Let me be the first to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with you. You may have some patterns to unlearn, some self-love to embrace, and some new behaviors to embody, but seriously, there’s nothing wrong with you. If you want to change your negative self-talk, you’ve got to first understand where it comes from. There’s a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi, that, in a nutshell says, “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. And your words become your actions.” So if your actions include binging on sourdough (again), rolling your eyes at your rolls and wrinkles, or subconsciously sabotaging your sleep cycle, you can go ahead and thank your belief system for that. You can also take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. On any given week I’ll hear my clients say that making a protein rich breakfast takes too much effort. Or that they’re too busy to work out. Or they can’t stop eating desserts. These are all beliefs. And, as we’ll be breaking down here in a second, there’s a big difference between beliefs and truths. Your Brain’s Role in Self-talk Here’s the deal. Your brain’s job is to keep you safe. Because of this, it will always choose what’s familiar and comfortable over working toward a change that’s different. Even if that change is in the best interest of your health and happiness. What’s familiar is safe and what’s unknown has the potential to hurt you. At least from your brain’s point of view. And so, it automatically creates negative thoughts (and negative self-talk) to keep you nicely tucked into your comfort zone. Examples of Negative Self-talk Here’s a scenario to illustrate what I mean. Say you’re thinking about ordering take out. Will it be a large, extra pepperoni pizza or a thick steak and roasted veggies? Depending on your past experiences and your personal belief system, your brain will automatically assign a meaning to that choice. If you choose the pizza, your self-talk might be, “well, I guess I’ll be heavy my whole life” or “I never make good choices” or “life’s too short not to eat pizza!!” Unfortunately, that reaffirms your negative beliefs, which you’ll continue to repeat unless you do something to change them. Other examples of negative self-talk might be: I’m always out of shape I’m too lazy Why bother I never have enough time Nothing ever goes right for me That’s impossible When will I learn It’s my fault I always mess things up Overcoming Negative Self-talk Reframing is a psychological technique used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Also known as cognitive restructuring, it allows you to reprogram your brain, changing your pattern of negative thinking — and the way you feel about certain situations, people, places, and things (including yourself). This is important because, as noted above, your thoughts end up becoming your actions. And negative thoughts very often turn into self-destructive actions. “I’ll never be able to stick to the Primal Blueprint” quickly spirals into you speeding through … Continue reading “7 Ways to Change Negative Self-Talk”
In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin answers more of your questions from the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. She’ll be discussing strategies on the best way to go Primal, the real reasons we crave sugar (and what to do about it), and what happens when we all go back to work and have to wear real clothes. Got more questions? Keep them coming on the MDA Facebook page or in the comments below.
“I’m planning on starting the Primal Blueprint next week. Better to dive in 100% or do it more gradually?”
As you might have guessed, some people do great diving right in, while others find it too overwhelming and have more success with a gradual approach. I think the bigger question we need to ask here is: what will make you stick with it for the long term?
Around here, we talk a lot about the stories we tell ourselves. You know, the limiting beliefs and thoughts that constantly dance around in our brains, preventing us from achieving our health goals. “I’m a terrible cook.” “I never have time to exercise.” “I’ll always be heavy.” Or, “I’m too lazy to stick to a plan.”
Why do you create limiting beliefs?
As humans, we’re wired to create narratives that string together the picked-apart aspects of our lives in a way that rings true for us. It might be things we heard our parents say or experiences we had growing up. Or even interpretations of those things and experiences. According to psychologists at Northwestern University, the narratives we create become a form of our identity — an identity that not only reflects who we think we are, but also what we believe we’re capable of achieving.
Just FYI, these are the false narratives and limiting beliefs you tell yourself and anyone else who will listen. As a veteran health coach, I know this drill firsthand.
Hi folks, in this edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin discusses the benefits of being metabolically flexible, the physical and psychological reasons behind cravings, and what to do when you’re too exhausted to work out. Keep your questions coming in the MDA Facebook Group or in the comments section below.
Older people (and those headed in that direction, which is everyone else) are really sold a bill of goods when it comes to health and longevity advice. I’m not a young man anymore, and for decades I’ve been hearing all sorts of input about aging that’s proving to be not just misguided, but downright incorrect. Blatant myths about healthy longevity continue to circulate and misinform millions. Older adults at this very moment are enacting routines detrimental to living long that they think are achieving the opposite. A major impetus for creating the Primal Blueprint was to counter these longevity myths. That mission has never felt more personal.
So today, I’m going to explore and refute a few of these top myths, some of which contain kernels of truth that have been overblown and exaggerated. I’ll explain why.
Last week, speaking as an elder of physical culture, I wrote a list of ten fitness tips for younger readers: the things that every young to middle-aged man or woman should know about training. Some were things I learned along the way. Some were mistakes I made. And some were big wins I figured out early. At any rate, people found it helpful, and quite a few asked for a follow-up—this time around general life advice.
Note: I’m no life coach. But I do have a nice life, one I figured out on my own through trial and error and with a good deal of hard work. I speak just for myself, but maybe some insights will resonate. (And I hope you’ll share your own hard-won wisdom below.)
What should you keep in mind as you look forward to a long, well-lived life?