So you really want to lose body fat. You know how to eat and live for this to happen, but for some reason you just can’t make yourself live this way consistently. You do it for a day, or even a week but can’t seem to string good weeks onto good weeks, let alone months. You know it is your big priority yet you keep getting in your own way. If this sounds like you then read on.
The above is a classic example of self sabotage. You want something wholeheartedly but you get in your own way before the goal is accomplished. In this instance, all the knowledge around nutrition, training and lifestyle isn’t going to necessarily help you get out of this cycle.
Before we look at what is actually going on it is important to get a basic grasp of some theory – In psychotherapy (I am currently studying a branch of this) according to Eric Berne people operate out of one of three ego states. Adult, Parent or Child. These ego states are modelled from what we saw as a child. For example adult ego state means the person is being open, honest and straight up without any hidden agenda or games. Parent ego state is where the person is either nurturing someone or being critical. Child ego state is where the person is essentially acting like a ‘child’. They may be in a state of spontaneity, fun or conforming.
So if we look at the above situation again we actually have an internal dialogue fight between 2 ego states of our selves. Our parent ego state is sending out messages that you can’t eat this or you can’t drink that. In other words, it’s being very restrictive and critical. The internal dialogue is hitting our child ego state which just wants to have fun and be free. For people that have a perfectionist streak within them this critical ego state is very powerful and dominant. The problem with this is that the ‘child’ is even more constrained and wants to come out even more. This is where the battle is lost. The internal dialogue of “you can’t eat that, it’s bad” will eventually lose to the child ego state that says “stuff you mate, I want to be free”. How long this battle goes on for with the parent winning depends on how strong that restrictive voice is and how many other stressors in your life you have.
So now we know what is going on at a basic level, what should we do about it? We know with anything health and training the biggest, most important principle to ensure is carried out is consistency over a long period of time. You don’t get strong doing one four week program and you don’t go from fat to fit overnight. With that awareness the best thing you can do for yourself is to give yourself permission to not be perfect all of the time. When you relax this perfect ‘driver’ you are relaxing the critical parent ego state and therefore not encouraging that inner dialogue battle where the child is going to win. It means you may not eat or live as ‘perfect’ as you would like but it means you will be much more consistent without the big extremes of on and off. We know that this is the recipe for success with your health and your body composition over a long period of time.
Imagine being able to eat some ice cream or have a wine without feeling guilty? This is possible when we relax that perfect driver because you won’t actually want it so often. I hope this has helped you or someone you know. Please share and tag anyone you think this may help!
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