“Don’t do it” I tell myself. “You have been so good today”. I sit there and try and forget that the kitchen is right behind me. I try to display self-control and have at least one good day. The battle goes on all evening. The rest of the family is in bed and my willpower is wearing thin.
“Just a little bit” I say. But deep down I know the battle is lost. I head to the kitchen and find something tasty (but definitely unhealthy) to snack on. I finish my food and the guilt sets in (I probably had more than 1 serve). I was so close to having a good day. I always do this, I always mess it up on the last second. I go to bed feeling disappointed, frustrated and a little hopeless. Tomorrow is a new day I tell myself as I try to feel better.
That battle used to happen to be every night. All I wanted was to live the healthy, happy lifestyle that looked so good. This idea I had about healthy people seemed like the foundation to be confident, happy and they made it all look so easy. Looking back now I realise that more than being skinny, I really wanted to feel proud, confident and like I was sticking to the values that I said were so important to me.
I tried so hard but I felt so lost. Did I just need more self-control? Maybe I just had to stay away from junk food or workout more? Is it that I’m not disciplined enough?
With these thoughts the rules and restrictions started to roll in. These foods are good and those ones are bad. No eating after this time. No junk food allowed etc. The more rules I created the more the feeling of lack started to set in. This created a whole lot of anxiety. Something as simple as going out to a birthday dinner was a huge deal. When it came to crunch time, would I actually be able to order a salad when everyone else is getting a delicious Parma?
I was trying so hard but I felt even further away from the fun healthy lifestyle that looked so appealing. This cycle went on for a few years until I knew something had to change. As I said, I was creating more and more lack for me which is ironic considering what was appealing to me was the personal freedom and abundance. I was just creating the opposite. It’s like I was walking in the wrong direction. I needed to turn right but instead I was walking left.
So I decided to make a couple of changes. To this day 4 years later I still implement these habits to keep creating more vibrant health and happiness for myself. These two changes may seem small, but the impact they had on me was bigger than I can put into words because it opened my mind. If you feel stuck, overwhelmed or lost when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals. Give these small changes a try.
First thing I changed was my LANGUAGE:
I would always tell myself “I can’t stop eating junk food”; “I’m not allowed to eat that cake”. When I was studying life coaching I learnt that how we language our world has a big impact on how we experience our own world. I also learnt that the unconscious mind cannot process negatives (e.g. can’t, won’t, don’t). This meant that every time I told myself “I can’t eat junk food anymore” I was really telling myself that I can rather than saying “I want to eat healthy”. The difference there is that when I was saying I couldn’t, I was focusing on the junk rather that when I was saying what I could have and focusing on the healthy food.
This shift got me thinking less about the lack of the things I was trying hard to resist but failing at and thinking more about the abundance of what I could happily eat to move me towards a healthier life.
The second thing I shifted was my FOCUS:
I wanted to create an abundant happy lifestyle. Our perspective can change our whole experience on life. One of my favourite spiritual teachers Wayne Dyer famously said “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. So I committed to focusing on what I wanted instead on what I didn’t want. This was easy because it went hand in hand with the change of language I was using. I started focusing on what I did have instead of what I didn’t. Because of this I started to notice more recipes would come my way, more opportunities to be active and have fun doing it, more support from my friends and family and before I knew it healthier habits started to form.
As I said these shifts in perception are small but powerful. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you have handled similar challenges or how you felt implementing these two tips.
If you have any questions you want answered, message me and I would love to answer them for you.
Ellisa Haddad as a Personal Trainer and Life Coach, servicing the Cranbourne, Narre Warren, Lynbrook, Clyde, Berwick and Pakenham Areas. Ellisa focuses on obtaining balance between physical, emotional and mental health, for all her clients, and is particularly passionate about supporting women in achieving their goals.
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