Health

No more!

...Kick negative self-talk to the kerb

BY FITZ-GEORGE
RATTRAY

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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IT has been said that, in embracing a healthier lifestyle with lower calories and more nutritious foods, your mindset is key to success and maintenance.

You know the difference losing the excess pounds of stored fat will bring — the mood improvements, energy changes, self-perception improvements, and most importantly, health outcomes. Regardless of all your knowledge, beliefs and hopefulness, you begin to second-guess yourself, ramping up your negative self-talk and demolishing your own goals and future well-being.

Negative self-talk

Negative self-talk is that narrative in your head which opposes your commitments, joys, fulfilment — the narrative which amounts to undermining and verbally abusing yourself.

“I am so fat/broke/unhappy/lonely; what is wrong with me?”

Fact: You wouldn't believe the super successful people who have the same doubts and self-blaming. The best of us have these thoughts, and the odds are they are unwarranted. You are better than you think.

“I am not worthy, I am not worth the trouble, perhaps this is not for me. Happiness is not for me.”

Fact: If you have considered making that change, you know in your heart that you are worthy, deserving and want this change. But just as you would encourage your best friend to stay the path, you have to encourage yourself and seek support — personal or professional.

“Maybe I am just big-boned.”

Fact: No one is big-boned. You may have inflamed joints, but you're not big-boned; this is just an excuse your cowardly subconscious is trying to sell you.

“My hours are long and trying, a little break from wellness will help.”

Fact: You have to eat, and eating correctly is a human right. Don't cheat yourself or allow your perception of your career to steal that from you. If your job is stressful, know that better nutrition and even mild exercise will do wonders in coping and giving you a chance to have a life outside of and after your career.

“Money is tight and this programme costs extra/money is tight and eating healthy costs more.”

Fact: The money you save in eating out and eating junk will cover your positive life change costs and what you will save in medication and health care cost. “Money is tight” is simply your negative self-talk trying to logicalise your staying in your suffering, setting a damaging, comfortable bar for yourself.

“I am so depressed, why bother to eat properly? If I eat my comfort food at least I will feel better for a while, than not at all.”

Fact: You will feel better for a while — a few hours perhaps. You will also be deeper in your suffering. Most comfort foods and comfort quantities are proven to entrench the physical and psychological changes which promote depression.

If you suffer from any addictive behaviour, understand that your brain is a part of you — a tool which does not always work in your favour or toward your goals. Think of having a big assignment to complete and, in spite of your best intentions, you procrastinate yourself into problems or, need regular rest but stay awake ruminating when you should be sleeping. Your brain is an instrument with many functions, but for some of us, left alone and unmanaged, it will turn on you like a primitive wild animal, which, by design, essentially it is.

If you exhibit addictive behaviour, your brain is not your friend

Many people's brains have led them to perceive their otherwise blessed lives as unbearable and otherwise ideal choices as undoable, destroying their peace of mind.

Your brain is not your friend — it doesn't care for you in any particular way; it is running its own programming. In fact, if you give it enough negativity it can turn against you.

Imagine a person who hates you and uses every little uncertainty, vulnerability and half-truths they find out about you. Imagine they are in every aspect of your life — home, work, social, church, clubs. Now recognise that your brain knows everything about you and uses everything it knows against you, in your own voice, constantly throughout the day, every day.

It doesn't matter what sparked your personal cycle of negative self-talk:

• a childhood molestation;

• an unloving or angry or abusive (verbally or physically) parent;

• a pressuring “dragon” parent;

• a doting, overprotective parent;

• financial/educational challenges;

• the lack of mentorship or someone who understands/believes in you;

• cruel/thoughtless schoolmates;

• life's bullies;

• idealised commercial imagery;

• race, colour, shade, beauty, or ethnic issues; or

• your own failures to grasp the important life issues, at the best time to have grasped them.

This is what you must overcome. Give yourself the positive thoughts and influences that you want — it must come from you. This can be challenging for some of us, but it is deeply important. However, the final truth is this, you can do it!

If you have had successes, or if you have never had success but you are haunted by your own past and relate to negative self-talk, the fact that you have read this far means, regardless of your issues, you are informed, self-aware and worthy, and therefore are more than deserving.

Take control

You may have confined yourself in extra weight, sadness or loneliness (even in a crowd), but it ends here. It is in your hands now.

You may have had a history of not feeling truly able and worthy, but from this point forward that will matter less and less. You may have even managed to accomplish much in your life but yet live in a fragile shell of doubt and discontentment. But, today, by choice, this will be your new beginning. You have the power to create positive self-talk. You will actively set your future narrative and embrace it for life.

From this point onward, your genuine pains, your low, subjective well-being will be relegated to the category of excuses. You now know better and will have the tools to do better.

Life is filled with amazing!

Amazing from a simple breath, to a walk, a talk, to accomplishing your life's goals, to yet unmanaged experiences.

• Know that there is always a solution. If you can't find it alone, get feedback or support.

• Understand that negative self-talk and excuses make you walk away from a solution, for any reason.

• Understand that working your solution to its fullest, consistently and adaptively, is a positive path.

• Remember always that your better narrative must be dominant. Plan and practise your positive self-talk daily, no matter how small, or how simple. Make it true, make it real.

• You do not have to do this alone; a friend, counsellor, therapist, or coach is only a call or few clicks away

• Feel free to add to your life. If it isn't what you want it to be, stay out of your comfort zone, and remember that you do not have to do this alone. Involve someone else — answerability can be key. Even start with a hobby; read, research and carry on from there.

Build your new narrative, practise believing in it, make small changes, reach out, get support, and listen outside of your old mindsets. Any worthwhile change takes years of effort, not giving up regardless of the ups and downs.

Your mind is your tool, practise what you want to be until it is actualised. No more mediocrity, no more old issues, no more average living goals, no more settling. Only inhaling life and exhaling satisfaction; learning and growing, building true, solid confidence.

It is never too early or too late. Actively build your reality, build your life, build you.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863- 5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org.


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