Updated: Sep 7, 2018
Even worse which ones are you still believing?
“95% of who we are by the time we are 35 is a memorised set of behaviours, emotional reactions, unconscious habits, hardwired attributes and perceptions that function like a computer program” Dr Joe Dispenza
As I have just recently turned 30 (for the 5th time), this struck a chord with me indeed. Being surrounded by some awesomely wise people has urged me to take a deep dive recently and shine a spotlight on myself in some dark and gloomy areas indeed.
That age old question, why do we do the things we do? Why do I reach for the comforting chocolate cookie or pasta or avoid the situations that make me feel uncomfortable?
If I am to go forth and help people with their own forms change, I need to figure out some reasons behind my own thoughts and habits.
Are these sitting on the surface and easy to find? Nope!
The emotional response might be - I’m bored, stressed, nervous, scared….
But why are those feelings there and what is it about the thing you are reaching for or trying to avoid that is causing that emotional response?
Personal Example - It’s no surprise June is hard, you can read about that in my previous post here. Yes, there was a traumatic experience and each time that is triggered my body wants the comfort of chocolate, cookies, ice cream or traditional Italian style pasta. This has been apparent for 8 years! It wasn’t until I took a step back and really thought WHY do I actually crave this?
I’m a PT now. I know how this crap doesn’t suit me or my body. But, WHY am I reaching for it?!?!
I know i’m not low in magnesium, but, I was craving chocolate - and not the usual dark 80% kind that my taste buds are now accustomed too. I wanted Kingston cookies, cadbury chocolates, vanilla ice cream and LOTS OF IT!
At first glance, I believed it was my little fat kid self just wanting to eat again… But WHY did I want to feed the inner fat kid and why did I only binge in June?
Digging deeper - those were the foods myself and my big sister would race home from school too and load up big bowls to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel Air! Those foods were my connection back to her, they took me back to a safe memory, a fun times memory. The memories i’ll forever cherish when my big sister was my world!
That realisation actually hit me hard, really hard! I was driving at the time, I had to pull over and just cry it out! (sheesh I’m even welling up and remembering that realisation moment) - see your body doesn’t know what is real and when you are rehashing a memory - the emotional response is huge!
I sat there thinking - S%#T that is F&@Ked up! Then I thought, ok, how the hell do I deal with this now?
I’ve realised the situation, the habit, the craving I’m actually after - now what? How the hell do I stop that??
In essence I just wanted to create a safe space - nice memories to outweigh the june thoughts. So I started remembering what else we used to do that didn’t involve food. We used to dance, sing and watch TV sitcoms.
For now, when I start to feel the loss or want a sense of familiar comfort, I’ll put on a song, a movie or simply sing loudly in the car all the words to Fresh Prince of Bel Air! It may not be the most scientific approach, but hey, if it stops me from reaching for the chocolate which I know does not serve my goal, then so be it. If I look like a lunatic singing in the car by myself…...MEH! Who cares!.
This brings me to avoidance - why do we avoid the things that we do and what stories are we believing about them?
This came about when my mentor/coach/boss put sprint training into my program!
My reaction - “I hate sprints” - “I can’t do sprints” -” Erg i’m not a runner” -”Really, sprints - REALLY?”
Yes I whinge too!
So I started the sprints!
Were they hard - YES.
Was I enjoying them - NO.
After a mentoring session, it was time for sprints. I toddled off down to the park, doing everything on my phone that I could to delay the process. Client confirmations, returning emails, FB uploads….Yup! Procrastinating at its finest!
Ok, so I had 39min of work ahead of me. 10 x 100m Sprints every 60 seconds, followed by a 60 second flow, then alas, rest for 2 minutes.
As you all know, I LOVE Animal Flow! That is what gets me moving - my sprints are to increase cardio so I can flow for 3 minutes with good form to become a level 2 instructor. Now this is my passion - I want to be able to flow better, while fatigued. Although, this today was not quite enough and my mind wandered into WHY am I so against running? Your mind can think of a lot when your fatigued and have 30-35 seconds before the next sprint interval!
I looked up to see a kids school carnival across the other end of the park. Thoughts automatically popped into my head - “Erg, I was never any good at sports carnivals”. “I am a swimmer, not a runner”. “I have always sucked at running”. It was the 3rd one, “I have ALWAYS sucked at running” that struck a chord with me. It got me thinking again. “Have I?”. “What really makes me think I suck at running?”
BOOM - Primary School Sports Carnival!
To paint a picture. I was a very overweight kid in primary school from year 5 (I guess I need to dive deeper as to why it started there, but that is for another day). I was 70kg at the age of 11. Yes, I was of the tank variety!
School carnivals consisted of SO MUCH RUNNING! 100m, 200m, 400m, hurdles, long jump, high jump...
I was forever last in all my events. My chest would wheeze with asthma, always out of breath with a bright red beetroot face. My thighs would rub together and chaff like hell. I felt slow, inadequate and heavy! It was really hard for me to manoeuvre my body like all of my mates. I would try so hard to run as fast as I could, that the majority of time i’d fall over as I couldn’t control my own movements. My body wasn’t strong enough in the right places to go at a speed I was trying too. I was never teased or made fun of in any way, that was simply how I was feeling about myself. It was that overweight asthmatic body that wasn’t the best at running.
So, in my 2-minute break between Round 2 and 3 of sprints, I then changed the story I was telling myself about running. I’m not that shell of a body anymore - this shell has worked hard and changed dammit! This shell has quads, hip mobility, no asthma and has done a bloody half marathon dammit. I started telling myself, I can do it, it’s 100m, take it as fast as you can control, you have glute control now, you can handle force being on one leg, YOU GOT THIS!
So rather than avoiding the 3rd round, I set the timer and off I went to finish round 3 for the first time. And you know what, I did it!
Was it tough? Yes.
Did I fall over? No!
Had anything else miraculously changed? No, only my thoughts towards running!
The distance was still the same, the environment was still the same, I hadn’t given my body extra energy with any type of food or drink. It was literally the thought process that had changed. And you know what, that 3rd flow was the strongest of the 3 too. At a time when I was meant to be totally fatigued. Don’t get me wrong, I was tired, but my mind was switched on for the task at hand. My goal!
So, moral of the story is, what are the habits that are instilled in your computer program that you may not even realise? What stories have you been telling yourself all this time that have stopped you from change?
Do you avoid something that makes you uncomfortable? WHY?
How can you change the story?
Until next time - Happy Thoughts!