Beating the Saboteur in Your Head


“So, I just can’t seem to get started with my workout regime…””You can’t get started?””Yeah, I feel like I have this resistance every time I think of it.”

“Like you don’t want to do it?”

“Yeah, like, I have to really have a talk with myself about it.”

“It’s like there’s another person in your head, huh?”

“Yeah, kinda.”

“The question is, who’s winning. ;)”

family-brushing-teeth-sm-205x300.jpgBuilding Habits

Do you think about brushing your teeth? Do you have an unending conversation in your head about whether or not you can psych yourself up to brush your teeth every night?
Do you occasionally skip brushing your teeth? Sure. It happens. 90% of the time you brush your teeth because that’s what you’re supposed to do. There’s no conversation in your head about it. You just do it.

Here’s the thing about teeth: it takes a loooong time to get a cavity. It also takes a long time to get over-fat. Why is it that we can think ahead enough to still brush our teeth today to prevent a cavity down the road, but we aren’t “smart” enough to do 50 squats twice a day? Honestly!


I would guess that brushing your teeth is NOT an emotional decision. Your self-esteem and body image are probably not based on you brushing your teeth.

Working out, is, like it or not, connected to your body image. Your body image is connected to your self-esteem, your self-esteem is connected to your habits, your habits are connected to your values. Your values are connected to your character. Your character is connected to your morals. Whether or not you workout and have the body you think you “should” have is directly connected to whether or not you think you’re a good person–a person who makes the “right choices.” There’s a LOT of negative self talk that comes from being weak, unfit, and overweight. If you’re a man, it’s unmanly. If you’re a woman, it’s unwomanly. NONE of these things are connected with brushing your teeth. But we brush our teeth because we’re afraid of what might happen if we DON’T brush our teeth.

When we’re unfit, obese or unhealthy, we spend more energy justifying that we’re “still a good person.” As a result, we then don’t have to go workout, ’cause “We’re good.” If you just worked out, you wouldn’t have to do all that justifying, and you’d find you get all the benefits of working out. And no one ever has to REPEATEDLY convince you of the benefits of brushing your teeth. Because you already know them, just like you know the benefits of working out.

making-healthy-choices-sm-300x240.jpgIt’s not just about fitness.

You do realize, of course, that all of this also applies to eating. That you really don’t have to have this looong drawn out discussion in your head about cookies vs. eggs. You can just make the “right” (informed, intelligent) decision, take action, and be done with it. Don’t let it be a battle between your “good” self and your “bad” self–let it be an argument between your smart self and your dumb self. There are only so many times we’re willing to let the dumb self win. And it’s not about good and bad–it’s about what works.

On a total side note, I find that it’s far easier to quiet that voice when I’ve had good nutrition and enough sleep. When sleep goes, so does my will power.

Now go do 50 burpees, make an omelette, and get to bed on time tonight. Beat that voice down.

Stay strong.