"I will remember that there is nothing in this life that I cannot have, but there are things I choose not to have because they do not line up with who I am becoming."
I found these words that I wrote a while back as I was looking through some old writing today.
It made me think about how we so often make changes in our lives to better ourselves yet never change our language to match that good and mature decision. Even worse we never change our thinking to match that healthy decision.
Instead of telling ourselves that we choose not to have _________ (cookie, cake, bread, sugar in general, that extra drink, smoke, whatever), we tell ourselves, and often those around us, that we can't have ________.
When in reality that is just not true. We can have anything we choose. And we have the ability to choose things that either bring us health and freedom and lead us toward the person we are becoming, or we have the ability to choose things that bring us illness, bloating, weight gain and a general bad feeling about ourselves and keep us where we are.
Here is why changing your mental dialogue (and outer dialogue) is so important in this area...because we always want the one thing we can't have. Cue the beauty and the beast music because this one is a tale as old as time. This one goes all the way back to the garden where Eve wanted the one thing she was told she couldn't or shouldn't have. I think we know how well that worked.
Here is what I want you to see...
This is not a you problem this is an us problem. We're all this way, well most of us. "Tell me what I can't have and I'll show you!" The funny thing is most of us know this. We know we have this rebellious side, most even admit it to me in a coaching session within moments of us meeting. And if we got really deep I bet we would find that some seek out the super regimented diets just so we can rebel. But that's some deep stuff there. Subconsciously making the decision to rebel and quit before you've even started. We're just weird that way, us humans.
But what if we change our language, what even we go even deeper and we change our thinking.
Because saying "I can't have ____" is actually not even the truth. The truth is "I choose to have ______"
What if you start doing a new mental exercise every time you're faced with an unhealthy decision. If you're like me, when you start this practice, and it will take lots of practice, you'll find yourself noticing you've slipped only once it's already out of your mouth. And that's ok. Even though it's already been said, go back mentally and rephrase. If you're really brave rephrase out loud.
For example, you're at the movie theater...Side bar: What is it about this place and food? I'm always baffled at the behaviors I witness there. The massive amounts of snacks, in massive sizes, and it's not enough to get a popcorn the size of a feeding trough but the people who leave the counter 3 times to layer the "butter" that is not anything close to butter, into the popcorn just scare me. I'm like, I have CPR and AED certification, no worries, I'll sit behind you, I got you! And wash it down with a 1000 ounce diet coke. Our society must change...
Anyway...you're at the movie theater and you hear yourself say, "I can't have raisinettes (insert sad face)." Now prior to this moment, you were feeling really great, now that you've had sugar out of your life. Your clothes are fitting better with less bloating, your skin looks amazing and you are sleeping like a baby. And yet, "I can't have." is our mantra.
This is the moment where you need to notice your thinking. Acknowledge all of the good things going on with your new lifestyle and replace your "can't have" with what your opening yourself up to.
To me it literally sounds like this in my head, "Actually I could have raisinettes, I do have a choice. I also have the choice to not have diabetes. I have the choice to feel amazing in my clothes and my body. And one day I will have the choice to go hiking on a beautiful day instead of spending it in the doctors office because of this decision today." I know, it sounds crazy, but over time I was able to completely change my thinking buy changing how I thought about what I put in my body.
You also have to give huge recognition to this one truth: When you decide to live healthy, and I' not even talking extremes here. I mean just learning to adult yourself around food. You will be stepping outside of our societal norm. You will have to learn to swim upstream. You will learn that it's not easy but over time it does get easier. Your friends may think you're a freak, and that's ok. (note: I once took kale salad to a movie!) We like to call those freaks "psyclepaths." We're not just carving out a new mental path but we are the beginning of a revolution in nutrition. We are the path makers.
Our society is sick. Illness is normal. Medications, even with all the warnings are taken with ease, while our friends look on us like we are crazy for eating kale. If what we see out in the world is normal, call me crazy. Call me a psyclepath. I'm ready to change my own psycles, the way I think and believe, so that my children and grandchildren can live lives free from the diseases we take as normal today. 70% of disease in America can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Let's get crazy about this, let's make a new path, and lets start with our own thinking.
Jen Mulford is an entrepreneur, speaker, author and champion for personal freedom.