Inner voice out of control?

You see something tasty, maybe an open bar of chocolate but you really want to stick to your diet. You are not even hungry but this little voice in your head is saying “Oh go on, only one little piece, what difference will just one piece of chocolate make?”

You walk away and try to forget the bar of chocolate but you can’t stop thinking about it, you start to argue with your little voice, you have worked hard all morning and deserve to have a little treat. Its not your fault that you put on weight so easily and besides, people should realise that if they leave their chocolate lying around, someone is bound to want to eat some. Anyway, you can always cut back on what you have for dinner tonight. No matter what you are doing, all you can think about is that delicious bar of chocolate waiting for you.

Now wait a minute! Your inner voice is way out of control and is acting just like a two year old – “I want it and I want it now!”

Your “inner voice” uses a variety of tactics to try and get you to break your resolve. Such as:

Flattery: “I’m a great person and deserve a treat”.

False promises: “I’ll only eat one and it will be my last piece of chocolate this week”.

Nagging: “I can’t live without that chocolate”.

Magnifying discomfort and inconvenience: “It is too hard to stop myself from eating it”.

Rationalising: “Just one piece wont hurt”.

This kind of self-talk will soon have you breaking your resolutions. No one sets out to fail but it doesn’t just happen all by itself either. As soon as you begin to feel some discomfort such as hunger, your long-term goal to lose weight is replaced by your immediate urge to satisfy your craving. So which one wins? Having a slimmer body is a long way off but eating that piece of chocolate can happen right now.

So how do you win the battle with your inner voice? Energy and persistence is needed. Have you noticed that the time you are most likely to give up the battle is when you are tired? This is because tiredness makes you less able to suppress urges and impulses.

Stress from heavy work demands, relationship problems or other big worries need a lot of energy to cope with and you may find that you don’t have an energy left to force that voice into new habits.

Then of course, the more you pay attention to what you’re trying to avoid thinking about, the more important it becomes to you and the more you tend to forget the promise you made to yourself. That’s why it is so hard to resist a sizzling steak or the aroma of freshly baked biscuits because the wonder smell is all around you.

Of course once you have made one error or transgression you say to yourself, “I’ve already blown it, I might as well have another and give up altogether.”

If you expect that change will be quick and easy, you will only be frustrated and drained of strength. And that is the very time when your inner voice will have the power to convince you that it’s too hard to change and that you should give up.

One of the best ways to beat that inner voice is to try and take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy and try to take some time out for you. If you are in a relaxed and happy frame of mind, it is much easier to find the strength to fight those cravings.

Don’t be too tough on yourself though, if you don’t allow yourself a treat every now and then you will find the inner voice growing stronger and eventually winning. It is better to treat yourself to a couple of pieces of chocolate once a week and satisfy your desire than to risk a binge when you can’t stop yourself at just one or two pieces.

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