What’s YOUR internal dialogue and is it helping or hurting you?

Whisper

Amy sent me a postcard while she was on vacation in Ireland telling me how stellar the local food was.  I wrote to thank her for thinking of me and to check in on how she was doing.  She responded with, “I think about you all the time, Jodi.  You are often the guiding voice in my mind, helping me make the better choices in life. “   This is a huge  compliment and it got me thinking about who and what guides the choices that we all make in life?

Anyone who has known me for any amount of time has heard me say many times,  “We take in information only when we are ready for it.”  What I was told at say 19 and I didn’t take to heart, was likely presented again to me when I’m was 27 and was suddenly in love with the information.  I believe it is important to always be willing to listen to “old” information again because we never know how it will hit us the second (third, fourth or fifth) time around.  We aren’t always ready to hear what might benefit most at any given moment in our life but if we are lucky, we’ll have the opportunity again and the next time it will have a positive impact on our choices.

For many years my internal dialogue was not a good one.  Actually, it was pretty shitty.  The voice in your head that governs your behavior comes directly from the people and the environment that you surround yourself with (another post for another day).  That includes family too, and if your family lacks emotional fortitude, love, respect and confidence, your internal dialogue more likely than not reflects that negativity.  It’s that  paradigm of garbage in/garbage out thang.  It’s not  rocket science.

I didn’t grow up in the best of circumstances, but somehow I found a way to eventually change the ongoing and detrimental conversation that played over and over in my head and replace it with one that supported more of what I DESIRED in my life, not what I felt was handed to me.  It takes king-sized cohunes to step away from what’s presented to you, and forge your own path.   Do it.  It’s well worth the effort.

This is also true when we talk about food.  How do you decide what goes in your mouth?  What’s the internal dialogue that takes place with your overall wellness?  One thing most of us are all guilty of is the reward system with food. For many of us the conversation in our head goes something like this…

“OMG I worked so hard today, I deserve a pitcher of margaritas (bag of potato chips, pint of Ben & Jerry’s, pepperoni pizza)”

Right?  Lol.

How come we never say things like,

“Rock on, sistah.   How ‘bout a big fat green juice for a job well done.”

Why is it that when we think of “rewarding” ourselves we usually do so with something we KNOW is detrimental to our health?

Who teaches us that?

What motivates you to accept or reject that internal voice?

Where did that voice come from?

Was there a defining moment in your life when the conversation changed?

Please leave a comment in the section below so that maybe someone else can learn from YOUR experiences.

Peace.

11 Responses to What’s YOUR internal dialogue and is it helping or hurting you?

  1. for 43 years (my whole life) i lived with the fundamental basis that i was not okay. so i spent most of my life trying to make myself better, more likable, more skinny, more cool, more —- well anything that would make me not myself. the inner dialogue was lethal and almost was on an occasion or two. BUT i ‘woke up’ last year and realized i was living in a prison of my own mind and attempted to change that. much in the same way i always had and very, very quickly i realized that this way was not working (once again) and that it never would. so i surrendered. i said (to whoever was listening) ‘i have no idea what to do anymore, nothing is working, i give up.’ and just let it go. seriously, i just let. it. go. and pretty quickly, life began to unfold. i am slowly but surely becoming more myself. and because i am becoming more of who i am truly supposed to be, i do not have to turn to many of the things i turned to before (mostly food) to soothe my soul. this has not been a perfect journey but a miraculous and wonderous one regardless. i feel we all have our own path and that this path is truly unique to us all. but, when we begin to mind the mind, when we turn inward and listen, life can become way WAY more fabulous.
    so there’s my take! thanks for asking and i look forward to hearing what other folks have to say as well.

    • “when we begin to mind the mind” — LOVE it. So true. We are in control of choosing the dialogue that plays in our head. I think somewhere along the path, that information didn’t get to everyone. I heard a great line in a Tyler Perry movie this past week. “It’s not what people call you, it’s what you answer to.” In my mind it translates this situation easily to “it’s not what your told, it’s what you choose to listen to.”

      Congrats on your freedom and thanks for sharing your story with us.

  2. Wow this is such an amazing series of questions to give a different perspective on our personal choices and how we treat ourselves. I too have been guilty of having negative self dialogue and an unhealthy relationship with food. I had the opposite problem though of denying food and viewing food as evil and punishing myself in trying to obtain the perfect figure. For me the dialogue changed when I stopped viewing food as my primary source of nourishment and realized that relationships, spirituality, community, and other passions should be the food that fuels me then food became a secondary thought. Instead of using food to punish or reward I started viewing it as a communal activity to share with loved ones and the healthier the food the clearer my mind was to hold positive loving thoughts. Thank you for exposing this topic, its really given me alot of “food for thought haha sorry for that bad pun ;)

    • Good stuff, Caitlin. Kudos to you for owning up to your history…not always easy to do. How fortunate for you to have the shift to seeing your nourishment come from multiple sources, not just food. Soooooooooooo true. For me the creme de la creme is shopping, prepping and enjoying a meal with a group. Always so rewarding. Good on YOU!!

  3. I think that rewarding ourselves with food that is detrimental to our health is self-taught. We know it is not the best choice, but we cannot excuse it any other way than when we have accomplished something deserving. Note again the entire process is internal — I decide what is deserving — I decide the reward.

    • I appreciate your input on this, for sure. But I will tell you after having spent some time recently with very young children (I am NOT a parent), I have realized how “treats” are used to coax/reward children. I think that mindset lingers on for many into adulthood. As is always the case, each situation can be different, but I see more and more mom’s using food as a tool, rather than nourishment. Thanks for participating in the conversation.

  4. A fantastic book that relates directly to this subject is: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer. I read it recently and enjoy the inner roommate concept and how we frequently mistake the annoying inner roommate for ourselves. We have to come to understand that if I am listening to that inner roommate then it isn’t me because if I can listen to it then it is something separate from “me.” There are great benefits in quieting the inner roommate and learning to “be”

    • I totally agree. I like the idea of if you are “listening” to it then it isn’t you. Simple and profound at the same time. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to check that book out!

  5. Jose Morales Palomino

    I’m so glad to be here. I have been eating healthy just twelve days, is not a lot. But I had no choice, I have listened my body telling me:
    -Please stop, you’re hurting me!
    I know, I know, it may sounds crazy, but… literally, my body was talking to me. And no, I’m not a very sensitive and mystic person, I have never experienced that. Maybe it was just internal dialogue, although I must say the voice was coming from my stomach (please don’t laugh). Anyways, thank you Jodi. This blog is a treasure, not only a delicious healthy dip for my crudites, also helpful hints as:
    (…)I believe it is important to always be willing to listen to “old” information again because we never know how it will hit us the second (third, fourth or fifth) time around.(…)
    and
    (…)The voice in your head that governs your behavior comes directly from the people and the environment that you surround yourself with (another post for another day).(…)
    I’ll wait that post patiently, meanwhile, I going to enjoy tasting your incredible recipes. Thank you again.

    • 12 days is NOT a lot? Are you kidding me? That’s HUGE, Jose, HUGE. You’ve started. THAT is the hardest part…starting. CONGRATS! You are on your way to better living. Keep listening to what YOUR intuition is telling you. It sounds to me like YOUR voice had the ability to raise above the rest in your mind and speak on your behalf to do something positive for yourself – “Please stop, you’re hurting me.” You’ve done it, now run with the ball.

      If you are starting this change on your own (rather than being guided by a health professional) I am going to recommend you support this change by starting with green smoothies. If you want to get your BODY talking to your MIND, green smoothies is the way to do it. I truly believe that unless you are experiencing some sort of health crisis, all or nothing is frequently a recipe for disaster. Consistency is where it’s at. So if you do NOTHING but drink a green smoothie twice a day, your life will change. But you have to do that one thing EVERY day. Your body will identify that there are nutrients in this drink and you will start to CRAVE them. I swear! After you become the smoothie master (or sooner, lol) you can start adding a salad every day and that will really start kicking things into over drive.

      Keep us posted on your progress and don’t forget to DOCUMENT your successes. And when you fall off the wagon (and you will, trust me) don’t beat yourself up. Remember you are human. Change takes time and effort. But when that ice cream, or brownie, or hamburger calls to your name once in a while jump in. But here are the rules of engagement with that. Turn off the TV. Step away from your laptop. Sit down with the food item and SWIM in enjoying it, every single bite of it. Be mindful of what you are eating. Don’t beat yourself up. Next time the cravings call think about something like my chocolate pudding or any raw dessert you can find online. Guilt free desserts. There ARE better choices and you CAN do it.

      Thanks for the great compliments. Here’s my virtual pat on the back for loving yourself enough to believe that you DESERVE to live better.

      Suerte!

    • And Jose, please be sure to sign up to receive blog updates and share with your friends. : )

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