Sounds so easy doesn’t it? Just stop what you are doing and all will be right with and in the world.

As I said in my last post I have not had a good week, well, to be honest probably 2, if not 3 weeks. I have found it so hard to get back into it all after the break for illness and injury. For the last 4 weeks of the last round my food was not too bad, but slowly I have noticed small changes and while I am not eating much over the 1200 calories, I am not eating nearly as clean as I would like. My snacks are the issue, you know … ‘just one small thing – it won’t hurt and I will start properly again tomorrow.’ I am still waiting for tomorrow to come!

A couple of weeks ago a friend gave me a link to a motivational page with a video featuring Bob Newhart (link to follow). I loved it and it really struck home. Basically what it said was if you don’t like what is happening, stop it! It sounds so easy but I fully intended to follow those wise words. Sadly life got in the way and what seemed like a good idea somehow never quite got there and nothing really changed.

Tonight I was getting ready for work and hoping for a quiet night, I put the manuscript for my book on a USB planning to do a little more work on it. When I opened the folder I found among other things, an ebook entitled ‘Just Stop Having Problems Stupid’ by Dr. Matt Leichty, Fake Doctor (his words, not mine) and it was saying pretty much the same thing.

The ebook uses the analogy of a ship and taking on barrels as cargo with each one being marked with a name. These barrels can be anything from being overweight, to thinking we are stupid, to being disorganised, to being shy – anything at all. We have to rename and then off load these barrels and no longer accept them as part of our lives. The problem is that it doesn’t take much to accept that these things, these ‘barrels’, are part of our life and that we wouldn’t be who we are without them and so we are letting these ‘barrels’ (ie thoughts) define us.

How many times have we heard people who have lost a lot of weight say they can’t see any difference, or it took a long time for their minds to catch up with the way they look now. In our heads we are that fat person, for whatever reason and I know for myself that while I didn’t like that person, it was safe. I knew the parameters of my life and I rarely strayed from them. It doesn’t take much for these thoughts to become the norm. It can take just one seemingly off-hand comment to start you on a certain life pattern and it is so much harder to take another road.

According to this ebook the best way to do this is try and work out who these ‘barrels’ belong to. In my case, my lack of confidence and probably my weight comes from something my father said to me just before he walked out of our lives. I was only six but I remember it as if it was yesterday and it is only recently that I have realised that if I kept looking back and blaming him, I was never going to be looking or moving forward. This means the ‘barrel’ marked lack of confidence that says ‘Shirley’ is wrongly named and it should really say ‘Dad’. In my head I need to rename it and throw it over board. This is his problem, not mine. I like me; it’s a shame he didn’t get to know me enough to be able to say the same.

I am not saying that things will change over night with this realisation, what I am saying is now that I am aware of it, I can stop the thoughts before they take over. I wish I could say it would be easy and that I will be consistent but I know myself far too well. I do know however, that it will be better than it was before and that’s all anyone can really ask, and the more I work at it the better I will become.

Sometimes it just needs a different situation, person or place in your life for the message you have been hearing over and over to resonate. I have a feeling there might be quite a few barrels going overboard in the next few days.

And don’t forget those ‘well meaning’ friends. You know the ones that say things like ‘don’t you look fabulous but …’ It doesn’t matter what the ‘but’ is – ‘you have lost enough’, ‘don’t overdo it’, ‘remember you are not as young as you were’; they are all barrels that you should check at the door and reject. For whatever reason they don’t want you to change, so it is their problem, it should be their name on the barrel – the only time it becomes yours is if you take it on board and begin to live it. We need to learn to look at everything that comes into our lives, analyse if it will be good or bad for us and act accordingly.

For now my new words are ‘Stop It’! I am going to print out some big signs that say ‘Stop It’ and one will go on my fridge, one on the pantry and others will be placed strategically around the house to remind me to stop this self destructive behaviour.