Did you make a New Year’s Resolution?
(Or, if you don’t use that phrase, did you at least think that you’re going to make a change in 2014? Get a fresh start?)
Well, here’s the thing with resolutions – there will come a time when you look at your behavior and think, “Shit. I slipped up.”
(I prefer to say that in these moments, you “slip out of consciousness,” but I’m willing to bet that in your initial reaction to these slips, you’ll be a little harsher on yourself.)
But here’s the good news – you noticed that you did it.
Which means that you’re AWARE of how you lead yourself astray (even if the awareness only comes after the fact).
The even better news? You can use that awareness to start taking care of yourself instead.
In my last article, I introduced you to a new way of thinking about “yourself.”
YOU are actually 2 entities.
There’s you – the person who goes through your day-to-day routines.
And then there’s the observer – the being that watches your process.
There is a relationship between these 2 entities. There is a YOU that takes care of the SELF.
And I received so much feedback from you, my readers, about what a profound shift that was for you, that I thought I’d dive into that concept a little deeper this week.
Especially since so many of us go into the new year, promising ourselves that we’ll stick to that new diet and finally lose those extra pounds.
Because this shift in thinking means that you no longer have to rely on will power or discipline.
Look at it this way –
If you really GET that there are 2 entities, you realize that you are not alone.
You are your own leader.
You are your own caregiver.
Your own trainer.
Your own therapist.
Your own coach.
You are the leader who opens the fridge. The leader who traumatizes you when you think, “Eat this. Don’t eat that. Oh, man, you ATE that!”
YOU turn the practice of feeding yourself into a threatening one.
But that also means that YOU can be the one that stocks the fridge with nourishing food. YOU can be the one who says, “I understand” when you slip out of consciousness and eat the one thing you told yourself not to. YOU can start to catch those slips earlier on, so you have a choice in the matter.And most importantly, YOU can realize that, even though it may LOOK like it’s about “Your Will Power vs. The Cheese Puffs,” it’s really about your relationship with yourself, and how tuned in you are to the fact that you’re taking care of a human being.
As the coach, here’s what you can keep reminding yourself:
It’s just fucking food.
The extra weight and feeling terrible – it doesn’t come from the food. It comes from your relationship with yourself.
If you can find a loving, emotional connection with yourself – and really understand that YOU are in charge of the care, feeding, and well-being of a loveable, deserving person (yourself) – THAT is the best diet ever.
So – what can you do as your own leader around food?
First, it’s about connecting to the idea that YOU ARE THE LEADER.
So when you realize, “Oh, I ate that,” connect back to the leader that brought you there. The more you connect with that idea, the more you’ll be able to remember that you’re the leader in the moments where you really want those cheese puffs.
You’ll catch it earlier and earlier on. You’ll be able to make your choice from a true place of giving yourself what you need.
Second, see if you can make your leadership loving.
Don’t guide yourself from a place of fear. The only time fear is okay is when there’s an actual danger, and the fear is supposed to cue you.
Fear is a short-term motivator. It doesn’t work very well.
Self-loving motivation is the only sustainable motivation.
So when you start to get angry with yourself, or sad, or ashamed, or fearful. . .
Come back to the self-loving motivation. That’s the transformative place that makes new practices permanent.
You don’t have to rip yourself a new one just because you ate the cheese puffs. And you don’t even have to make a huge deal out of the decision of whether or not to eat the cheese puffs.
Just try to notice when you’re traumatizing yourself, and see where you can bring the love and understanding back into the picture.
This isn’t an overnight thing.
This shift can happen in an instant. . . and then disappear a few days later.
But it IS cumulative. You will get better at it over time.
Just keep bringing your awareness back to the fact that you’re the leader, and eventually, it will become second nature to you.
Eventually, you won’t have to spend so much time in negotiation over what to eat. Eventually, foods will lose their power over you. Eventually, your relationship to all these forbidden things will shift. . .
Because your relationship to yourself will shift when you practice being your own leader.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this concept, and to answer questions that may come up for you. Leave a comment below and let’s keep this conversation going!
Or, if you know you’d like a private, more personal conversation, I invite you to grab a Breaking-Ground Session with me & my team!