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Monday, 16 November 2020 11:11

Who Are You Talking To?

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How do we focus on our goals when we get tons of input from so many sources? We talked about who we trust with regard to different aspects of our lives, such as movie recommendations, or childcare. When it comes to our bodies and our weight goals, are we letting the conflicting input from multiple sources sway us from one action step to another? Do we jump from one diet plan to another, one exercise routine to another, always hoping the next thing we try will be “IT,” the magic bullet, the thing that works?

How do we sort through all the input from advertising, friends, and family to listen for the advice that resonates with us and feels true? Can we stand our ground by throwing out a piece that doesn’t fit, even if came from someone who loves us? It’s not like we are going to just stop talking to people who give us more advice than we want. But we want to limit how much of that we take on or buy into. When we develop confidence in ourselves and in our ability to recognize what works for us, we stop being swayed by the latest fad or the newest idea to come our way.

It’s not necessary to confront the people whose advice doesn’t work for us. We don’t have to get annoyed or angry with their sincere desire to help. We can thank them for their advice and move on to what works for us. If they require an explanation as to why we didn’t do what they said, we can just say we found something else that works better for us. Or, if it’s true, we can say we tried their method and it didn’t work for us. Either way, it’s okay to refuse advice.

Can we find and recognize the people and the sources who give us sound advice and encouragement with regard to our weight plan? These are the people we want to talk to all the time! We want to extend the conversations we have with people who spark our imagination and who always leave us feeling energized. This is one of the ways we tap into joy and make the kind of choice that gets us closer to our goals. Just being in touch with these people, or watching their video, or reading their books, allows us to experience a joyful life right now.

On another level, are we listening to our bodies when they tell us what works and what doesn’t work? The ongoing conversation with our body is one of the most important ones we can have. Our body talks to us all the time. Not only does it let us know which foods are most nourishing and provide the most energy, it puts us in touch with our intuition and innermost self. There’s a reason we ask ourselves what our ‘gut instinct’ is. It’s because we resonate with things that align with our core values and highest goals. We also recoil from things that are dangerous, hurtful, or simply out of alignment with those same values and goals. We feel that resonance or reluctance in our bodies, so it’s important to have an open line of communication with what our body is saying to us.

And of course, what kind of conversations are you having with yourself? Are you beating yourself up for not being perfect? Are you shaming yourself into doing what you think you should do? If your conversations with yourself are full of criticism and blame, it’s pretty likely that you don’t feel like your goals are attainable. I keep going back to the example of a baby learning to stand up. We don’t shame and blame her every time she falls down. We encourage her and tell her what a good job she’s doing and cheer her on! The same goes for us. We don’t keep going without encouragement and a lot of cheerleading!

What does your internal conversation sound like when you’re confident and you trust yourself to make good decisions? Do you celebrate your progress and feel good about the eventual outcome? Usually, we congratulate ourselves on a job well done and feel satisfied with our abilities. This is the kind of conversation we want to bring to the things that we aren’t quite as skilled at. If we are struggling, we want to bring those words of encouragement and support into our internal conversation. We want to develop a practice of reminding ourselves that we can learn something new. We encourage ourselves to keep going with the confident knowledge that we’ll master whatever this new skill is. It won’t be long before we feel that sense of accomplishment for a job well done! Whether it’s a diet plan, our social skills, forming new habits, or learning a new trade, we want to be our own best cheerleader.

Are you having conversations with something greater than yourself? Whatever your beliefs are, do you acknowledge a power that you can’t comprehend, and do you stay in touch with it? Having regular conversations with this power is how I restore and renew my energy. It doesn’t have to be words or dialog. Usually, it’s simply being the in presence of nature. When I lived in the Midwest, I would find a forest or a mountain to take a walk and feel the wonder all around me. Here in California, I go to the beach and allow the power of the waves and the abundance of the sand speak to me of things I don’t quite understand. It’s a grounding experience and at the same time it fills me back up when I’m feeling tired and worn out.

No matter who you’re talking to, or listening to, make sure the conversations fill you up and never tear you down. Choose the conversations that support you, the ones that encourage you, make you laugh, and increase your joy. Listen with your inner ear to determine whether what you’re hearing aligns with your true desires and your core values. Pay attention to the feedback you get from your body. It’s not just food that it talks about, but feelings and people, too. Your body has a lot of good advice for you. Keep going back to the conversations that feel good, and little by little, stop having the conversations that drain you. Live a life of joy in each moment and with everyone you talk to!

Read 513 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 16:00
Betty Brink

Betty Brink is an expert on the mental and emotional aspects of dieting and body image. She is the author of "The Main Meal: The New Perspective on Weight Loss." In seminars, speeches, and consultations, she demonstrates practical methods to quiet the diet chatter, and to empower yourself to make conscious choices in diet, in life, and in relationships.

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