I was at a party this weekend and hanging out in a sitting room with a few other guests when a woman began talking about a book she claimed changed her life. She said because of this book she hadn’t been sick in years. The author, a medical doctor, claims that we can experience physical ailments that are caused by our mind’s reaction to repressed anger and—seriously—narcissistic rage. He says the mind goes into some kind of defense mode, decreasing blood flow to muscles and nerves which results in oxygen deprivation to parts of the body which start to hurt for no reason other than, apparently…your brain struggling to deal with your repressed narcissistic rage.
The woman went on to talk about how she’d started a new job and developed a crippling pain in her knee. But when she read the book and realized that it was really all about her own fears, well she let go of them and the pain was gone! Oh wait, there was a small detail. She walked with a cane but she didn’t want to be seen with it at the new job for fear that it made her look like she couldn’t handle the work. Ohhhhhh. I suggested to her that perhaps she had been walking in some unnatural way to compensate for being without her cane and that induced pain in her weak knee. Then, after a few days, she grew accustomed to walking without it and compensated her gait again, essentially weaning herself off the cane and relieving the pain. But no. She assured me it was all about acknowledging her fears and now she was never sick!
It’s an excuse to project shame and blame to claim that your subconscious mind is the cause and effect for everything wrong with you and the driving force behind everything that goes right for you. It’s all in your head! Just re-program your thinking! You fail because you don’t believe! You suffer because your mind is filled with negative, destructive thoughts! That’s right; you’re such a screw up you can’t even think correctly! It’s very convenient to insist on something that can’t be proven. When we’re desperate we’ll grasp for a solution we hope will work. We want to believe a magic bullet delivers on its promises. I wrote a blog post recently about how we assign results and benefits to the cause we choose.
This belief that the mind holds some secret key to all our problems and solutions can keep us from taking effective action. Weight management can be profoundly frustrating so we find ourselves tempted by the promise of deceptively facile “solutions.” I believe we can let go of frustration and begin to move forward when we accept reality. You’re working to do something that is extremely difficult. It takes a lot of work and persistence. We become trapped in cycles of failure when we resist accepting what it’s really going to take to get the job done. Everything in life has a cost in effort, time, and resources. Weight loss and lifetime weight management come with a high price. We have to determine that price and decide if we’re willing to pay it.