Day 79 of 182
Thursday 23rd April
This post is partly one made up from one I previously posted-cheating?-have been thinking a lot about the “negative voice” in our heads lately and how learning to silence it was life changing for me.
Pretty sure it can be life changing for everyone. Actually I'm going to go as far as to say silencing that voice will be hugely positive for everyone.
You don’t have to have an Eating Disorder, to be anxious or depressed to have a negative voice in your head. This voice doesn’t care if you are a man or a woman, what age, race, size or shape you are we all have it.
We’re not born with it in fact I think that it probably comes into our lives at different times. Children don’t naturally doubt themselves, life brings that for some of us sooner than others.
Even Arianna Huffington has one she calls it the “obnoxious voice” and as the Editor of one of the largest news websites the Huffington Post and frequently on the list of top 50 most powerful women you’d think she had quite a lot to be confident about. She has said that now she has managed to silence it and it only comes out on rare occasions.
Not sure if you have one?
It’s the voice that when you think about trying something new says
“You won't be any good, everyone else will be better, you'll look a fool”
That when you start to like your reflection maybe a new outfit says
“If you lost some weight/toned up you’d look better”
That when you go for a job interview says
“I don’t think you should have answered like that”
That when you see other people out tells you
“If you were like her/him then you’d be better”
When the brilliant Beginner runners complete a session they never thought possible their voice will often say
“It doesn’t really count, it was very slow.”
For some including me this voice can really be quite vicious, another very positive success of this experience has been getting rid of it. Though like Arianna it will pay the odd visit, finds it easier to get in if I’m hungry or tired.
Mine was particularly vicious at times.
The realisation that the voice one telling me how useless I was, how I wasn’t thin enough and that I needed to do more to please people was completely separate from my own was a revelation.
And played a huge role in me beginning to deal with my eating disorder and realising I could begin recovery and to remove it from my life.
This realisation came about in early January when this experiment was just a small idea.
Finding myself home alone one afternoon, a serious trigger for me when in Bulimic mode to binge. I remember feeling so pleased that I didn’t have the urge.
I made a cup of tea and put on the television and thought what a big thing it was to be able to relax alone and not binge.
The minute I had that thought and felt happy with my progress the voice started.
“Go on eat. Don’t waste this opportunity. You are here alone, no one will know. You can’t resist.”
I stayed firm. Stood my ground.
“You are weak. You can't resist. Go on. One last time. Don’t eat tomorrow. You have already failed by thinking about it. You are so greedy you won't be able to stop yourself”
It was as if there was another person in the room, sitting beside me telling me this.
It went on and on in the end, exhausted by the argument and actually thinking “fine if doing it will shut you up so I can watch T.V in peace I will”
I gave in.
Devoured packets of biscuits, chocolate spread, bread and butter, anything within reach that I would have considered a bad food, all swallowed in a mindless daze. Then up to the bathroom to make myself sick.
Left feeling shaken, guilty, shameful and disgusted with myself.
That day I felt something different an unfamiliar sense of relief.
It was clear that day that this cruel voice wasn't true to me, it wasn't mine.
That I did want to get better and I didn’t want to treat myself this way anymore.
Some of the weight had been lifted. I had always felt badly about myself, thinking how you can be so awful that you tell yourself to do these things.
Plus much easier to resolve an argument with someone else than with yourself. Not easy, but easier.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me” he said to the boy “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil-he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego”
He continued “The other is good-he is joy, peace, love hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is inside you –and inside every other person too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed”
That’s how I see the voice as the evil wolf and that’s how I shut it up.
The good wolf is me the real me, the way I felt as a child and the bad wolf is the “negative voice” that wants to put me down and stifle me.
Following my 10 daily rules fed that good wolf and changed my life forever.
Yesterday I made a 2 minute video about my talk on the 7th May...(it's not perfect but luckily I'm not a perfectionist anymore..infact I am still figuring out how to load it so you'll have to wait until tomorrow!)
I can't wait to share how these small changes can make such a positive difference to daily life, less stress, less negativity, less worry, more excitement and happiness- who doesn't want that?
So excited my heart is racing!
Day 80 and I can't load video but click on this link and it will bring you to my page...scroll down and video is there (this works even if you are not a facebooker!)...