How’s it going? We are officially 8 weeks into the program!
Have you noticed any changes yet?
Maybe you’re feeling a little stronger, tighter, less winded during the class?!
Have there been any changes in your mindset that you have noticed?
Hopefully, you are looking at food a little differently now. Taking pressure off yourself by not placing restrictions on your diet or putting “good vs bad” labels on food.
Or maybe you’re spidey senses are beginning to develop and you are tuning in to those hunger/fullness ques!
We have been practicing the 80% rule for two weeks now. How is that going for you?
If weight loss is your goal, this is truly the most powerful tactic you can apply. We are going to spend some more time strengthening this habit before moving on to more nutritional strategies.
Without this in place first, results will be minimal and short lived.
Please be patient with me. It takes time to truly develop this habit. But once you do, I promise that you will see more results than most others ever will!
So.. in the meantime, lets talk about AMBIVALENCE.
The “Mind Flayer”, AKA “Shadow Monster” from season two of the Netflix original, Stranger Things.
What the heck does that mean..
Ambivalence is a SOB that affects all of us.
All change involves ambivalence; simultaneously wanting and not wanting something, or wanting both of two incompatible things.
Ambivalence is like that dark cloud that enters your head whenever you have an idea or feel inspired to do something and talks you out of it. It always argues against what you are thinking.
If you are considering change, it will remind you that all change requires loss and that you’re going to have to give something up in order to achieve it. It gives you conflicted feelings about what you want. It highlights all the reasons that you “shouldn’t” change.
If you are feeling good about where you are at and working towards self-betterment, ambivalence is that voice in your head that says it’s not worth it or that you won’t be able to do this long term.
It’s that bully from last week. The self-criticizer.
It’s when you want to change and don’t want to, all at the same time.
The good news is that it is a completely normal human experience and it is actually a major part of the change process.
If you’re ambivalent, you’re one step closer to changing.
But it can also be a scary place. Often times it is the most common place to get stuck on the road to change.
The path out of ambivalence is to choose a direction and follow it, to keep moving in the chosen direction.
Here’s some more good news. Ambivalence is predictable. It’s a simple tool that the dark side uses in order to counteract our efforts towards self-betterment.
But it has no brain. We can trick that SOB and use it for ourselves.
It stands no chance against a “mental ninja” like yourself.
The first step to defeating any monster is “naming it” and “giving it a voice.”
Personally, I have named this particular monster the “Mind Flayer” or “Shadow Monster.”
Side note: This is a reference to season 2 of Stranger Things. The “Mind Flayer” is a dark shadow that can infiltrate your body and mind, cloud your thoughts, and plant its own agenda in your head. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend doing so. There are only 2 seasons on Netflix so far and it is absolutely “binge worthy!”
Okay, back to ambivalence..
Once you have given voice to the monster, it is not as intimidating and you can begin to understand it more. It enables you to travel through impulses and thoughts… and come out the other side.
And paradoxically, giving voice to the “monster” actually disempowers it, kind of like in the horror movie when you see the monster for the first time. Sure, it can have fangs and claws and horns growing from its scull, but still, a monster you can see is not quite as scary as the monster that is invisible.
So, now that we can see ambivalence for what it is, we can use some mental skills to make it work for us instead of against us.
The Two Crazy Questions Technique
So let’s say you’re feeling stuck and conflicted. On the one hand you want this, and on the other hand that. You’re torn and not sure how to move forward. Feeling stuck.
First, call your monster by name. Spend some time on this. Picture it in as much detail as possible and give it a name. Heck, draw a picture of it if you want!
Then you give it a voice by laying this mind-bender on him.
First, ask him “what is GOOD about NOT changing?”
-Then give him a voice by answering yourself outloud.
Second, ask “what would be BAD about changing?"
-Again, listen to that voice and give it freedom to speak outloud.
For example, say that I am feeling ambivalent about working out.
First, I’ll ask the Mind Flayer “what is GOOD about NOT working out?”
Now I’ll let him speak. He says, “well it’s easy. It won’t require any effort or discomfort. And, it takes time out of my day.”
Okay, fair enough.
Next, I will ask him “what is BAD about working out?”
In a very puzzled and confused manner, he is trying to come up with reasons.. “Umm, Idk.. It takes time out of my day. I’m a busy person.”
Now the interesting part begins to happen. You see, ambivalence wants to argue with you. I just gave voice to reasons not to exercise, so now the internal distraction of ambivalence is telling me that these reasons are silly. I am beginning to think of all the benefits of working out. Believe it or not, we (humans) like to argue. Even with ourselves! After voicing “what is good about NOT changing” or “what is BAD about changing,” you’ll start contradicting yourself, supporting the idea of change and weakening your stance against it.
I told you, even though ambivalence is a scary monster to look at, it’s a dumb ass.
Encourage the monster to support the idea of not striving towards self improvement and that monster might start looking more like a confused little puppy dog.
You just manipulated this tool from the dark side in a very real way.
Congratulations, young Jedi. The force is strong with you.