Have you ever felt that there is an alter ego, or evil twin, who seems to want to scupper your best dieting efforts? Do you feel that if only the angelic side of you could keep the evil twin side firmly hidden, then you would easily have the body of your dreams?
We have all been there I am sure – all the best intentions and plans, matched with an actual belief that we really can stick to the plan. There is a side of us that really, truly loves to eat healthily and exercise. But then, when we least expect it, temptation stands in our way, and the alter-ego takes over. Before you know it, BAM, best intentions out the window.
However, what if we are missing a trick by trying to suppress the so-called ‘evil twin’? What if she is not so evil after all? What if we need to stop trying to be so perfect, and start accepting that we can be ALL things. By nature, we are contradictions, and that is fine. We sometimes want healthy, sometimes want indulgence. We sometimes want exercise, sometimes want rest. Sometimes we are nice and sometimes we are, well, we’re not that nice.
We have all spent our lives learning to reject elements of our human nature that are not acceptable in society, or within our particular sphere. If you grew up feeling that you could not express anger, then you will have learned to repress your anger, and in fact that is when anger can bubble up to the surface and cause even more pain. By embracing the fact that you have anger within you, and also looking to what positives there may be in that, the anger need not be hidden and repressed, and can actually be acknowledged as an acceptable part of the whole you. Sometimes showing displeasure when something is not as it should be really is OK – if you gloss over it so as not to appear angry as you judge that as bad, this anger will seep through in a more destructive way – if weight is an issue it is often these repressed emotions that lead to emotional eating. You are directing the anger that could have had an appropriate outlet into self-sabotaging behaviour.
Using anger as an example, if you can embrace the ‘angry’ part of you as OK, you may realise that some kind of martial art or combat style fitness programme involving boxing is just the ticket – directing the previously repressed emotion into an extremely positive outlet (so long as you stick to punching pads not unsuspecting people of course!).
There is a very simple and hugely illuminating way to figure out what you are repressing or denying. We project our feelings and emotions onto others, if you are a negative person, then you will see negativity in others around you. The things you most react to in the people around you are the things you most need to address yourself. It sounds a bit crazy at first, but try it!
It can be obvious, such as if you are overweight and focus on that about yourself all the time, you may well look at others and judge them for their weight. Imagine how much better you would feel if you stopped judging yourself, as you would stop judging others and stop thinking that others are judging you! When you start to acknowledge the beauty, love and light within yourself, you will begin to see it in everyone, and the world becomes a lighter, happier place.
If you find descriptive words that really bother you, then say ‘I am’ followed by that word, over and over, until it loses its emotional impact. Go on! I am lazy, I am boring, I am mean, I am greedy, I am…. Find the things you least feel like you want to identify with, and learn to see there is a part of you that is or can be that. Once you accept the dark side it has the effect of shedding light on it – and where there is light by definition there is no dark.
Often within the hidden, dark side, lurks some of our light that is too being hidden. So this process has the added effect of allowing you to shine your full light. Ever felt you can’t do something because you don’t want to ‘look like you are showing off’? Well, say to yourself, ‘I am a show off’. Accept that in life, we need to blow our own trumpets, no-one is going to do it for you, so accepting the show off can allow you to take some risks you were previously unable to (coaching myself here, one of my problems hence severe video-ing self phobia!!).
When this comes to getting in shape, or losing weight, there are many ways in which accepting the ‘shadow’ can eliminate self-sabotage, which is at the root of all failed attempts to get in shape. If you accept that contradiction is totally fine, there can be no ‘all or nothing’ thinking. There is no wagon to fall from! Accepting that you may sometimes want some cake or dessert, you may sometimes want to drink more than you should, you may sometimes want to stay in bed not get up to workout – all these are acceptable parts of being a balanced, real, human! Shine your light on these parts of you, and see the blessings within.
Blessings in being lazy? Well, yes! We can’t operate effectively if we are always ‘on’. Recovery is a vital part of any training plan and is where all the real benefits occur. We need sleep and good quality sleep, so this is a really important thing to focus on achieving, and there are many things you can do to improve your sleep quality. By embracing your need to rest and recover you can improve your recovery and actually what happens? You suddenly actually feel more energised anyway! So that early morning training session is no longer so daunting. But even if it is, you know that just because you are feeling lazy right now, it doesn’t make you lazy. It is just what it is. A feeling, that will pass. There is no judgement, and there is also no feeling that you have blown it all now because of one ‘slip up’.
Learning to embrace the whole and celebrate yourself leads to a sense of peace within yourself and a feeling of completeness. When we hide parts of ourselves we end up feeling empty and many people seek to fill this gap with food. But that is a hunger that food simply cannot fill.
The SIMPLE Nutrition Plan is designed to allow you to make positive choices, and also respect the fact that sometimes you will want to have certain things that aren’t the best in terms of your goals, but the emphasis is on mostly making positive, supportive choices from a place of self-love. You choose the good quality foods that will make you look and feel great, and I want to make sure you are all aware of what is actually healthful and what isn’t – mainly so that when you choose to indulge you can indulge in style! Eating things you think are healthy (typical low fat packaged foods such as cereals, snack bars etc) puts you at a disadvantage from the start. When you intend to eat the healthy stuff it had better be healthy, or you have wasted your effort!
By feeling good about yourself and your choices you will naturally want less of the things that aren’t great, but the minute you bring denial into the equation it becomes harder and harder to actually make the better choices, as the things you are denying call to you with an urgency you can’t quieten! This is the same as repressing your evil twin / dark side. The more you deny yourself the harder it is, the minute you shine the light of acceptance and allowance the power and urgency is removed, so you are free from craving and need. If course, you have to actually have it if you really, truly want it, but often the knowing it is there for you if you really want it makes all the difference!
If you want to explore your ‘shadow’, ‘evil twin’ or ‘dark side’ (which I highly recommend you do!) then these books are brilliant:
The Shadow Effect (Debbie Ford, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra). There is also a DVD which I have yet to watch. The authors have a slightly different approach to the topic, it is quite an easy read.
Debbie Ford’s book on the topic was really life changing for me, actually. I haven’t even properly completed the exercises within the book, but just reading it and being aware of my thoughts and projections on a daily basis has been illuminating, literally: The Dark Side of Light Chasers.
I really recommend you check these books out, but in the meantime, be aware of your projections and what they might mean! See if you can embrace and welcome your shadow, and shed light on your whole self!This entry was posted in Inspiration. Bookmark the permalink.