I used to waste a lot of time with negative self talk because of my diet. I knew it was killing me, that was obvious, but I also couldn’t stop. So I’d eat a whole bag of chips with cheese dip and then I’d spend the rest of the evening telling myself what a loser I was for giving in to temptation. Or I’d go to the sandwich place and order the extra large with everything and then feel awful about myself the whole time I choked it down, and the rest of the day I’d repeat to myself again and again that no one would ever love me because I was fat and weak.
There are a lot of misconceptions about fat people. And one is that they must want to be that way because otherwise they’d change. There is a certain truth to that. But most of them aren’t happy being fat. They might pretend to own it, and even tell themselves that they embrace it happily. But most of them don’t want to be unhealthy and unattractive. They want to be fit and strong and accepted and appreciated. But their addiction to food is stronger.
And so begins the cycle of self abuse. I’ve known a lot of overweight people who beat themselves up all the time for their food choices. It’s in the cultural subconscious. Remember the villain in the movie Dodgeball and his unhealthy relationship with food? Many overweight and unhealthy people spend a significant amount of their lives telling themselves they’re weak and they’re failures and they deserve to be alone because they had a piece of cheesecake with dinner.
That sucks. That makes you a sad, isolated person. And all your self hate becomes your destiny. And because you don’t understand why you keep eating the way you do, you keep falling deeper and deeper into despair.
And here’s one of the best side effects of living the Paleo lifestyle. One I never expected or could even imagine. One it took me a few weeks to fully realize.
All that negative self talk, disappeared. The tape loop of failure and degradation that used to play in my head twenty-four hours a day, for so many years I didn’t even hear it anymore, disappeared. The constant hum of “you’re weak you’re not good enough you don’t deserve to be loved you’re a failure you’ll never be healthy” that played forever and ever deep in the recesses of my mind, disappeared.
It took me a while to realize it was gone. And a little longer to realize why. Suddenly I had all this time and mental energy that I could put to more productive tasks. All the work I wasted punishing myself for my unhealthy lifestyle I could now put towards my karate training and my marriage and a new job and new projects. Like a blog! Instead of spending four or five hours a night slumped and defeated, I was positive and motivated and I felt great and I had all these freed up resources to devote to building myself up instead of tearing myself down.
I wasn’t alone in my old lifestyle, and I’m not alone in my new one. I’ve spoken to other Paleo friendly folk who’ve experienced the same change. It’s wonderful and empowering and just one of the small ways you will change your life. Eating healthy foods doesn’t just make you look sexy naked. It heals your body, but it heals your mind too. And it heals your soul.
Maybe this is meaningless to you. Not every reader will empathize with every part of my unique experience. But if you’re one of the people who knows exactly what I’m talking about, my message is this. You can be healed. You can be happy. Your relationship with food can be one that makes you strong and confident and optimistic. You don’t have to live in your prison of negativity. The key to the cell door is in your hands. And even if you think you aren’t someone who needs this change, you might be surprised by how you feel after even a few days of “guilt free” eating.
I can gorge myself on peppers and onions and chicken and steak and broccoli and mushrooms and never feel the guilt I felt from just one bottle of soda or piece of pie. I can eat more and better foods than I ever did and walk away feeling good! about my decisions.
If the way you’re living doesn’t make you feel good now, consider making a change. Consider what you could do with a positive tape player playing in your head and a lot more free time and energy. Consider what you could accomplish if you were working WITH your mind, body, and spirit, instead of against them.