We’re all liars.
Sometimes, the lying is intentional and sometimes we have a false idea in our head of what our ideal self would do. We buy into it.
Our ideal self is honest, trustworthy, and reliable. She has a perky go-getter attitude and a super-charged energy pack strapped to her back (just in case). Every move she makes is graceful and sexy… and she’s a great singer. Next Miss America?
While it’s nice to have good intentions and believe the best about ourselves, how long are we going to be in a co-dependent relationship with our damaging lies?
I challenge you to break the dysfunction. Get real with your shit. It’s not about beating yourself up over your false promises, but using them to your advantage.
Here are four common lies women tell themselves on their journey to better health and here’s how you can use that fabrication in a more productive way:
I’ll start tomorrow.
This has to be the most common lie ever told, right? Your great, great, great grandmother probably even told herself this when she was your age. Maybe she created it herself? Maybe it’s all her fault? Let’s just blame grandma.
But in all seriousness, what’s going to happen tomorrow? Why isn’t today good enough? It’s okay if our mind just isn’t in the game for it today, but how will tomorrow be different?
Much of the time, we tell ourselves this lie because we give ourselves too many options. We haven’t made the “I’m all in!” declaration. You know how I know? Because when we’re “all in”, we’re doing something every single day to improve our health. It’s a lifestyle choice we know will be with us forever (including today).
Do this: When we’re “all in”, it takes away the decision-making process of what kind of foods we’ll choose to eat today, if we’ll exercise or not, and if we’re going to put ourselves first or be distracted by what other people want us to do. Don’t start tomorrow. Commit today.
I’ll just have this one bite.
Surprise! You just ate a pint instead. How’d that happen?
We tell ourselves this common lie because many health experts teach it as the key to “moderation.” We should be able to eat just a bite and put the rest of the ice-cream back in the freezer and not think about it ever again, right?
I’m not saying it’s not true for many people—but if you ate a pint of ice-cream for dinner, who are you fooling? It’s not true for you right now. If we have a sensitivity to sweets, the one bite rule doesn’t apply to us.
Do this: If we’re approach (or on) our menstrual cycle, if we’re going through a stressful time, or even grieving a loss— we need to keep the sweets (or other trigger foods) out of our environment. It doesn’t mean we’re an out-of-control addict, it means we need to just get honest with how our body and mind respond to certain foods at certain times of the day, week or month.
The more information I collect about health and wellness, the more likely I will be to take the right action.
Ah, do you smell that? Perfectionism and procrastination at its finest. Oh, you weren’t trying to cook up a big batch of failure? Well, that’s exactly what you’re doing when you collect and consume so much health information that your mind turns to mush.
Most of the time, we tell ourselves this lie because, for one reason or another, we don’t trust ourselves enough to make a good decision when it comes to our health. If we find the very best of everything to do, then we won’t waste our time with something that doesn’t work. Plus, searching for the best option is rewarding for our brain. We feel like we’ve really done something with ourselves!
Do this: We’ve got to start setting boundaries on our information seeking. Initially, we’ll fear that we’re going to miss out on something big. It might feel like Adele’s coming to town for an exclusive, secret concert and no one told us. We’ll need to resist the lure of the Information Siren song serenading us with something that sounds a lot like Adele’s apologetic lyrics. Just say no. Stand firm. No more health newsletter sign ups. No more weight loss articles. No more recipe stockpiling on Pinterest. Now, we have time to take action based on what we’ve learned. Do what you know is healthier than what you were doing before. Document it like an experiment. Stick with it for at least three or four weeks before you decide it’s not working. Many times, we give up too soon because we don’t see instant results. Stick with what you know is healthy and the results will come. New research will probably prove you were right, eventually.
Slim people stay slim effortlessly.
How do you know? When you see your skinny girlfriend chowing down on extra buttery popcorn and Twizzlers at movie night, don’t just assume she’s got it easy.
Every single one of us believes that we have it harder than anyone else when it comes to weight loss. It’s a meltdown worthy moment when we compare our journey to others because it always feels so much harder than other people make it look. We all have a different story. When we focus on our own story more often, it won’t seem unfair.
Do this: The best way to stop this lie is to simply stop comparing ourselves to others. Often, that’s much easier said than done, because it’s a human instinct to compare. However, comparing without having all of the facts isn’t fair to us. Is our friend eating healthfully most of the time? Is she more active during the day than we are? Is she taking part in damaging behaviors like starving herself or consuming harmful drugs to maintain her appearance of being “naturally thin”? Make the firm decision that it doesn’t matter how hard or easy it is for you—it’s your journey only.
Your next step: Take a moment and think about the lies you tell yourself most frequently. Is one of them on this list? How do you know it’s a lie? Are you willing to admit it’s a lie and use it as fuel to do something different this time?
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