I wanted to send you a love note.
I know that the voice inside your head can be a bitch.
She tells you things that if you said them out loud, you’d be ashamed if anyone heard how she talks to you.
Things like this happen (this is a real email exchange between a client of mine and myself, some things have been changed to protect privacy):
I’ve started to overeat like crazy & indulge in thoughts and behaviours that I know are hurting me physically, emotionally and spiritually.
It’s not like I want it, but it feels like I’m being punished. Like who do I think I am trying to make my life better?
So I’m hiding in shame, I’ve stopped food journalling because I’m too embarrassed to show you what I ate this week. I’m putting on a happy face so that nobody knows I’m suffering inside. Cause if they knew they’d likely lose respect for me, right?
Has this happened to you?
What do you do when this happens?
What would you LIKE to do?
You want to release weight, the negative thoughts and feel energized and healthier, and more confident, but this shitty voice, let’s call her Miss Shitty, is getting in your way all the time.
She creeps up when you least expect it.
Just when you’re doing well! Things are going good!
Miss Shitty makes an appearance and all of a sudden you’re overeating like crazy, thinking even worse thoughts that lead to even worse thoughts than the first thoughts and you sit instead. Defeated. Not bothering to put on nice clothes, or makeup, or adult. You maybe yell at your kids or spouse cause you’re so frustrated at yourself. You drink copious amounts of wine or polish off an entire bag of oreos.
And then what happens? You feel even WORSE.
When does the cycle end? When will you get your shit together? When will you ever control your thoughts?
You are not alone.
We all go through this, it’s normal to have periods like this.
You know what else is pretty awesome? Having someone you can talk to who can coach you off the ledge, like this:
What happened just before Miss Shitty came out? What was the thing that triggered you? We need to find the trigger.
But first, Miss Shitty has had her time in the sun today. Thank her for coming out and showing you there is more work to be done. Send her love. But ask her to please go away.
Let’s find out what the trigger was. What was the sponsoring thought that happened just before you started to feel like you can’t or shouldn’t do this?
Go back to journaling about this thought, explore it, bring it to the light so we can examine it together. You can also make something healthy or do something kind to yourself. A bath, read, go to the gym – anything. Find that happy place again. We need to override these thoughts and the only way to do that is to find the sponsoring thought, and take action in the opposite direction. You’ve got this, I’m here for you.
When we have thoughts that take us out and sabotage us at every turn, it’s time to start doing the deeper, inner work required to start shifting those thoughts. Otherwise you stay stuck in an endless cycle of negative thought, negative action, negative result – which reinforces the negative thought.
Thought: I have no control around sugar. I’ve tried so many times but nothing is working. I’m weak.
Action: Eat a box of Oreos
Result: Feeling defeated, ashamed, sad, depressed.
Reinforce negative thought: See, I knew I had no control around sugar. Nothing works for me, I’m weak and destined to be fat forever.
We need to change that sponsoring thought. This is hard work, I’m not going to lie, but imagine the freedom when it looks like this:
Thought: I have full control around my food triggers. I understand it’s because of a deeper need not being met and I will take the time to explore what that need is and do my best to meet it.
Action: Journalling, meditating, talking to your coach, thought exploration, or even consciously indulging (actually having the Oreos but doing it in a completely conscious state – meaning you’re aware you’re doing it).
Result: Feeling more empowered, more in control, proud of trying.
Reinforce original thought: I KNEW I’d be able to control my triggers. I’ve proven to myself I can do this…
Action: Continuing to journal, meditate, reach out etc…when the original triggering thought comes up.
You may wish to grab a journal to jot down these thoughts, or use your iphone’s notes app. Keeping track of these thoughts as they come up FREE you from them. Yes, it’s embarrassing when you first see them on paper. But that’s OK, better out than in, and once you see how nasty these thoughts are, it’s not far after that you make some real changes in breaking the cycle and introducing a new, positive cycle.
If this is the kind of support you need, please click here now. No pressure or obligation. No judgment or shame. You need help, and it’s OK to reach out. The majority of my work centres around examining and clearing out thought patterns and sabotages for my clients. You are safe to reach out. These behaviours are having an impact on your health and life now, it’s time to break the cycle once and for all.