Monday, April 22, 2013

Words You Feed Yourself

Ever swear that you would start eating better and then find yourself sitting with an empty pizza box wondering “how did I manage to eat the whole thing?!?!” I have! True confessions here; I love pizza!

While eating a whole pizza is not the healthiest choice, I’m not gonna beat myself up over it. It’s a done deal. Gone! What I can do is try to figure out why I chose that behavior, what can I do to prevent future over indulgence, and minimize the damage of my emotionally destructive self-talk.

Emotionally destructive self-talk is that little voice you hear in your head that feeds you lies and tells you you’re a failure. You’re a failure because you had one, albeit overly indulgent, meal? I don’t think so!!! Listening to that inner voice that says "you’ll never lose the weight" is as good as telling yourself to just give up. “I can’t stop eating - losing weight is too hard,” are other lies your little voice might tell you. But, it doesn't have to be this way.

I’m determined to change the way I talk to myself about weight loss and encourage others to do the same. After all, using language that inspires you to take positive steps toward nutritional balance will help anyone achieve this goal more easily.

I’ll agree that using words with negative connotations is sometimes hard to avoid. “This diet isn’t working” or “I might as well quit” can enter your head at any time. When this happens, I remind myself that I’m not on a diet. I am in a relationship with my food.  And, like all relationships, I can treat it with respect or abuse.

Telling yourself “I can’t” will only reinforce negative behavior. Instead, try to remind yourself that you deserve a healthy body. Even the word “lose” in the phrase “lose weight” has negative connotations. Who likes to lose anything?!?!

I have always been a big proponent of lifestyle balance. “Moderation in everything; including excess,” is my motto. So I had a pizza… Did I enjoy it? Absolutely!!! If not, what’s the point?!?! From there, I move on. I resume my normal, nutritional eating and accept that I just had a luxurious roadside stop on my journey toward maintaining my body and my life.

Let me clarify this by saying, “I love pizza, but I love my healthy body even more.” So while I treat myself to otherwise unhealthy foods, I don’t do this all the time. If I did, it would signal that there is something much deeper at work here. Maybe it could be an addiction or a subconscious, self-destructive motive. In these cases, getting help and support would be priority one.

Research done right here at the University of Houston suggests that nutritional deprivation and saying “I can’t” when faced with temptation was detrimental to long-term weight loss goals. Why? It’s because using those words tells your body you are depriving it of something.

Instead, their research seems to support my personal conviction that empowering yourself with the ability to “allow” distractions and indulgences from time to time can help you succeed over the long haul.

Judging your own behavior by labeling your eating and exercise choices as “good” or “bad” is another common habit that can also harm progress and stifle your enjoyment of life. If you regret eating something, don’t think you’ve eaten something “bad” or that you’ve been a “bad” person, simply accept your choices and focus on the long-term objective: building a life of significance, with a body that is strong and healthy so that you can enjoy the life you’ve got. After all, it’s a great one!

As always – Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal

Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program. 

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