Whenever I begin to experience meaningful advancements in my weight loss journey, I find a way to thwart my progress. What is going on?
How do you think I manage to sabotage my efforts towards something I want so much?
Of course, by deliberately taking the lane which has my favorite pastry shop and I not only take that lane, I enter the shop too. And then, two Manishas emerge from one – one ‘Me Manisha’ and a ‘Monster Manisha’. The ‘Me Manisha’ tells me, “Go out! What are you doing here? You need to lose weight. You committed to welcome 2021 at your target weight!
But these voices are meek and here comes the ‘Monster Manisha’. Listen to what she has to tell me:
Come on! New years eve is two months away! One pastry will not make any difference! Hey, today is a festival! Won’t you celebrate such an important day! Go ahead, start your diet after you eat just this pastry, and then you know what happens….
This voice has one more characteristic. After you finish the pastry; this same monster voice will attack you for doing so! It will berate you for being undisciplined and out of control.
This monster did not spare me, even when I was writing this blog. The moment I thought of sharing my journey, it attacked me and said,”Why do you have to embarrass yourself in front of so many people? Nobody is interested in reading your blog and knowing your journey.” What if people laugh at you?
But if you are attracted to read my blog, this means that somehow, you grapple with this monster too! My co-travelers, this is not just my personal story but a universal phenomenon. A perfect example of one of the great human dilemmas- while most of us yearn for greater skills and self- improvement, something inside us becomes very threatened by change. Implementing change appears to be a pull-push experience.
I am here today despite my monster voice telling me to drop out. So let me share with you how I dealt with this twin that resides in me. I hope this will help you tame your shadow twin as well.
The first step is to HOLD the monster close to you. This is a survival mechanism built in all of us to protect us by maintaining the status quo and keeping us just the way we are. It does not understand terms like good, bad, healthy, or unhealthy. Rather than passing judgment about our condition, the mechanism’s sole mission is to defend itself, even at the cost of killing its host-YOU. The system views everything familiar as safe and anything unfamiliar as unsafe. It is a device that pledges its allegiance to our present condition and views our current status as safe and normal. Because of its protective nature, this self-preservation system is triggered whenever a change is introduced in our lives.
Don’t kick it, don’t ignore it. Hold it, and thank it.
The second step, UNDERSTAND and do not resist because what you resist, persists.
The third step is to GO SLOW WITH THE GOAL. it feels threatened because we take drastic steps like when we tell ourselves, I will never eat this pastry, or I will never be on social media, or I will never procrastinate. Make small steps. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. By throwing the pendulum of change far in one direction, we send it in the opposite direction with a powerful force and determination.
So the three steps make HUG YOUR MONSTER
Growth need not be a drastic and suffering experience. Embrace this monster within and make growth a nurturing experience.