6 Unexpected & Magic Words
There are six words you can use every day that will help you release unwanted weight,
dismantle your binge eating and live a happier life.
Are you ready?
Don’t get too excited. As pint sized magician Paul Daniels used to say “You’ll like this. not a lot, but you’ll like it.”
Here’s your magic phrase:
How can I chase discomfort today?
Stop rolling your eyes and let me explain.
Chasing discomfort stands in polar opposition to chasing comfort, AKA instant gratification. We are encouraged to chase comfort as much as humanly possible where we have a choice. Most people dislike or hate their jobs, so the moment they are liberated from it at 5pm or the weekend, they are comfort chasing.
Now, I don’t want to present a picture of most people as lazy, hedonistic pleasure seekers outside working hours. However many fry ups you eat for breakfast you still have 101 irritating jobs to do round the house. All the YouTube cat videos in the world cannot take away the work stress you still carry over into your weekend.
Most people are stressed not just at work, but in their free time.
So when the opportunity to change something you care deeply about (shapeshifting, eating better, exercising more) comes along, you have a dilemma.
Life is so hard that I don’t think I can cope with yet another challenge. How can I make this change less challenging, more exciting?
All the peddlers of every magic pill ever sold understand this dilemma very well. They leapfrog you forward in time to the potential results. Jan lost 50lbs drinking only Fat Losttastic shakes. If she can do it, so can you! Rob made the decision to man up, bought the Outlandish Musclebuild video set and got not only a six pack but a girlfriend in thirty days!
Now, you know (just like Jan and Rob) that the shakes and the training videos are anything but comfortable.
This is where comfort chasing trips you up. It’s very comfortable to make the decision to do what you know will be uncomfortable when you are on an inspirational high. The problem with inspirational highs is they last about as long as the helium in the balloons at the launch party of Fat Losstastic Shakes.
Then what happens? You go home, arms full of 30 days supply of the shakes or the Musclebuild DVD set (this is a bit heavy, but your purse is lighter, so it all balances out).
The first three days are great. Motivation is easy. You practise your slightly smug no thank you expression when break time treats are offered, and tuck into a delish shake. You spend an evening watching the strength building DVDs.
By day 4 your motivation has dried up. Where is Jan/Rob when you need them? Your body starts to rebel, wanting some real food and a rest. This is definitely NOT comfortable.
By day 10 you have caved. Your body, which in this instance has far more wisdom than your conscious mind, wins. It will not put up with being nutrient deprived. It can only build strength at a natural rate, bit by bit. If we were meant to live off crappy diet shakes, there would be some nearby, growing in the fields. The only problem is that your body is not a sophisticated communicator. A nutritionist SWAT team would feed you freshly cooked sources of protein, healthy fat and unprocessed carbs (a warm salad with avocado, new potatoes and falafel would be my choice here).
But your body wants instant energy more than anything. It grabs the nearest thing to hand – a massive slice of junk food at the fast food stall outside work. Your blood sugar spikes and for ten minutes you feel bliss.
However, the self reproach and the guilt trip you take to ShameVille are anything but comfortable. The sight of the 20 days’ supply of unused shakes and the thought of the wasted money that comes with it are extremely UNcomfortable.
So how is chasing discomfort any kind of antidote to this?
In the disastrous Fat Losstastic shakes experiment I’ve just described, there is a lot of discomfort but…
… it is never encouraged.
Every yo yo dieter knows that to reach their goals, they have to go through discomfort. The faulty thinking that helps keep them yo yo dieting is that the discomfort is to be endured but should be ignored, a kind of mental Mrs Rochester locked up in the attic of your mind. Cinderella as the ugly sisters see her.
And in different ways, Mrs Rochester and Cinderella made their mark – be it by marrying the prince, or (the less fairytale-worthy solutions of) stabbing and arson. Mr Rochester and the ugly sisters make a huge mistake by trying to silence and hide these powerful and disruptive women (whether or not Cinderella is actually powerful is another discussion).
It is how we deal with the discomfort that important change involves that will determine if we succeed with that change.
The other day I heard human dynamics expert Matthew Hussey give this advice about relationships, but he was also talking about upping your game in life:
You have to get good with accepting rejection.
This is sound advice, but I don’t think it goes far enough. Our brain does not like change. If you have dealt with your loneliness by saying “nobody fancies me anyway, what’s the point in trying to meet someone?” my guess is that it is code for “I am not prepared to take a risk.” However miserable this makes you, your brain (which hates change) thinks it’s the right philosophy purely because you trot it out every time an opportunity arises. You can never test if rejection is as truly dangerous as you assume (let me know the next time you hear that the word No caused anyone bodily harm), so you stay safe in the false knowledge that risk aversion is the right way forward.
To get comfortable with rejection, you have to actually start chasing rejection. Go out and invite it into your life. You’re never going to stroll up to that gorgeous person and say “hello” in the moment when their response takes on massive importance for you – unless you have consciously practised.
The fear of rejection lessens with this practice…and it’s highly likely that you will encounter success at some point.
Now let’s apply this to changing your eating habits.
How do you chase discomfort in this area?
You understand that if you are consistent, if the habit you are developing is aligned with your body’s needs, the discomfort will at some point start to lessen and then ultimately disappear or become minimal. This is not opinion, it is how we are wired.
The discomfort then is temporary. You are chasing temporary discomfort in order to achieve an easier and more powerful life. Freed from the shackles of your sugar compulsion or inactive lardy life or whatever it is that is holding you back, you create a mental space to reclaim what you’ve been denying yourself all these years.
All this can be yours – but you have to be curious about chasing discomfort.
Free online video series
3 Ways to End Stress Eating
* How to turn your self sabotage on its head
* A practical way to walk away from even the most intense stress-fuelled cravings
* What mood hijacker foods are
Just let me know where to send the videos: