21 Jun What Stories Are Stopping You from Losing Weight?
Rewrite your sabotaging stories to finally lose your excess weight.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
I once chased a man for three years. Three years of obsessively thinking that this was the only man in the entire world for me, and acting like a maniac in my quest for him.
When I finally did manage to get him to bed after these three very tiresome years, I declined to have sex with him because I hadn’t waxed my bikini line.
What I want to say is not that I was an idiot for not preparing — which I considered useless anyway, since I couldn’t imagine getting anywhere with this guy.
My point is that it’s so sad that I missed out on something that I wanted to do because I was telling myself a story of how I should be. I had listened to how media/marketing/some people say a woman needs to look like to be desirable, and was terrified of not being “good enough” for this man.
Waxing or not, it didn’t matter — I never had another chance with that guy again. And I’m still regretting missing out on that sex.
Have you thought about the sabotaging stories that you tell yourself? Have you considered how they are stopping you from achieving what you want?
I have a friend who has struggled with her weight for many years. She’s also terrified of intimacy and being in a relationship.
She does know how to eat to lose weight, and she has periods when she follows the guidelines and drops a few sizes. She gets ecstatic, as her health and wellbeing is of utmost importance for her. (And, she prefers looking fit!)
But then the same thing happens every time. My friend gets more attention from men, which is exciting but stresses her out as she doesn’t know what to do. (And I’ve even given her a wax kit. Just kidding.)
The pressure builds up, and eventually, my friend reaches for chocolate as a coping mechanism. It doesn’t take long until she’s gained back her weight; feeling awful and nauseous from the chocolate — but secure. Because she doesn’t have to deal with the attention anymore, so she doesn’t have to be afraid of intimacy.
With this, I’m not saying that she or anyone is undesirable because of weight gain. (My friend is super beautiful any size, trust me!) I’m just saying that many of us have limiting scripts running our lives and if we don’t do anything about it, we will end up with lives we never intended to live.
My friend’s sabotaging story is that intimacy is dangerous and that she is unwanted when she’s heavier. So to get out of her fear of being intimate, she overeats — and her health and wellbeing suffer.
The first step to replacing limiting thoughts is to be aware of them. Being helped by someone with an outside perspective can be invaluable in this process. Sometimes we’re just too caught up in the story making, that we can’t take a step back to see the insanity.
My coach has completely transformed my life through his support in my process. He introduced me to a book that explained how childhood events influenced my adult relationships. Thank goodness, I now know that it’s not sane to pursue a man who doesn’t want me for three years. Better to realize late than even later, I suppose…
Once we know the story, then what?
During my years of binge eating, it was clear to me that I didn’t overly love myself. Because a person who did, wouldn’t cause so much harm to herself. One tip I got quite commonly from the “self-help crowd” was to stand in front of a mirror, look myself in the eyes and tell myself that I love myself.
Apparently, some people swear by this technique, but I’m skeptical… I mainly found it in-genuine (and ridiculous!). It felt like I was trying to replace one untrue story with another.
What I’ve found to be a more helpful approach is to go to the root of the problem. How can the trauma behind that sabotaging story be healed?
I’ve spent countless hours in therapy, and some of it was necessary. It was definitely a good start. But as I got further into my healing journey and grew frustrated with the speed of my progress, I turned to different hacks. Below is a couple of methods that have been most helpful when rewriting my inner dialogue.
Do you have sabotaging stories?
1. Do you repeatedly commit to action, only to fall back to your old behavior? Do you say “New diet, new life!” until you pass your favorite pizza place?
2. The way you talk to yourself in your head, would you speak out loud to someone else like that?
3. What does your ideal situation vs. your reality look like? Unless you’re fantasizing about being a princess on a unicorn, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to achieve what you want. If you haven’t done it already, there is a chance that you’re holding yourself back.
Examples of ways to rescript sabotaging stories:
1. Neurofeedback. Rewiring your brain with the help of technology. I did the same program as Tony Robbins is a big fan of. The Bulletproof Diet founder Dave Asprey has now started a neurofeedback facility in the U.S., which I’d like to try sometime. These examples are week-long retreats for significant results and are priced accordingly. There are also simpler, alternative neurofeedback technologies for individual sessions at affordable rates.
2. EMDR. A natural technique which is meant to be effective. I did this recently as I was still experiencing something like post-traumatic stress-like symptoms after everything else I’ve tried. I have not been exposed to a trigger yet, so it’s hard to tell of its effectiveness. But I do feel stronger after it.
3. “Alternative” methods. I have not tried this myself but was intrigued when reading in Tools of the Titans about the great results from the research.
I certainly still carry unhelpful scripts (or I’d be a millionaire by now, for example) and I often fall short of my ambitions. But at least I’m having a go. It would never have been possible without treating the trauma behind the narrative that was holding me back.
And when those sabotaging stories inevitably pop up, I gently remind myself that it’s not reality. And that I rather turn the lights off than miss out on an opportunity.