During your fitness, health, well being journey, I'm pretty sure we all start with the wish for a better body, a better lifestyle, better strength, better feeling in our skin. As the new year rolls in we reflect on the past yr and we look to the future wishing to be able to put our wants into action and see results. We wish to be able to really do what we set out to do from January 1st when we make those resolutions and we swear blind that this year we are going to create a world and a life that we want to live and we wish so much so that we will have the stamina, the will power, the inclination to do that workout, eat that protein, avoid all those refined sugars.
We wish that come March 1st we are in a better place. Physically, mentally. And we mean it. So much so that we go into the new year with fire in our belly and a vigorous amount of 'go geddem' and pinterest quotes floating around our minds that there is no way on earth we will let anything get in our way... ever. Right?
And then something happens. Come Feb perhaps, some things seem harder. The struggle gets real. The will power weedles and the pinterest quotes seem like a distant memory on a board that you haven't pinned on for a while.
What is that? What is it that keeps us from being the best versions of ourselves. That niggle in your brain that laughs when you say your gonna get up at 5.30am and do week 6 abs and arms, that moan and groan in your head when you tell yourself you're gonna choose the prawns and edamame salad rather than the cheesey melt club sandwich. What is that defiant firm strop that your soul does when you will it to only eat one or two scoops of ice cream, but all you hear is 'live yo life. The whole tub is fine, what are you? A boring fart face? What will you regret more on your death bed? The icecream? Or not eating the icecream?"
Ahhh that familiar voice that rears it's ugly, impure head during this journey so many times you've lost count.
You might think you wish for a better bod/lifestyle/healthy mindset. But your ego. Well, that's another matter. Your ego will wish for something else.
Ever wondered why you can't stick to something. Why if you know it will do you good, if the result will be worth it, why you can't just do the nessessary to get there? Or at least be on your way?
That will be your ego.
I don't mean ego in the sense of 'omg that person is so arrogant he must have a massive ego." I'm talking about the ego in ourselves that is not our pure consciousness. The mind part of ourselves that niggles away at us. You could say is the excuses version of ourselves. The mean, unwilling, stubborn, narcissistic, insecure, lost version of who we are. The version that is likely to blame, accuse, point fingers at, because the ego always wants you to second-guess your true self and rely on things outside your consciousness for contentment. It fears giving up control, so it wants to keep you in a low vibrational state at all times to avoid 'being found out' We may think that the ego needs to be huge, pimped up (pahahahah spell check error) "pumped" up, therefore will want to get fit, change for the better, look "better" therefore would enable and encourage you to "keep on keep going"??? You'd thimk... but actually
Deep down your ego fears failure so strongly that it will keep you held back in the dark, cold, vulnerable hole in your mind and it will make you feel comfy there. This is where you have a snuggly blanket & familiar things around you. That place in your mind might seem cold and scary, but really, your safe there. Imagine going on an adventure outside this dank, cocooned place you've become accustomed to, and imagine you fell, tripped, couldn't see where you were going, never made it to where you were going? That is unfathomable to your ego and therefore, loves it when you stay put, in that comfort zone of yours, reverting back to pizza for breakfast andself hate talk. Because self hate talk will keep you where you've always been, will keep you who you are (or decided to be) and in that space, failure isn't an option because you never really tried.
Have you ever wondered if you really do want to change?
The ego and you do not conciously have this discussion. If you were aware of these thoughts, the ego would not win time and time again. So this all happens under the radar. Something niggling in you. These under the radar thoughts have been building up for a long time. The thoughts about hating your body, wishing it were someone else's, the thoughts that one more cheese burger won't hurt or that you are not worthy of the body you deserve. These thoughts have been building up for a really long time. They will not disperse in a day, a month, a yr. These thoughts are what hold us back and are able to do so because they are programmed time and time again and it will take a lot of unprogramming to get rid of.
It all comes down to the feeling of not being good enough. A lack of self worth. The ego has taken moments in time that made you feel insecure and vulnerable and it made the choice to believe "you got dumped therefore your shit" "you don't fit into those tammy girl shorts therefore you're not good enough" "You don't have blonde, straight hair like all your friends therefore you don't fit in" You fed it those snippets of information a long time ago, it heard them, believed them and then molded your future thoughts upon them.
The ego loves to find everything wrong with a situation or person, yourself included. In doing so it can feel justified in feeling the way it does. Feeding off of the negatives to reinforce the thoughts that we are not good enough. "See, you ate the cake, you ARE the weak person we decided you were all those yrs ago" "See, you can't do that lunge, pahahhaa why did you even try"
The ego wants glory, it wants instant gratification. It wants power. And what better way to get that than by reinforcing those negative thoughts it thinks. Failing the diet, stopping the gym, having you cry your heart out because you feel crap in your skin, all of that is drama that it can feed off.
You know those people that go back to the same man that treats them like rubbish and cheats on them, and you as a friend can't for the life of you imagine why?
Or those people that always seem negative, down, and things always go wrong for them and you wonder how on earth they always have bad luck.
Or the people who moan about the job they hate, or the body they are in and they moan and cry and it hurts them day in day out. But they don't do anything to change it and you can't fathom what really holds them there?
We look at ourselves in the mirror and we can't figure out why we ourselves can't or won't change if we are so utterly unhappy.
All of these things have to have some sort of payoff. Or we wouldn't keep doing it. That would be ridiculous. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting something to change? That's Insanity. But we do it. Every Jan we go on that diet, join that gym, eat low cals, only to get bored and binge and eat all the foods, stop all the gym, for another few months only to start the 1200 cals again n all the classes again because summer is coming and then... we repeat that cycle and we pull our hair out not knowing why our bodies don't change or why we haven't got the results or why we cant. just. get. what. we . want.
Deep down we like to be victims. I know this might make some of us angry and we may get defensive and disagree. That's OK. But if your reading the above and thinking any of it sounds like you, id ask you to take it in and really ask yourself. What is the pay off of never getting the results I want?
The woman who stays in the horrible cheating relationship. Perhaps the drama somehow makes her feel special? He cheats, she finds out, she argues with him, he begs for her back, she stays. Cos she then feels loved. Fought for. Being a victim to horrible behavior often makes us feel righteous. "How dare he treat me like that, I deserve better" and yet, even though she does deserve better, she stays. Feeling like the victim often makes us feel aligned with the decision we have made about who we are, way way back when. That thought you had when you were 11 and your 1st ever boyfriend dumped you in the playground and you cried, cos you felt you weren't good enough? This boyfriend twenty years later is just reinforcing that thought that your not in fact, good enough. And your ego feels proud to have proof of such a thought and such an identity. So, you stay, to reinforce that time and time again.
If you got the results you wanted? Who would you be? What would you think about yourself? What would others think about you? What if you tried and you failed? What if you did all the things Kayla Itsines, Jo Wicks, Nikki Blacketter, your PT, told you to do and you didn't end up where you 'assumed/expected'? What if you did? What fear do you have about being the person you want to be?
My fears (ego) rears it's head regularly. The fear that if I was to be the sort of person who exercises and eats well, id be boring. If I got lean and tight, people would think I was vein. If I tried bbg and dint look like some of the transformations In 12 weeks, id be a disappointment. If I did see results, how would I keep them?
Sometimes I look at how my lifestyle has changed. The Xmas day exercise I did, the big mac I've not eaten in 3 yrs, the long arse IG posts I put out there, and the fear that runs through my bones is still so strong. The question, of who am I? How did I become this person? Do I want to be this person? Should I be this person pops up. and it makes me shit myself.
Not recognizing yourself, being different to who you expected to be. Who you told yourself you were. Going against the thoughts that made you who you were, the stpry you have been reinforcing time and time again, being so far removed from the idea that you created for yourself when you were younger. All of that is so so so scary that the ego wants to hand you that comfort blanket and not have you be any different to the thought you had about yourself aged 14 in your bikini on the beach next to that really lean, tight, petite girl who you decided was your bench mark of beauty and who you really needed to be. But trying to be it, would clash with the egos thought that 'you are not worthy of that' and therefore for 15 yrs and more, what my soul wanted and what my ego wanted were two very different things.
The self fulfilling prophecy: A self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when a belief that is untrue influences the behavior of people in such a way that the belief becomes true in the end.
Your beliefs and perceptions about yourself and the world around you, create your reality. Think of all the things you say about yourself and about your life either directly to yourself or indirectly with the people around you.
I am boring, I am less than, I am un deserving of love, a good life, a good relationship, a healthy body. These thoughts change how you treat yourself as well as how others treat you. And when you think these negatives, and people treat you (YOU treat you) accordingly, it then that reinforces your belief. This is what your ego likes. You might think it would like you to thrive. But it just wants to mark it's stake in the ground for the thoughts you decided upon that make you feel less than.
Becoming at one with yourself, with the world, liking who you are, seeing yourself for more than just a body, for feeling comfortable in your skin, that's a threat to the ego because the ego is separate from everything else. It is an 'I" whereas being at one with yourself makes the ego shrivel up and wither away. And that is its worst ideal to come into fruition for the ego.
So yes, there are practical and logical things to implement in your life that will see you results.
Progressive overload, eating more protein, sticking to a program, being active daily, less refined sugar... those things you hear fitness Instagrams say and you take note, you decide to buy someones new program and you feel motivated to really give it a go and change for the better. For your bikini bod, for your mental state, for your own sanity. Because that is what YOU want!!!
But none of these things will be easy to stick to unless we figure out what our ego will try to do to stop us, and why. Until we are aware that our own selves will somehow try to sabotage our results, it will be harder when the mind tells us to skip that workout or forget all the lifestyle choices we were gonna do for a better self. What is the pay off for NOT seeing the results you want?
Ask yourself, what do you get out of NOT changing your lifestyle.
I know all of this may seem mumbo jumbo'y but when I started to ask these questions and really think about what was holding me back, that's when things started to change. That's when I kept on going. Because being aware of the silliness that was my ego, seeing it for what it was, meant that I could ignore it time and time again.
Want to see results in 2017? Look further than what you eat and how you exercise. It might just make that one teeny bit of difference.
I'll share with you some scary thoughts I never really wanted to admit to myself a few years back. And I would love if you would comment below and share yours or even just what you might think about this post. I truly believe opening up to one another and sharing the scary bits, help our progress. Knowing we are not alone. Knowing that we are not silly for thinking these things. But also knowing that we CAN change to be the best versions of ourselves. Hearing other people stories, connecting, relating to them. It's the only way that has kept my journey going as positively as it has. So despite it may seeming cringey, these questons I asked myself gave me answers to who I thought I was, what held me back from being more me, more authentic, more open to change for the better.
What do you think about yourself? If you leave a group of people who you've just met, to discuss you when you go, what do they say?
I will share 1st... when I leave the room I think people think I am boring, a try hard, up myself.
What do you think of people who watch what they eat, exercise regularly.
I think they are often boring, trying to hard, up themselves.
What if we fail? What will happen to us, what will that mean?
If I do not succeed I will have wasted my time, I will be less than I was when I started, it will be embarrassing trying so hard and then failing. I will seem like a mug.
What thoughts have we had since we were young about what we look like?
I don't fit in, I am thick with no shape and no waist and therefore feel unattractive, less than, and non dainty, because when I saw that girl around the pool I decided she had the perfect body and she was petite.
What do we really want? Who do we really want to be? What holds us back truly?
I want to be open, authentic, liked. I fear that I am unlikeable. So I resist from putting myself out there sometimes
The only way I could push past these thoughts were being aware of them, realizing they were not facts, and making new thoughts. At first I found I had to fake it till I made it. But changing those thoughts about myself to positive ones enabled me to see this journey through long term. It enabled me to open up, be brave with my Instagram account, share, stop yoyo dieting, get a job I loved, help my relationship grow, made me make better food choices, exercise and be active daily. I stopped being scared of being boring, I started to believe I was likeable (and it being OK to not be liked by everyone) I started to have self worth, belief.
If we can begin to believe that we deserve a good lifestyle, a healthy body, to feel good in our skin. If we believe that its OK to be scared but to not let the fear win, if we keep practicing those lunges even though we are bad, if we keep opting for healthier lunches even after we eat cheesecake for breakfast... after some time... we will look back at our negative ego ridden self that held us back, and wonder how on earth we let it make such horrid choices for us time and time again. We will then be able to wish for the things we really want, whilst ignoring the things our ego wants.
Take care of YOU first. The real you. Not the you your ego wants you to believe you are. You are capable of all the things you want. So go get them!