Today we are going to start a series on the internal concepts of wellness, the “why” we do the things we do. At Heart In Motion, we focus not only on learning how our bodies are designed to function, but also the sustainability factors that help us to make our changes and make our changes sustainable. To start, everything we do, all of our behaviors, start on the inside. Whether perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, or the messages we give ourselves, they all affect our behavior. No matter how hard we try to justify that our behaviors are automatic (and they may feel that way), they didn’t start out that way. Everything we do is reinforced somehow, and the process starts on the inside.
Our perceptions are the lens through which we see the world. They are one of the most accurate indicators of long term success, so it bears spending some time addressing them. In our world, we tend to perceive boundaries as restriction. We see diet plans we restrictive by cutting out what we can and cannot eat. We have “cheat” days because we see our regular, everyday healthy choices as restrictive and just need a “break.” But what if we totally turned around our perception of health, wellness, and weight loss to be one of pursuing freedom instead of restriction? Wouldn’t the walk be so much easier?
Think of the internal struggle that it often takes to make healthy choices. It is easy to get caught up in the relentless cycle of constant internal dialog about what choices to make. That constant dialog is not only distracting, but it is exhausting, leading most people to rely on short-lived willpower and eventually end up feeling frustrated and defeated. Consider this: what if we decided to make all of our choices based on the pursuit of freedom … freedom from distraction, willpower, struggle, and internal dialog? If we instead chose every day to see the healthy boundaries for our food as freedom instead of restriction, there will be far less fight in our journey. Instead we see “freedom” as throwing caution to the wind, deciding to “not worry about it today” or “start again tomorrow,” only ending up right where we started, frustrated, defeated, and distracted.
Consider a few common perspectives that keep people stuck:
|This is just too hard to keep up||If I make the best choices now, I don’t have to fight the “hard” consequences later.|
|But I can never have_______ again||I can “have” whatever I want, but I want to make the choices that feel good both short term and long term.|
|This is just too restrictive||I have so many choices within these boundaries. These choices make me feel better than fighting my internal battles.|
|I have no willpower!!||Willpower has no place in health and weight loss. I want to be free. That means making all of my choices with that mindset.|
Boundaries are in place to protect us, to keep us safe from harm. If we see them as restrictive, they have the power to gain control over our mindset. If we see them as freedom, then the internal dialog grows dim. It is the neurological principle of neuroplasticity. The more you reinforce a certain behavior or thought process, the deeper and stronger the pathway in the brain becomes. The less you use an old pathway, the better your body’s ability to let it die. This is also true with perception.
Change comes from the inside, as does destruction. Like a boiling pot whatever is “simmering” inside of you will eventually boil out into your actions, the way you interact with the world and treat your body.
Your perceptions have the power to shape your reality.
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- Consider the internal perceptions that have kept you stuck or inhibit your progress. In the coming weeks, we are going to be working on the internal concepts that help us to maintain our health results. What is inside matters greatly, and the changes we make on the outside will be a direct result of the changes we make on the inside.