You know what you’re supposed to do.
You know you should be making better choices.
You know you should be exercising. But…you just can’t get yourself to do it! What gives?
That’s exactly how one of our Beyond Diet Members was feeling when she shared this post on our community site:
I love how she starts her post…"Truth Time"…because many times the first step in making a significant change in our lives is to really get honest with ourselves.
This woman is not alone. We’ve all been there. Many times we know the choice we’re about to make is a poor choice, but we do it anyway!!!!! (Ugh, insert frustrated face here).
Thankfully, the Beyond Diet site is such an incredibly supportive place. Many members came to her rescue with incredible words of encouragement and support. One response, so great, I implemented the strategy into my own life immediately.
One of our wonderful Beyond Diet coaches, Lorraine, replied:
Hey Leslie! For me one of the biggest challenges I faced when setting out on my journey was understanding that I was the product of several years of poor programming that had rooted itself in my subconscious and this would cause me to do things I knew were not in alignment with my health goals but were still being done just out of habit.
Habits are a comfort zone and what worked for me was to shock my subconscious with new programming so I could create new habits. I wanted to make healthy choices without putting forth any effort just as I did not have to put forth effort to make unhealthy choices.
What worked for me was me creating a contract with myself - My own personal 10 commandments. I chose the top ten things that I knew I did every day and if I continued to do them not only would my health be severely damaged over time but the lives of those I love most would be altered so negatively if anything ever happened to me. I went to the local dollar store and purchased a poster board. I wrote down my ten I shall not's and pinned it to my wall. Every morning I read it, every afternoon, every night and just anytime I would turn to its direction on the wall.
While my habits did not change overnight I was able to make changes steadily over time because each time I read my commandments I felt responsible and accountable for my choices and was slowly but steadily reprogramming my subconscious. Give it a try! it may help you overcome doing things that you know are not healthy just out of habit :)
Wow! Just, WOW!!!
I was beyond impressed with Lorraine’s insight here.
I have written many times about the power of habit and how the best way to really cement in our new healthy lifestyle is to create new habits that support our goals, but Lorraine’s mention of how deeply our current habits are glued into our subconscious mind got me thinking about some of my own habits that don’t support my ultimate goal.
And this led me to the next step… my own personal 10 commandments or “Rules for Life.”
My good friend Craig Ballantyne talks about this a lot.
He uses the example of a vegetarian (and no I’m not a vegetarian). This person has made a personal choice for their life. Let’s call it a rule. So when they go to a barbeque and someone offers them a juicy cheeseburger on a thick white bun, they immediately say “no thank you” because this choice is not in alignment with a rule they’ve created for their life. But what if you’re not a vegetarian and just kind of on the fence with your health choices, could you more easily be persuaded to eat the cheeseburger even though it’s not in alignment with your health goals? Well if you like cheeseburgers, probably yes.
I’m not singling out the cheeseburgers here, but because I have a personal rule that I do not eat white bread and I do not eat processed cheese, my immediate answer would be “no thank you.”
Lorraine’s incredible reply goes on to discuss the reason why many of us are too scared to create these commandments for ourselves…and it’s just that…FEAR.
Fear we won’t follow them.
Fear we’ll look stupid when we mess up.
Fear we’ll disappoint those around us…or even worse, continue to disappoint ourselves.
But what if you could take those fears and completely reverse them and ask the better question…
What would happen if I don’t follow these rules?
Instead of being scared of messing up (which we will all do) ask yourself the following questions…
- What would happen if I don’t make better choices for myself?
- How will that effect my children?
- How will that affect my spouse?
- What would be the result 5 years from now if I don’t stop eating sugar?
- Will all of my unhealthy choices lead to diseases like Diabetes or Heart Disease?
Author and speaker Tony Robbins calls this the “Dickens process.” The process is based on Charles Dickens’s Scrooge where it shows the future that could be if Scrooge doesn’t change his ways.
The reason Scrooge finally changes, is that he physically felt the emotional pain of what his life might look like if he didn’t stop being such a mean and nasty man.
For you, the scenario may look very different, but you can still use the same process. Imagine what life will look like for you if you don’t begin to make change today.
Once you are able to, as they say, “feel the fear and do it anyway,” you are ready to create your own set of commandments as Lorraine suggests.
Here are just a few of mine that have helped me maintain my own 30-pound weight loss for almost 2 decades now.
- I drink water as my main source of hydration and never drink anything that contains sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- I never purchase any processed food that contains soy or canola oil.
- I eat a healthy source of protein with every meal.
- I plan exercise into my week a minimum of 4 times per week.
And that is just a few of the personal rules I have created for myself. Each one of them contributes to my ultimate health goal of feeling great each and every day.
“Well Isabel, doesn’t having rules for yourself feel restrictive?”
Actually, it’s quite the opposite. It feels so freeing!
Since I already know what my do’s and do not’s are, I’m not constantly bombarded with tons of decisions to make all day long. I’ve also made many of my rules into the habits I have every day.
Now it’s your turn.
What are some personal rules or commandments you would like to implement into your own life?
Just like Lorraine was able to help our wonderful Beyond Diet Member, I would love to be there to support and help you achieve your health and weight loss goals in any way possible.
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