Every Club has it’s rules.
But BURSTClub is a different kind of club. Our standard and keys are not to be confused with rules or laws. A rule often generates thoughts and feelings of fear, guilt, and the need to perform: “If I follow this rule, I am good. If I break it, I am bad.”
As my husband and I speak to groups around the country, we are shocked at how much guilt and shame surface when we begin to discuss the topic of health and fitness.
For example, when a woman hears a talk about nutrition or picks up a new health-related book, her thoughts might begin to sound like this:
Yesterday all I ate was a handful of goldfish as I ran upstairs to change the baby’s diaper. I had every intention of eating lunch but the phone rang. And dinner? 5:00 seems to keep coming sooner and sooner every day. We ordered pizza (again) because I’m too tired to cook. I feel like I’m killing myself and my kids. I am a horrible mom.
Does this barrage of self-loathing and critical thoughts sound familiar?
As you embark on a journey or continue on your journey to better fitness or eating more healthy, I invite you to first leave guilt and shame at the door. You don’t need either of these hindrances escorting you on your quest for lasting change.
Implementing change is not easy; nor is it all that much fun to face your current health reality if it feels bleak and overwhelming. Because of that, our 5 ALIVE Thinking & Eating Keys, as well as our Meal Plans, are not weighed down with abstinence, restrictions, or rules. Instead, they contain keys that will position you to open doors that may have been closed to you until now.
Personal experience has helped me understand that we often respond better when focusing on what we can do, rather than on what we can’t do. In other words, we tend to embrace change more readily when we give ourselves a guideline to follow, yet still allow plenty of room for mess-ups or bad days.
How many diets have you failed simply because they were focused on abstaining from and restricting certain foods?
This approach sets you up for disappointment; deprivation leads to frustration, which results in quitting.
My epic dieting failure included a four-year starvation diet where I dropped from 120 pounds to 85 pounds. I failed because I was trying to follow a set of rules that I had placed on myself. I lived under restrictions and a law of abstinence. I felt suffocated, dead inside, and like I was consumed with every single thing I put in my mouth.
Do you remember when your mom told you not to eat a cookie out of the cookie jar? What did you want to do? Eat a cookie, of course! It’s human nature. When we are told not to do something, we tend to want to do the very thing we were told to avoid.
So rather than focusing on all the “Thou shalt nots” of food abstinence—that will eventually lead to us hiding in the closet with a half-gallon of ice cream when we think no one is looking, I have changed my tune.
3 “Secrets” to Staying Fit & Eating Healthy…
…without Killing Yourself
1. REFUSE Shame
When I say refusing, I mean REFUSING. I have to get “violent” sometimes about this because everything in me wants to agree with shame. It feels so true in the moment. I do feel like a loser, bad mom, awful wife, or failure with my eating because of “______”. There is typically something pretty valid that I’ve done to back up my shame-filled claim about myself.
However, shame is the furthest thing from constructive. It’s actually quite destructive as you have probably already experienced. Refusing to operate under self-loathing and shame will free you to have confidence…even when you blow it in your diet, responses to others, or your workouts for the week.
It’s being able to see the big picture of life and know that it’s a journey. You aren’t completely derailed because of one (or even 10) bad decisions. And ultimately YOU are not a bad person…you just made a bad choice. Bad choices can be reversed by better ones. When you don’t separate your choices from your identity (who you are at the core of your being) you can become hopeless to ever change and shame takes over.
2. Focus on the “Thou Shalts”
The “thou shalts” can be defined as the ALIVE options that I can add in each day. When I camp here versus all the “thous shalt nots” my mindset is very different. Instead of an abstinence mentality I’m looking for the positive things I can do each meal time to helkp improve my health, energy, and fitness. This approach will naturally reduce the less healthy choices.
3. Think ALIVE Thoughts
Similar to focusing on the “thou shalts” instead of the “thou shalt nots”, when you focus on ALIVE thoughts they will naturally crowd out the negative, DEAD mindsets (and boy did I have a lot of these to work through!).
One of the most helpful things in helping me to overcome my obsession with body image and starving myself to obtain the perfect figure was identifying the core “lie” I was daily operating under. This lie had become such a part of me that it was a now “truth” so it was difficult at first to identify.
But as I took an honest look at my life and the path I had taken I was able to identify the core lie (along with alot of others) that were robbing me daily of living life to the fullest. I was miserable, trapped in my own standards of perfections that were unattainable.
Take this simple step today of asking yourself, “What am I believing that is a lie? What is robbing me of life?” Be honest with yourself. This lie may feel very, very true based on an experience you’ve had. But is it really TRUTH?
If you’ll begin the process of identifying, you’re almost ready for the next step of breaking agreement with this lie and being set free to soar to new heights. You may have no idea what you’re actually capable of when you are not held back by self-imposed chains.
Freedom is a beautiful thing…if you want it.
Let me know how you do this week applying these 3 simple steps.