Do you have that voice in your head, too?
The one that says, “Why bother? You’ve never kept the weight off before? What makes you think you’re any stronger/smarter/harder working this time?” “No matter how much weight you lose, you’ll never be beautiful.” “You’re lazy. Admit it. You’re terrible at this. Just give up and get it over with.”
I certainly do, and it feels like that voice has been given a megaphone this week and it’s louder than ever. I feel adrift, alone and so discouraged. Yet, in a few brief moments when the voice decides to shut the heck up, I realize that I HAVE a plan and a support system, and my results should be all the encouragement I need.
I’ve been given all the tools I need to succeed. So why is it still so hard? The answer, according to the voice, is because I’m weak. I’m lazy, I’m unmotivated, I’m a disappointment.
I’m leaving for Florida for a week this Thursday and I’m so afraid that I’m going to screw it all up. But I’ve packed my gym shoes and workout clothes, I have plans to run with Jon’s sister, and we have not planned any of our vacation around food this time–a big feat for us. I know I can handle the wedding because I handled one during the Fittest Loser and I did great. Why won’t this voice let me be?
At least I know I’m not alone in hearing voices. Famed Women, Food and God author Geneen Roth recently wrote a column about it on Oprah.com, as well as another in Good Housekeeping. I identified with both completely.
The best thing I’ve discovered is to disengage from it and to be relentless about that. You need a firm, almost fierce commitment to doing this. Each time you find yourself paralyzed with judgment or shame, each time you hear that voice ranting at you, you need to stop. Stop. No matter what, you stop. Even if you feel compelled by what it is saying, even if you believe every single word, you hear the tone of voice, you notice what it does to you and you stop. You disengage, telling it that it is not your friend. You are firm with it and with your commitment to stop The Voice from taking over your life. And if you keep doing that, if you stop it every time it attacks you, you will begin feeling as if you are getting more and more of yourself back. And when you have yourself back, you can then ask what you want to do, how you want to live, what’s important to you.
It is my goal this week to remind myself every single day that I CAN do this, and I know I can, because I did it. I DID IT. I put in the time and the work and the 830 million meals of plain chicken, and I earned it. There’s no reason that has to stop just because the contest did. There is nothing and nobody that can stop me, except myself.
What the voice forgets is that I have one too–and I refuse to be silenced.