Rewriting the Negative Tapes in your Head

Do you ever notice the constant self talk that plays in the back of your head all day long? How much of it is helping you achieve your goals or improve your well being?  When I was caught up in the midst of my bingeing and restricting cycles, I would guess that 80% of the tapes playing in my head revolved around dieting, needing to diet, which foods I was going to (and definitely NOT going to) eat, how fat my body felt or looked, and on and on and on.

It was exhausting!

I remember feeling really embarrassed the first time I ever realized that the running tapes in my head were almost entirely about food and my body. I mean, how shallow must I be?? But also… how sad is that? I was spending http://jubainthemaking.com/jubek-grave/dashboard eighty percent of my mental space and effort obsessing, judging, and being negative.

Here is what I’ve done to help reframe my inner monologue in a more positive, productive way.

1)      http://wisdomspot.org/tag/gajendra-singh/ Practice saying “SO WHAT?!”

Every time I catch myself self-judging or thinking those quick, almost reflexive, biting remarks about my body for being not up to an imaginary (and self-imposed) standard, I ask myself:  SO WHAT?

I remember the first time I caught myself and was able to rewrite my mental self talk tape. I was in a hot yoga class lying on my side in some twisty pose, and I noticed my upper arms squeeze against my body and heard myself automatically think, “Ugh! My arms are so huge! I hope there’s no cellulite on them for my neighbor behind me to see!”

Ouch! 🙁 But for the very first time, my brand new tape finally hit play:

“SO WHAT if your arms look fat? What can you do about it right now?” [Not a damn thing…I’m even working on it by doing yoga right now!]

“Does it matter if the arms of the other girl in front of you look fat? And… so what if they do? Does it change your opinion of her?” [It doesn’t.]

The answer to “SO WHAT,” of course, was absolutely nothing. So I might as well shrug it off and accept that my body is and will always be my body. I can still work to improve it, but my arms will always be at my sides so I might try not berating them all of the time. Once I decided to accept my arms in that moment, I actually smiled and thanked them for working so hard. It was a huge breakthrough moment for me.

 

If you are going to do twisty poses like this one, you’d better accept that some body parts are going to squish together!!

If you are going to do twisty poses like this one, you’d better accept that some body parts are going to squish together!!

photo credit: jaylara via photopin cc

2)      can i buy Pregabalin in canada Figure out my “job with a capital J”

Jon Kabat-Zinn, master of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction techniques, often asks his clients to think about their “job with a capital J.” Basically, what is your ultimate place in the world? I like to think of it as the really REALLY big picture.

Is my Job in the world to sit on the couch alone at night and eat peanut butter, or to spend all of my energy counting carbohydrates? NO! My Job is to get out there and use my experience to help alleviate the pain and struggle that so many women go through every day. My Job is to be a loving wife, daughter, sister, friend, and perhaps one day, a mother. My Job is to continue on my journey to better health and self acceptance so that I can go on and teach millions of women to do the same. If that is my charge in this world, then CRAP! I better snap out of it, put the chocolate down, and get to work! 🙂 I need to make myself a part of the world, not pull back and try to remove myself from it while everything happens around me.

 

Petey also enjoys contemplating his "job with a capital J" while vacationing in the White Mountains.

Petey also enjoys contemplating his “job with a capital J” while vacationing in the White Mountains.

 

3)      Doboj Use  solitude to set the right tapes

This has been a surprisingly effective strategy for me, and it has worked because it allows me to hit “play” on the right tape each and every day. I wake up at 5am almost every day (even on weekends), before the dog, husband, or sun, and sit with myself, my coffee, and whatever else it is I want to focus on FIRST that day. Sometimes it’s writing, sometimes it’s programming for my clients, sometimes I just need to read a little bit for some motivation and find a little bit of peace. I remind myself each morning of what I want my big picture to look like, and I am better able to act and think in line with that vision throughout the day. By spending this time with myself, I feel WAY more grounded and I can shrug off the thoughts that don’t serve to help me in any way.

 

Coffee. Computer. Luxurious red robe. I LOVE my morning time.

Coffee. Computer. Luxurious red robe. I LOVE my morning time.

The most important thing to remember, ladies, is this: you are SO much more than the food you eat, the size of your clothes, or your ability to look a certain way. There is no number on the scale that will ever make you happy or satisfied if you don’t start changing the way you think about your body. Jump in, start noticing the tapes in your head, and then let’s start editing!

Always here to help,

Jamie

 

 

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  42. Monica says

    That’s right Jamie,
    you have to be able to forgive and accept yourself.When the negative thoughts roll in ,forcefully push them back with kindness to yourself and you will win victories little by little.This will work most of the time and when you slip ,forgive yourself.
    Great site.

    • jlchenelle says

      Thanks for chiming in Monica! Sounds like you’ve mastered catching yourself when you slip into negative thinking….Good for you!! 🙂

  43. Lindsay says

    I love this post, Jamie. It’s so true! I imagine most women, including myself, find themselves at the end of a long day recapping how they ate or how many calories they consumed…How unfortunate is it that it’s not our kindness or courage we tend to retrace, but our caloric intake. 🙁

    • jlchenelle says

      Thanks Lindsay! 🙂 It’s definitely a process to stop judging ourselves by our weight or food intake….I wish more people would take on this journey but unfortunately it can be a long road!!

  44. Leah says

    I too think about food constantly- always have. Often my first thought in the morning is “What’s for dinner!?”. Over the years, as I have battled the negative thoughts about my body and the seemingly constant stream of food entering my mouth, I have learned to accept that I do have extra fat on places I wished I didn’t. Those little bits of extra fat in some places and the puffiness in others were once my self loathing demons, now I appreciate that a little extra is simply good padding for when I fall ( which is alot) and a good fuel reserve for when I my body is truly hungry (during a Spartan race)!. I have learned to say SO WHAT and be forever grateful that my body is still strong and functional. In fact, I come to accept my little fat pads as being a permanent fixture in my life and have adorned them with names… such as “Flying Squirrels” on the back of my arms, ” My little Basset Hounds” on my cheeks, “knee cozies” for the extra around my knees and the “sturdy tree trunks” for my thighs!!

    • jlchenelle says

      Hah!! I loveee the names you give your body parts that you once disliked, but have come to accept and embrace rather than view as the enemy!

  45. LBC says

    Funny what you say about your arms. I have always felt the same way about my legs! Seems like no matter how much I run, ride my horse, walk my dogs, etc.. my knees keep this packet of soft squishyness just above them. I often think they should be removed and used for breast implants ( ha ha) But, I like what you say- so what! Who gives a hang about the shape of my legs, they are my legs and they get me from here to there with very few complaints! Keep writing!!!

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