We all endure the stream of consciousness that often hits below the belt, spins every situation to focus on the negative and second guesses our every choice, every time.
It's a cruel world in our heads. And it's time to do something about it. If you hear any of these thoughts on repeat, here's your chance to shut them down for good.
I have no willpower.
The multi-billion dollar diet industry was built on making you feel like a failure. It's big money to have repeat clients. They happily cash in on your desperation and hope, knowing that 95.4% of dieters will fail. Repeatedly. (Google Iris Higgins for a peek into the realities of a very popular diet brand.)
Not to mention the majority of processed foods out there make willpower impossible, overriding the best of intentions with cravings that have been compared to those of heroin and cocaine.
Simply put, it's NOT your fault.
It's not about your lack of effort or intentions. Of you being worthy or not. There's a lot stacked against us when it comes to trying to figure out the best way to achieve our goals.
I have to accept that I will never be happy with my body.
Accepting defeat in your efforts to be healthy is dangerous. While it's hard to look past our personal struggles and imperfections when we have to compare ourselves with air-brushed celebrities, the truth is there is a lot you can do at any age to make improvements in your health and see and feel the changes you deserve.
Honestly, I'm not sure anyone is ever 100% happy with their body, myself included. But I know I feel a lot more happy and confident when I know I am making the right choices in my diet and taking the time to exercise, regardless of what the scale says.
The momentum can go both ways. Efforts to initiate small changes in your habits can automatically improve your confidence, motivation and self esteem and have the ability to snowball into amazing results.
I already cheated on my diet once today, I might as well give up and start over tomorrow.
Several days of indulgences can have consequences but one indulgent meal doesn't pack on the pounds or throw you off the rails. You get to start over mid-bite, mid-day, mid-life.
My best advice? Balance out your indulgent meal by reducing the culprits (sugar/starches and most processed foods that raise your blood sugar and force your body to store fat) over the course of the next few days. This way you remain in control but can indulge with a plan that will keep you on track.
I don't have time for exercise.
Decades of focusing on counting and burning calories means many equate exercise to mind-numbing hours with our smartphone attached to our arm, David Guetta remixes in our ears and our legs in perpetual motion on the elliptical.
But as BodyRock has demonstrated, efficient, short duration exercise (in the comfort of your own home!) can not only provide results, but is more likely to support building lean muscle, boosting metabolism and burning calories well after your workout. Often 20 minutes, twice a week of resistance and interval training is all you need to kick start your efforts.
It's too expensive to eat healthy.
Perfect excuse, right? But when I can buy three bunches of celery for less than a bag of Doritos, find grass-fed beef 30% off (now priced less than the standard stuff) and shop seasonal for the best deals in produce (16oz of strawberries for a buck!), I can prove this wrong all day long.
Example: Ditch soda and you could be saving at least $25-50 a month. Using that money to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats means you will fill up faster and automatically eat less because of the reduction of sugar (cravings) in your diet and a focus on high fiber, satiating foods. Just like that.
I don't have time to prepare healthy meals.
Hovering over a box of Super Three Cheese Hamburger Delight and mixing in various packets of processed, ultra-bright, cheese-like powder takes about 20-25 minutes. You unfortunately aren't able to multitask and help your daughter with her homework or catch up on The Mighty Facebook because your wrist workout of stirring and mixing keeps you occupied the entire time. But whallah, dinner is done, quick and easy.
Or consider this: Fire up the grill, salt, pepper and season some chicken breasts, cut the ends off a bunch of asparagus, throw it all on a grill pan and flip every five minutes or so. Dinner done in half the time with the enviable multi-tasking feature available and no cheesy facial to endure.
Sometimes it's just a matter of being open to alternatives. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and really assessing the validity of everything you keep telling yourself.
At the end of the day, we can have a list of excuses as long as our arm and beat ourselves up for every aspect of our life that feels like we are either lacking or failing. I often ask my clients if they would talk to their friends the way their self talk plays out in their head and the answer is always a wide-eyed NO!
In order for you to rise to the challenge of taking control in your life, improving your self esteem and confidence and breaking out of what is often a decades-long rut, you need a cheerleader. With a simple awareness of the voice in your head and an acknowledgement of its complicit and crippling sabotage, you've taken the first step in creating one.
Sure, the words are on repeat, you have heard them daily for years, but what if today you decided to stop listening? To stop giving in and accepting the cloud of negativity in your life? To disagree.
I've seen enough people get fed up with their situation, stand up to everything in their way (in their head and out of it) and have incredible, lasting success. It doesn't require superhuman effort, gobs of money or good genes. It simply starts with the strength to be done with the internal smear campaign and decide enough is enough.
First things first. Change your mind and your body will follow.