The Self Talk Wars: Angels vs. Devils


self talk wars angels vs devilsYou know the angel voice. It’s the one telling you to be good. That apples are good and ice cream is bad. That if you’re really good, you’ll get out there and exercise, even though you have a terrible cold and feel awful. That if you’re really good, you’ll just do what you’ve been told.

But then that other voice comes in seemingly from nowhere – the “devil” voice that tells you not to listen to your “angel.” To eat the ice cream. To rest with that terrible cold. To not do what you’ve been told.

Which one is really on your side?

It could be your devil, aka your rebel.  That is, if it’s your healthy rebel voice.

What is a healthy rebel voice?

It’s the one that supports you in listening to your body, in listening to your intuition to do what you think is best. It’s one that has a lot of work to do in these days of unsolicited and unwanted advice based on a person’s body size.

Reduce Overeating with Healthy Rebel Behavior

But our healthy rebel often gets drowned out by our unhealthy rebel. The one that just wants to get its way without thinking how it’s going to affect you — whether what it is recommending is going to support you in achieving your goals instead of sabotage you.

Interestingly, it’s actually trying to help you. And it’s understandable that the unhealthy rebel speaks loudly in these days of unsolicited and unwanted advice based on a person’s body size. (Yes, I know I repeated that sentence.)

Think of the last time someone said you shouldn’t eat ice cream because you needed to lose weight. What was your reaction? Was it “I’ll show them, I’ll eat it all.” Or “You’re right,” but then you go home and sneak eat.

That’s the unhealthy rebel in action.

The healthy rebel might respond, “Thank you for your concern but I would enjoy some ice cream right now.” Or, “Well, I really don’t want any right now but it’s not because of my weight.” Your healthy rebel is responding in a way that expresses your true needs and wants, and supports you in behaving in a way to satisfy those needs and wants.

It’s not always easy to figure out what you really want when you’ve been caught in unhealthy responses for years. So check out our latest FitBriefingAngel or Devil: Is Your Internal Voice Really On Your Side?” for three steps to help you make better decisions about what you want.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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