Getting a grip on four common sub personalities may help you be more successful on any eating and exercise plan. Understand your archetypes: the victim, the inner child, your saboteur and your inner addict.
The Victim. You know this part of yourself is in charge if you go to a party and complain to yourself, “But everyone else is eating cake. Skinny people don’t have to exercise!” The victim is also the part of you who thinks the fat on your body arrived by some vicious quirk of fate. In my experience, clients who stay in their victim personality don’t succeed at weight loss. Take responsibility and reclaim your power to be healthy.
The Inner Child. My favorite term for this sub personality is the inner brat. The inner brat is the part of you that needs to eat kid foods. The inner brat is more easily managed than the victim. Include a 100-calorie portion of a low-glycemic treat food daily—peanut butter, chocolate, a few bites of rich ice cream—that way, you’ll never feel deprived. The trick is to figure out which taste you really crave and avoid the smorgasbord approach. Rats in weight-loss studies given a wide range of junk food gained weight. Other rats given healthy food with limited selection stayed slim.
The Saboteur. This is the sneaky part of you. “I waited until I was too hungry—then I ate everything in sight.” The saboteur may also select eating plans so restrictive—1,200 calories a day or less—or exercise programs so physically exhausting that failure is insured. Outsmart your inner saboteur by having healthy snacks stashed everywhere. Get rid of all irresistible foods you are prone to overeat—bags of potato chips, gallons of ice cream. Set up an appointment to find out your ideal metabolic diet so you can succeed without starving. Choose exercise that makes you feel good and you will follow through daily.
The Inner Addict. This is the part of you that would rather grab a beer or stuff 8 cookies down your mouth than deal with the emotional wear and tear of life. Develop non-food methods of stress management—take up yoga, learn to meditate, write in a journal. I find many clients are literally stuffing their anger. Acknowledge your feelings.You are human!
If you find your wellness program isn’t working, journal about these parts of yourself and uncover your hidden needs. Only then can your higher self make effective choices. Eat Better, Live Longer: Why Your Higher Self Should Choose Your Diet
One so-called diet expert talks about how she lost weight eating nothing but brownies. Possible? Yes, if you adopt the eating patterns of an anorexic. Good idea? Not if you want to live a long time. Dr. C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General, says that 8 out of 10 causes of death are directly related to poor nutrition.
What can you avoid? How about heart disease, cancer, lung disease, pneumonia and flu, diabetes, liver disease and even suicide. Why even suicide? Extremely low-fat diets have been linked to a higher incidence of suicide. The higher your stress level, the more you will want to consider the quality of your diet—food and vitamins. According to Walter Schmidt Jr., a chiropractor, “If we consider that the body has a fourfold to tenfold organ reserve for each organ, then we can suggest, in times of stress, the body may need 4 to 10 times the normal nutrient intake just to keep even with the stress.” I am always advising clients to consider both ends of the equation—not only the quality of energy they are putting in but also what they are putting out in terms of the demands of their work and responsibilities.
The most efficient way to get healthier is to reduce stress, exercise and eat organic food. If you can’t get rid of your sick children or stressful job, increase the quality and possibly the quantity of high level nutrients to match the demands on your system.
Improve Your Posture Every Time You Work Out
One of my fitness heroes is Kim Goss, a personal trainer, author of numerous fitness books and editor of fitness magazines. Cool and unassuming, he embodies many of the traits I seek to emulate—a highly intelligent approach to fitness, for one. Many years ago, Kim taught me about the importance of posture training. He teased me by patting me on the head and calling me “Shorty,” so I followed the exercises he taught me religiously, mostly out of self-defense. As I have written about in previous newsletters, it was my great surprise when those exercises produced an amazing result—I went to the doctor and had grown 1 1/2 inches at age 37. Six years later, I work in detail on posture with every client.
It is my observation that clients who change their posture change everything. Those who simply lose weight but don’t learn to engage their core and stand tall fail to make some of the psychological changes that come from correct posture. The way you stand and use your body reflects your confidence, certainly, but also how you use your brain. Chiropractors will tell you that slight deviations in the tilt of the head will shut down the nervous system significantly. Kim Goss has recently been editing a new magazine, BFS-Bigger Faster Stronger-The Nation’s Leader in Athletic Fitness. You can find out more on the magazine’s web site, www.biggerfasterstronger.com.
These are the posture cues BFS recommends every time you work out. They’re called the 6 Absolutes:
Use an athletic or jump stance.
Spread the chest.
Knees aligned over the toes.
Eyes on target.
These principles can be applied whether you are lifting weights, running, stretching or doing any sports activity. How you use your body has more to do with what kind of results you will get than how much weight you lift. Whether you lose weight on the scale or not, you can look 10 pounds lighter just by standing up straight.