crazy, but when critical self talk puts up a fight (and it will), you have to talk back to it. Put that voice in its place. Tell it to get in the backseat and take a nap. You're in control and you are making choices that help you reach your goal. You've got this. You know what to do. You just have to be strong and do it.
Nothing worth having is easy. Remaining healthy in a culture that makes it almost impossible is really, really hard. The giant portions, the drool-worthy advertising and all of the convenience store delicacies are robbing you of your better self. If this was easy, everyone would be healthy. Look around. As a nation, the fast food and huge portions are winning. Getting healthy takes hard work. You've got to fight back and stop that inner voice from lying to you.
You know that fried foods aren't good for you, so don't eat them. If you want to eat fried foods once in a while, that is fine, provided it works with your plan. If it doesn't work with your plan, it's because of one of three reasons.
You're on the wrong plan.
You don't want to actually lose weight.
You are lying to yourself by taking that critical voice as fact.
The fix is easy. Don't lie to yourself. Work your plan. Take it one step at a time. When you make a misstep, write it down, learn from it and move forward with kindness. This isn't about being harder on yourself. It's about being honest with yourself. And sometimes that honesty is like a ray of sunlight breaking through to a dark room filled with Zebra Cakes. Sure, that dark room is comfy, but stepping into the bright light of truth is freeing in a way I had not experienced before.
Being in control is amazing. You can do it. If you fall down, get back up, brush yourself off and start again. You've got this.
Want to get notified when I post again, including the tricks that keep me sane and losing weight? Subscribe so you don't miss out!
Find Kelly on Google+. Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here.