[break][/break]by Charlotte Siems
[break][/break]The door creaks on its rusty hinges and you lie in bed waiting. A faint, eerie light fills the room and your heart begins to pound. What is it? A ghostly being, come to show you the error of your ways? A voice from the past to shake its bony finger at you? Naw, one of the kids turned on the hall light for a midnight visit to the bathroom.
But as you try to return to sleep, something else starts nagging at you and wagging that finger. “I need to lose weight. I’m so fat.” “I hate how I look.” “I can’t stay consistent with T-Tapp so I’ll never lose a size.”
Nobody is meaner to you than you are. Can you imagine saying (aloud) to someone else, the things you say to yourself? “Hi there, you’re fat.” “Boy, your cellulite looks horrible.” “You have thunder thighs.” You would never say those things to someone you love or even a stranger at the grocery store. Yet you say them to yourself all day, every day.
Recent research confirms that negative thoughts and the resulting emotions actually affect the cells in your body—right down to the DNA! Thoughts, emotions and attitudes cause the secretion of chemicals in your body that affect everything from your immune system to your sleep patterns. Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book Who Switched Off My Brain? is a fascinating study on how to control toxic thoughts and emotions.
You may feel helpless to control these negative thoughts, but the scientific fact is that you choose your thoughts. Even thinking “I choose not to think _________ anymore,” sends those thoughts away and they fade. Just like any other new skill, it takes time to build new habits of thought, but you can make amazing progress in just four days.
Think of the implications for your T-Tapp practice. How many times have you said, “I just can’t stay consistent.” Your brain hears that and thinks, “she just can’t stay consistent,” and does everything possible to make sure that is true. What thoughts and words are coming from you?
The good news is that positive thoughts and words have an effect also. “I’m up for the challenge of being consistent,” creates a completely new emotion of pride and excitement. Your brain will be on your side to create this new reality.
Looking to your past failures reinforces self-criticism and discouragement. Even looking back to how you used to look can be tricky if you use it to compare it with how you look now and berate yourself. Like the Ghost of Christmas Past, you shroud yourself in thoughts of doom and gloom, spiraling down into discouragement.
Now I’m not saying that merely changing your thoughts will magically reduce you from a size 22 to a size 6. There’s a fair amount of work to be done, and the last time I checked, DOING the workout is what gives the results. But since your thoughts have such a profound effect on your body, right down to the DNA in your cells, a healthy overhaul of your attitude can only help.
There’s a myth that we can’t help what we think. We can’t help what pops into our head, but we choose to strengthen a thought and make it a part of us or we choose to take matters in hand and dismiss the thought. There is a related myth that we just “have” to bow to every emotion. Not so. Thoughts create emotions. Emotions are not reality, they are not truth. They are the body’s reaction to the chemicals secreted by complex processes in our brain resulting from thoughts. Fortunately, the process also works with positive thoughts, bathing the body in good feelings and healthy chemicals.
The next time the Ghost of Fitness Past tries to creep into your brain and wreak havoc with your self-worth or your exercise motivation, tell him to take a hike. You can choose your thoughts, so why not choose the thoughts that will take you where you want to go, towards your healthy, fit life. My favorite success book, the Bible, tells us to focus on whatever is true and lovely, and I love that science is catching up to prove why.