How can you turn your inner critic into your inner cheerleader?
By Lori Hammond
Coach and Professional Hypnotist. Giving you simple tools to stop overwhelm and harness joyful forward momentum.
Are the following statements true or false?
- Getting frustrated about how tight my clothes feel motivates me to lose weight.
- If I accept myself now, I'll stay overweight forever!
- I'll finally be able to love and accept myself when I'm at my goal weight.
You're about to learn why all three of these statements are FALSE.
The inner critic keeps you overweight.
At the end of this cheat sheet, I'll show you how to turn your inner critic into an inner cheerleader (or inner encourager).
You'll be blown away at how much easier weight loss becomes when you cheer yourself on instead of beat yourself up.
People are scared to let their critic go.
Ninety percent of my weight loss clients express fear when I ask them if they're ready to let go of their inner critic.
They think looking at themselves in disgust will motivate them to lose weight.
They tell me, "I'll stop beating myself up after I lose weight. If I accept myself now, I'll stay fat forever!"
I understand how they feel. I used to feel that way too.
I used to talk to myself like an angry locker room coach saying,
"What's wrong with you! You dropped the ball! You're supposed to be on a diet and you had a piece of cheesecake?!! You're never going to be lovable if you're heavy! You're a failure!"
I didn't specifically say those things to myself but that's how I made myself feel when I noticed my jeans getting tight or the number on the scale creeping up.
(I'm very anti-scale, but that's for another cheat sheet.)
3 ways self-criticism kept you stuck:
1. You can't hate yourself into self-love.
The journey dictates the destination.
If your inner critic motivates weight loss, he/she will still be screaming "You're not good enough!" when you get to your goal.
2. Your brain drives you toward your focus.
It's a neuroscience law.
Here's how that law works in plain English.
There's a child-like part of you called your subconscious mind.
This part of you wants to protect you and make you happy. It's not something to fight against or overpower.
* Your subconscious mind wants to give you what you want. (This is so important. Read that again.)
The subconscious mind doesn't use logic. It doesn't conceive of "wrong" or "right", "good" or "evil" etc.
It decides what you want by noticing. . .
When you beat yourself up and call yourself a failure, you focus on being stuck. Your subconscious notices this and directs you to STAY STUCK.
- You'll keep feeling drawn to the cheesecake.
- Your metabolism stays slow.
- Your body holds onto fat even harder.
Focus on the problem = More of the problem
3. Self-criticism creates a "Store Fat" stress response.
When you criticize yourself, your brain reacts as if an angry coach is shouting in the locker room.
Being yelled at is stressful so your brain releases stress hormones like insulin, cortisol, and adrenaline.
Your body responds to this stress cocktail by holding onto fat, slowing down metabolism, and making you want the cheesecake more than ever.
Summary: Why it's ok to release the inner critic now
- If you get to your goal by criticizing yourself, you'll keep criticizing yourself when you're at your goal.
- Beating yourself up = Focus on what's "wrong".
Focus on what's wrong = More of what's wrong (poor food choices, slow metabolism etc.)
- Your body responds to self-criticism by storing fat.
3-Ways to Turn the Inner Critic into an Inner Cheerleader
This is going to sound really simple and when you try it, you'll be amazed by how well it works. . .
1. Give yourself a pep talk.
Think of someone who's great at encouraging others. Pretend to be that person and encourage yourself.
Tell yourself, "You can do this!".
Here's a cheat sheet that makes it easy and fun to do this.
2. Allow self-love before you get to the goal.
Give yourself permission to love and accept yourself now, even if it feels weird.
Easier said than done, right? Here's a cheat sheet that shows you how.
3. Turn off stress chemicals in the body.
Here's a simple breathing technique that turns off the stress chemical cocktail of self-criticism and turns on peace chemicals in the body.
I call this the 5-5-10 breath.
- Breath in for a count of 5. Expand your belly more than your chest.
- Hold for a count of 5 to oxygenate the blood.
- Exhale for a count of 10
Chose one of the steps above to use for the next week and notice how much easier it is to make good choices during the day.
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