Sometimes it can feel like there is a constant argument happening in our heads. We are always thinking about what to do, what not to do, what to eat, what not to eat, who we are, who we want to be. It goes back and forth, endlessly.
This ongoing argument is the collection of thoughts your brain presents as the “case” for or against something.
Sometimes we think of it as a little devil and a little angel on our shoulders, but the truth is it is all you. A whole courtroom drama is happening in your head and you are the prosecution, the defense, the judge, the jury, the witnesses – all of it.
Arguing with reality
One of the ways this shows up over and over in weight loss is as an argument against reality. We argue that this should be happening faster, that we should be losing more weight, that it should feel easier, or that we should be able to eat whatever we want like everyone else.
This argument with reality is an argument we can never win.
Byron Katie says this in her book, Loving What Is: “What you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened. It should have happened because it did, and no thinking in the world can change that.”
I would like to add, our thinking that it should or shouldn’t have happened differently doesn’t change it, but it does change our experience. It adds a tinge of wrongness, of dissatisfaction, of inequity, of outrage, or disappointment.
It’s unnecessary suffering we are creating for ourselves.
“Without the should and shouldn’t,” Byron Katie adds, “we can see reality as it is and this leaves us free to act efficiently, clearly, and sanely. Asking, ‘What is the reality of it?’ can help bring the mind out of its story, back into the real world.”
- When are you arguing for things to be what you think they should be?
- When are you arguing for reality to be different than it is?
- How do you feel when you do these things?
You’ll likely notice that when you are arguing with reality, it’s like running in place and hoping to get somewhere. It just breeds frustration, not forward motion.
How can you argue for things to be as they are? What would that look like on your weight loss journey?
Your internal courtroom
Our internal arguments are usually things we tell ourselves over and over. We are constantly having to combat the brain’s well-rehearsed arguments.
We argue for weight loss being hard or impossible for us because we haven’t done it permanently before.
We argue that this is just how we are.
We believe that this discomfort is unbearable or that it is unfair.
We argue that we don’t have time to plan or exercise.
We argue that our goals are just too far away.
When you find yourself engaging in these repetitive arguments, ask yourself:
- What’s happening in the courtroom of your mind? What are you arguing for?
- What are you spending your time and energy presenting evidence of?
- What values are you defending with your thoughts and actions?
- What objections are you making to your progress?
- What are you choosing to believe about your capabilities and your potential?
STOP arguing for your weaknesses and START arguing for your strengths
Why are we choosing to spend so much energy arguing for our faults and weaknesses? Imagine you were paying an attorney for all the hours spent litigating in the court of your mind. Would you consider this a brilliant use of your financial resources or a cause you want to get behind?
Imagine if instead, we mounted an offensive and we started arguing for our capabilities and our possibilities, for what might be instead of what isn’t. What could you create?
Here are some examples of turning a negative argument into a positive one:
- Instead of spending your time arguing for weight loss being hard, find evidence of it being easy.
- If you are arguing that it is impossible, instead spend time thinking of ways to make it possible.
- Instead of arguing that this is how you are, present a case for how you could be.
- Rather than focusing on the discomfort being unbearable, celebrate your capacity to feel your feelings.
- If you are arguing that it is unfair, instead focus on the gifts of learning and growth.
- Instead of arguing that you need a break, find evidence of your own inner strength.
- Rather than arguing that you don’t have time to plan and take care of yourself, argue that you are worth your time and energy.
- If you are arguing for how far away your goal is, choose to instead focus on the amazing journey you are on to becoming “future you.”
The holidays don’t have to be your downfall
One thing I want to specifically address is the argument for “the holidays” being hard or being our downfall. We throw up our hands at the end of the year and we act like we hold no power against “the holidays.”
We weave this unhelpful tale of “the holidays” being two solid months of endless treats and parties and off-plan eating. We present all this evidence of how we always gain weight over “the holidays.” And this year, a lot of us are arguing for how we need a break from 2020, so we’ll just restart in 2021.
Now, that’s fine. You can totally listen to these arguments and decide to rule on the side of powerlessness. Or you can decide to hear both sides.
- What if the holidays aren’t your downfall but are your opportunity to really show up for yourself and decide what matters to you?
- What if you hold all the power when it comes to the holidays?
- What if it’s more concerning that you miss out on becoming future you, than it is that you miss out on all the special foods?
- What if the foods aren’t special at all? What if it’s only the memories of those foods that are special and you don’t have to eat them to hold the beauty of the memories in your heart?
- What if the holidays are just days where you get to choose you – just like every other day of the year?
- What if the holidays are so much more than food?
You are the judge in the courtroom of your mind. You get to hear both sides and weigh all that is presented, and then you – and only you – get to decide which side wins.
If you’re searching for a realistic, permanent weight loss solution that will actually work this time, learn more about my weight loss coaching program.