A lot of people on my weight-loss program have been RAVING about this week’s lesson from our fearless leader, Michelle Bridges. It didn’t bring me to tears or result in any cathartic light-bulb moments, but there were still a number of things I got out of it, and today’s post is the first of a two-parter on the week’s topic: self-sabotage (SS).
Michelle started by suggesting that not all of us are self-saboteurs: some of us just really like our food, or make conscious decisions about what actions we will take.
I tend to think of myself as having SS behaviour, but wonder if that’s a cop-out. Perhaps it’s more justifiable to binge-eat blocks of chocolate (and chips, and wine) if you are f*cked in the head, rather than making a conscious decision to do things you know you shouldn’t.
Interestingly, and in her very pragmatic way, Michelle talked a bit about ‘intent’. She said those exhibiting SS behaviour are often looking for an excuse (ANY will do) to ‘give up’ and perhaps were never planning on ‘sticking to it’ in the first place.
She pointed out that in our everyday lives, ‘shit’ (my word, not hers) will always happen; but that every time we reach that crossroads we have a choice. We take one path; or the other. Or, of course, we could stand there flummoxed until we get barrelled over by the bus speeding along behind us.
Most important, she said, is that we are ‘okay’ with our choice. ‘Free yourself from the torment,’ she said. She reminded us to be aware that our choices have implications BUT whatever our choice, we should pursue it with ‘love’. For some reason that concept resonated with me and felt very ‘freeing’ in itself.
Sure, I could NOT eat healthily or exercise or diet. And giving myself permission to make that choice would be incredibly liberating…. ie. not having that voice in the back of your mind telling you that you are a failure and doing the ‘wrong’ thing. I can but imagine that living without guilt and regret would be EXTREMELY cathartic.
But… Very importantly she also said: Don’t say you will if you know you won’t.
I guess that works both ways. We shouldn’t make promises we can’t keep, whether we are vowing to eat healthily and exercise, when (in fact) we are ready to quit the first chance we get; or whether we say we’re not going to worry about our weight, but then beat ourselves up when we gain a few kilos.
It all comes down to the choices we make. As adults in a democratic country, we have (to all intents and purposes) ‘free will’ over much of our life. We get to make our own choices. We just need to be prepared to live with those consequences.