This blog accompanies and further explains the video interview with Shazzie which discusses a very simple and effective way to reverse being unhappy and overweight. I suggest that you both watch the video and read the blog to get the most from this post. Shazzie is utterly lovely and I thoroughly enjoy her energy during the video, particularly her authenticity and honesty.
To watch part 1, click here.
FACT: Your mind is creating all of your negative thoughts about your body.
That’s why you need to start from the beginning, which is your mind, not what’s in your fridge or desk drawer at work. What you eat is also important, but it’s not the starting point, because, if you think about it, you already know that pigging out on sweets and deep fried things (or whatever your evil is) is not good for you or your waist line or your health, but you do it anyway, right?
This is why, we first need to change our thinking. And when we change our thoughts, our body will also change.
BUT don’t just change your thoughts to lose weight, change your thoughts to free your mind. Because when you free your mind, what you thought was important may turn out to not be that important, in the end.
You may find that being skinny doesn’t matter any more.
Being thin doesn’t automatically mean that the bigger problems have been resolved, or that you’ll be happier, even though it may feel like that right now.
Both Shazzie and I feel more confident about our bodies now despite having been a lot thinner in the past. (We were both so thin that we struggled to find clothes to fit us, but, it wasn’t sustainable.)
I like myself so much more now and I like my body a lot more. Importantly, I’ve stopped hiding myself like I had in the past.
Shazzie makes the point: Make your mind beautiful. Make your mind as beautiful as you can. Tend the weeds in your mind garden. Pull them out, plant amazing flowers and watch your world blossom.
When you feel really happy in yourself and you when you let go of your programming or conditioning, the weight drops off because it becomes irrelevant.
You no longer need to stuff your face to fill the void inside of you.
Shazzie learnt a great phrase from her psychologist to use when you’re feeling stuck with your weight (or anything else, for that matter):
“I don’t know how my body transforms into a shape I love, but it does easily now.”
This helps to take away the pressure of needing to understand exactly how your body is going to make that transformation.
All you need your body to know is that it can transform, which allows your other efforts to take effect.
And by allowing your mind to be open, you may find that you start loving your body despite it looking differently to how you imagined previously that it should look in order for you to be able to love it.
(Blimey, that’s a complicated sentence!)
Just like your perfect man – or home, or career, or lifestyle, etc. – may look differently to what you had expected him to. Maybe, for example, in the end you prefer being with a woman rather than a man, or being a nomad instead of living in a big farmhouse. In the same way, it may be that the body that you learn to love is not skinny, but athletic and strong, or perhaps something else completely. The important thing here is to let your mind be open so that you can appreciate all of these things when you find youself there.
It takes practice and it’s down to choice
It take dedication, practice and belief. It also takes patience and compassion towards yourself.
Set yourself the intention that you’ll be a loving and kind human being and that everything that comes from you is positive.
And, if suddently it’s not, “don’t smack yourself in the face for it”, just notice what just happened. (I love Shazzie for using those words!)
It’s all about presence and awareness.
A woman once told Shazzie, “You’ve got it all inside you, but you’re still looking out there. It’s like you’re constantly looking for your keys, but you’ve got your keys, don’t you realise?”
So, yes, it is easy to say it’s easy when you’re practised and have got it, but you will get it, too. It just takes some time.
The key to the practice is to observe your thoughts.
Don’t let yourself be tricked by your brain that just because you’ve had a bad thought you’re a bad person as that results in two of your thoughts having an argument. That doesn’t work!
Observe your thoughts, don’t judge them.
And ask yourself, “Is that a thought that I want?”
Choose the thoughts that you listen to. It is down to choice.
Shazzie never realised for a long time that she could choose her life by choosing her thoughts. Realising that everything she thought and did was her choice revolutionised her life and gave her everything she ever wanted.
Sometimes what prevents us is the fear that we are not ready to have everything we want.
How is that possible, you may ask.
Well, if you think about it, what are you saying “yes” to by staying where you are in your life right now?
- To keeping things familiar?
- To getting attention and recognition for your problems?
And what are you saying “no” to?
- To redefining yourself?
- To not knowing who you will be when you come out at the other side?
- To blind faith that it will work out in the end?
- To facing up to some tough realities that are an integral part of your life right now?
Between the ages of 17 and 25 I used to define myself by the fact that my dad had died in a car accident when I was 17. I would tell people about that within a matter of minutes of meeting them. I would always get a lot of simpathy for it, like “Wow, you’ve had to deal with so much as such a young age!” Yes, it made me feel important and significant. And then, my brother died. And everything came crashing down around me. At that point I became depressing (I was depressed and in deep grief), and I hated myself. Something had to change. And it wasn’t easy forging a new identity for myself, but thanks to therapy (of various sorts) and, later, coaching, I got through it. Finally, my weight stabilised and I could enjoy my body for the first time.
The key to this is,
- Practise observing your thoughts.
- Let go of the negative thoughts (and never let yourself get into a dialogue with your thoughts as that empowers the thought giving it a real entity and significance.)
Every time you let a negative thought go, it becomes less powerful and has less of an impact on your life.
Over time it will get to the point where it’s unsubstantial and you may be left with purely a niggling feeling. And then even that niggling feeling will disappear.
More on how to make this work for you
I recently wrote another blog post on how to master your thoughts, you can read it here.
A book that I often recommend to clients is Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson. You can buy the book on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Bol.com in the Netherlands and at many other online and offline outlets.
Another resource your may find useful is The Three Principles, articulated by Sydney Banks in the 1970s. The Three Principles are the Mind, Consciousness and Thoughts and by understanding that these are three separate entities we can free ourselves from the burden of unhelpful thoughts.
This is because you are not your thoughts – unless you are. 🙂
Which means that only if you define yourself by your thoughts do you become them. If that’s confusing to you, it’s ok, it can be confusing to start with.
Here’s a video of Sydney Banks himself explaining the Three Principles.
Still confused? Remember, be patient and keep reading about this, keep observing your thoughts and notice how your thoughts are connected to your actions.
Finally, getting one-to-one support is invaluable. You may choose to get a counsellor, a psychotherapist or to work with a coach, like me.
Have you tried observing your thoughts? What have you noticed?
How do your thoughts affect your weight? What kinds of thoughts are you having when you binge? Are you connected to them at all? Or are you numbing internal pain caused by the cruel thoughts that you’re having?
And what about when you’re going through a phase of being lighter, what kinds of thoughts do you have then? How do you feel? How do you see the world at that moment? I’m willing to put money on it that that’s the time when you’re feeling most aligned and congruent in all parts of your life. Am I right?
Here’s a way to test yourself:
When the bingey feeling comes on, pause for a moment to ask yourself, What’s really going on here?
It’s highly unlikely to be a nutritional deficiency or genuine hunger, but most likely to be is something along the lines of loneliness, fear or anxiety of not being good enough, boredom, feeling like a fraud and so on.
What is it for you?
I love to hear your thoughts on this blog post and video. Please share them below and let’s keep the conversation going.
All my love,