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Taming our inner critic

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Nov 04,2018 - Last updated at Nov 04,2018

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

There is something we desperate dieters have in common: we often happen to be our worst enemy when it comes to sabotaging ourselves. Just when we need to be our best advocate and coach, our inner critic never gives us a break. 

We can’t even take a compliment without wondering what the motive is behind the well-intentioned person giving it. Yet, we are so ready to receive criticism and to believe negative comments others say about us without even challenging those thoughts. 


‘Stinking Thinking’


Living like this long enough causes us to develop patterns of what I call “Stinking Thinking” that does nothing but erode our internal dialogue and leads us to believe things about ourselves that simply are not true. These adopted beliefs that we allow to go unchallenged become self-fulfilling prophecies because, all of the sudden, we have labelled ourselves as Desperate Dieters who just cannot seem to take control of managing and controlling our weight. We become obsessed with food, calories and scales all the while the child inside of us is wondering whatever happened to just eating food when we are hungry and taking out all the emotions from this equation!


Is food our pacifier?


If we challenge ourselves beyond our comfort zones and ask ourselves some tough questions, then maybe we can get somewhere as desperate dieters. Have you ever asked yourself that maybe we are desperate dieters because we have desperately neglected to address deeper issues in our lives? These issues are more loaded than a piece of chocolate cake! We choose the easier road of eating that cake because we just do not want to deal with facing other issues we should be addressing.

For the desperate dieters food is the “go to cover” that pacifies and gives immediate comfort. For the smoker, it is the cigarette, for the drinker, it is the liquor, for the gambler, it is their favourite game but ultimately it is a high that ends with the lowest of lows, leaving one feeling empty, worthless, depressed and ready to check out again and so the vicious cycle repeats. The beginning of any healing must start with facing the painful reality of what current conditions we are facing.


Honest self-evaluation


We need to train ourselves to step out and take an outside look at ourselves as if we were someone else watching to get an objective view of what is happening and how we are responding to the stresses and challenges of our lives. Are we reaching inward or outward to replenish and restore our souls? If we fail to do these periodic self-examinations with honest and authentic objectivity, then we are choosing a losing battle. How else are we going to get better if we do not do these honest self-evaluations to see what mistakes we are making over and over again? At least then we can accurately diagnose the problem and adopt a smarter strategy to start moving forward.


Dive in!


My challenge for us this hot month of June as it is swim season is to get in touch with the kid inside us and dive right into the things that we are really passionate about. Each of us can make a list of all the things we truly do enjoy doing so let us start spending more time doing them! Life is too short to spend it obsessing about food. Let us for once act like kids and be able to take a compliment at face value and learn to say thank you when someone gives it. Let us get up from the sofa and put on our favourite music and move to our favourite beats that we used to listen to when we were active teens. Let us dare to dream again that there is hope for a better version of us. It starts with our inner thought dialogue and what we allow ourselves to believe about who we really are and not who someone else says we must be. 


My top 10 favourite things to do


I make sure to do at least one of these everyday no matter how busy my schedule gets. I now give myself permission to just be who I am and enjoy doing the things I enjoy doing! I find myself reaching less for those comfort foods since I am finally showing myself some compassion and kindness. I am finally listening to myself and what my body is really craving: quality time wellspent, doing the things that will take better care of me! I am more in touch with my feelings and I’m thriving — not constantly needing to check out and zone out! 

1. My morning walk with my best friend and my nature walks in the evenings

2. Reading

3. Family drives

4. Dancing to favourite oldies

5. Watching mystery movies

6. Going to the movies

7. Playing chess

8. Swimming

9. Playing tennis

10. Connecting with friends and loved ones


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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