Be Light and Healthy

The Power of Could

Posted on: August 29, 2010

We all have them – those voices in our head that tell us what to do and judge our actions.  Years ago the voices in my head constantly chastised me for my unhealthy choices.  They droned on and on emotionally abusing me because I wasn’t doing what I should do, which caused me to feel badly and perpetuated my negative behavior.  Are the voices in your head constantly telling you what you should be eating and then berating you when you make a poor choice?  Would you ever speak to a child or someone you love as harshly as those incessant voices speak to you? 

Treating myself with kindness had a profound impact on my weight loss success.  When I was overweight, I essentially lived in my head.  I constantly created negative thoughts beating myself up for my poor food choices and lack of exercise.  Slightly changing my thinking radically improved my life.  Instead of filling my mind with “shoulds” I started filling it with coulds.”  Instead of saying to myself, “I should eat an apple, I should stop eating, I should take the stairs,” I started saying “I could eat an apple, I could stop eating, I could take the stairs.”  By simply changing this one word when I was creating my thoughts, the energy associated with the thought was softened.  I was being kind to myself and giving myself permission to consider another possibility. 

 My food choices used to consist of processed junk food including a donut every day.  If my mind thought, “I should eat an apple instead of a donut,” it was programmed to respond, “Shut up, I’m going to eat the donut.  Don’t make me feel badly.  All this extra weight makes me feel like crap, but this donut will make me feel good.”  At that point my thinking abruptly halted, the voices ceased, and the donut was mindlessly consumed.  Of course, the voices returned throughout the day to admonish me for eating the donut.

 When I started substituting could for should, the vibration of the thought changed and my thinking expanded, which caused me to pause for a moment.  “I could eat an apple instead of a donut.  Hmmmm, an apple would be good for me….but I really want the donut right now so I’m going to eat it.  Maybe next time I’ll eat the apple.”  I was being kind to myself and slowly beginning to entertain making healthier choices.  I was getting used to the idea of opting for the healthier selection and starting to think like a healthy, thin person.  In addition, by consciously making the choice it allowed me to let go of the negative thought immediately instead of ruminating on my bad choice for the rest of the day.  Eventually, I began to choose healthier options.  I used this same technique when it came to incorporating movement into my life.  In the beginning I sometimes chose not to walk even for 5 minutes and was okay with the choice.  Gradually, I did choose to walk.  Slowly, the amount of time I chose to walk increased because I associated it with enjoyment not punishment.  Needless to say, I became an avid walker. 

I invite you to try changing your thinking by using the word could.  If I hadn’t experienced it myself, I would be skeptical about the power of this one word.  Please e-mail me at paula@belightandhealthy.com with any questions or topic suggestions.  In addition, I invite you to sign up for e-mail updates to my blog to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy.

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Be Light and Healthy

The intention of this blog is to share information and inspire people to Be Light and Healthy.

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