21.3.14

learning the treat mentality

When I say "cheat," what is your first emotion?

Guilt?
Shame?
Fear?
All of the above?

I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that feels incurable. There is something about self-inflicted shame that can breed feelings of failure that are stronger than you have ever felt before. Deep, deep feelings of inadequacy that trickle into every area of your life. When you feel like a failure at one thing, it creates a negative paradigm through which you see life.

Sounds like something we all want right?

Why is it that, even though we know that shame so well, we cheat ourselves so often? We skip the gym, we hit up the drive through, we push all of our social activities out of our lives to make more time for work or, if you have Senioritis like me, you let yourself get so far behind on work that you feel stuck in a hole so deep you will never get out. We know all of these choices carry this feeling of cheating, but we choose them anyway. We take part in this insanity of repeating the act of "cheating" and then making ourselves feel horrible about it.

Most people's solution: stop cheating on your diet, your exercise, and yourself!

My solution: stop reacting with guilt and shame.

What if we took that terrifying and guilt-inducing word, "cheat," and created a completely different word, with which we could have a new reaction? For me, something about feeling like I cheated makes me want to move from having one brownie to eating the whole pan. I am overcome by a "screw it" mentality and just go all-out until I feel so sick and down on myself that I promise I'll crash-diet my way out of today's mess tomorrow. 

Having a "treat," however, is different.

You're allowed to have a treat, you know. It doesn't make you a failure. You aren't cheating. This is a lifestyle, remember? Sometimes, in a lifestyle, you have to cater to other parts of your life than just that goal body in your mind. Heck, some days, you soul just might need that brownie! 

Give up cheating. Bury that word and all of the self-hate that it brings. Instead, give yourself permission to have a treat every now and then and remember that you have the rest of your life ahead. Your strength, power, and value are created in the full masterpiece that you were made to be, and your soul is part of that masterpiece. If it needs a brownie, a date with a friend, or a day off the gym, give it a treat and call it a success in the area of creating a lifestyle of balance.

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I needed to hear that today, and I thought you might too. School is a beast that I have 8 weeks to conquer. Alone, it's not big deal but, with contest prep in full swing and big decisions on my mind, there are too many things competing for my attention lately! A little extra sleep will be welcomed this weekend. Choose joy, friends! Have a great weekend!

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