So, our topic again this week is about making changes. And one of the things that prevents me from making and maintaining changes is a nasty voice who lives in my head. Her name is Gertrude, and I can always tell it is her by how she talks, First, if I am speaking about me, I will use the pronouns, “I” or “me”. Gertrude says “you”. And she speaks in an angry nasty tone most of the time.
I have other people in my brain too, and I will tell you more about them another time.
But here are sample conversations between her Gertrude and one of my more polite clients, for us to discuss. Gertrude is trying to convince my client to have a food that isn’t on her food plan.
GERTRUDE: Go ahead, it’s been a really long time since you had this to eat.
ABBY: You’re right, it has been a long time. But it’s not on my food plan.
GERTRUDE: It’s not fair! Everybody else can have what they want, why can’t YOU just this one time?
ABBY: That’s true, and food is not a moral issue, but I don’t think I should.
GERTRUDE: Com on, you’ll only feel deprived and eat more later.
ABBY: You’re right. I don’t want to feel deprived, but this is not about deprivation, it’s about choices. Let’s think it through.
What good stuff will I get If I eat this?
What good stuff will I get if I don’t eat it?
Sorry, Gertrude, not today!
GERTRUDE: Chocolate always gives you energy and makes you feel good. You need something to wake you up.
ABBY: You’re right, I do need more energy. But chocolate energy only lasts a little while. What would really give me energy that lasts?
GERTRUDE: Come on, you can handle a little bit. Just one won’t hurt.
ABBY: OK, Gertrude, let’s think THAT through. Other times I’ve eaten this, I have binged.
If I eat it and binge, what do I lose?
If I eat it and don’t binge, what do I gain?
It’s not worth it, Gertrude, I’m not doing it!
GERTRUDE: But I’m tired of feeling deprived and different and unloved!
ABBY: Face it, Gertrude, I’m not like everyone else. I don’t lie, cheat, steal or sell cocaine. And I don’t do sugar because the life I get without it is better than the life I get with it. Now, let’s talk seriously about why you’re feeling so unloved.
These are really important conversations, and the person’s answers to these questions is critically important to the outcome. If you answer that you get good stuff and lose nothing, you will likely go ahead and eat the food. If you can be clear that this is the change you are determined to make, and that what you lose by eating the food not on your plan is more pain and suffering, and not in your best interests, you will win every time.
You CAN say no to Gertrude and make it stick. To get what we really want out of life, we MUST practice doing this until it becomes automatic.
Have a good chat with your Gertrude this week!
Blessings to you,