5 Ways to Master Your Inner Critic [AKA “Bitch Brain”]

Your brain can cause your body’s cravings. 
The four root causes of cravings are bacterial, nutritional, emotional, and physical. (But most experts and diet books don’t talk about the emotions of food, do they?)

Today I want to talk about one of the most common forms of emotional craving:
the frustration and fear caused by the inner critic.

I’ve been interviewing health coaches who want to grow their business as they heal their own health concerns, and I’m hearing a lot of “bitch brain” issues. This is a term I created while writing Women, Food, and Desire, and it struck a chord with many readers…

5 ways to handle your


Bitch Brain is a way I describe your inner critic – the voice that stops you from taking risks, speaking your truth, and gets in the way of your desires.

Women often grapple with self-confidence and doubt because we are connected to our life’s desires, and expose ourselves to the fear and failure of going after what we truly want.

Here’s how the Bitch Brain, or inner critic, or “BB” for short, messes with your life:

…you want to create your own business, but the bitch brain (AKA inner critic) tells us we don’t have enough experience…and eat more sugar to handle the frustration induced exhaustion.

…you dream about helping others with your health coaching knowledge, but the inner critic says “you still have your own health problems, how could you help someone else?”…and you end up overeating at night to try and silence the discomfort.

…you have an old voice from your mother that repeats about how a nice girl should act, and it keeps you from daring to ask for more or demand justice…and you drink a few glasses of wine every night to try and relax.

…you know you have a purpose in life, and have tried lots of educational programs or read all the self-help books, but your inner critic tells you “why bother?” so often you feel totally bummed out and confused about what to do next…so you keep eating the foods that keep your energy low and mind fuzzy because, again, “why bother?”

The inner critic can be deadly.
It can rob you of your vitality and resilience.

And the bitch brain can be handled. But only with love and awareness.

Here are 5 things you must know to handle the inner critic:

 

  1. The inner critic is not you. It is thoughts about you, but it is not who you actually are. You may have internalized other people’s voices from such a young age that it’s hard to tell the difference between them and you.
  2. See it and say it. To separate yourself from your bitch brain, you must become aware of it and label what you hear. It’s pretty simple. Say to yourself, or declare to a trusted friend, “I hear my inner critic right now and it’s saying ____.” When you say it out loud and label it,  you can start to see the repetitive, inaccurate nature of the criticism.
  3. Identify a good reason for the criticism. When you start to hear the critic, bitching away again, step back and ask it, “What are you trying to protect me from right now? What are you afraid might happen if I do this thing I want to do?” The answer is usually the same: fear of failure, losing love or respect, fear of attack or embarrassment. Once you see the reasons for the critic acting up, you can say, with genuine care, “Thank you for trying to protect me. I hear you.” We must love our inner critic otherwise we get stuck in a war with ourselves, which never ends well. Calming the voice with love is super important because…
  4. The Bitch Brain is hurting your body. When the inner critic causes a release of stress hormones in the body, we end up in a state of health disarray. Stress keeps weight on, especially around the middle belly, causes adrenal exhaustion, sleep trouble, and ages you faster. In the face of all that, #5 is even more important!
  5. Laugh it off. Survivors in life-threatening situations all have one thing in common: a sense of humor. Humor is a good strategy to help you find what is ridiculous. Your inner critic might say “Don’t offer your health coaching services! They might find out you eat chocolate every night and then you’ll be called a liar and end up penniless and alone under a bridge!” Really, BB? If people find out I eat chocolate I’ll end up alone, penniless and under a bridge? Chill out!”

 

Give your BB some space to be heard.

Spend 10 minutes writing out your thoughts to these questions and see how much more calm you feel:

 

What does your BB/inner critic say when you want to speak up about an injustice or problem at work or in the home?

What does your BB/inner critic say about a career choice you dream about making?

What does our BB/inner critic say when you want to dress up? When you pass by a mirror? When you want to try a new class? When you want to travel? When you want to ask for a date? For sex? For a vacation? For time alone? For time together?

Use the 5 insights to help you calm your BB.
Know that you are wired for the inner critic, that you’re not crazy, wrong, or bad…that your very human brain is trying to keep you safe.

Then thank it, and keep moving forward.
Xo,
alexsign

66 Can Mind-Body Medicine Work for You?

Mind-Body Medicine on The Cravings Whisperer with Alexandra Jamieson

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast with Alexandra Jamieson

Today I’m talking about mind-body medicine, which is really using the relationship between your mind and your body, using the power of your thoughts and emotions to influence your physical health. The key to any mind-body technique is to train the mind to focus on the body without distraction OR judgment, which is a big one for us ladies!

I talk about this a lot in terms of cravings, right? How can we focus our mind on our body to really tune in and listen to our cravings and understand what they’re really asking for?

My guests today are Grace Smith and Jovanka Ciares, the creators of Mind-Body Academy. Both of these women specialize in different aspects of mind-body practice – Grace is all about stress relief, and Jovanka specializes in nutrition, herbalism, and alternative therapies.

As you’re listening to today’s episode, I want you to really think about whether you think mind-body medicine works, and if you think it could help you.

Today’s sponsor is Audible.com®, who has more than 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products. Get a free audiobook of your choice here.

You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or TuneIn

“The truth is our habits and our beliefs live in a completely different part than what actually takes in information.” – Grace Smith (Click to Tweet)

Show Notes:

  • Why women have trouble making changes
  • How we can access our habits and beliefs
  • Why one thing won’t work for every person
  • Why we have to approach making changes with compassion
  • Why hypnotherapy works.
  • Why Grace decided to bring stress relief to the masses
  • Why Jovanka left her high powered job to promote alternative health practices
  • Why these two ladies started working together

“The reason why hypnotherapy works is because it removes stress from your body before it tries to make a change.” – Grace Smith (Click to Tweet)

  • What are their seven steps to help you meet your goals
  • Why it’s so hard to create new habits
  • Why healthy living is a journey, not a destination
  • What is guided meditation
  • Do a guided meditation with Grace
  • How Jovanka helps people learn to listen to their body
  • Why you have to invest in yourself
  • How you can learn these seven steps

“This body that you were gifted with is like a five star hotel, it’s like a luxury vehicle, and it should be treated as such.” – Jovanka Ciares (Click to Tweet)

Links Mentioned:

 Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

  • Connect with Jovanka:

 Facebook | Twitter | InstagramYouTube

“We take that state of relaxation into the process of preparing your food and eating.” – Jovanka Ciares (Click to Tweet)

 

65 Elizabeth DiAlto – Selfish Boundaries For The Common Good

Elizabeth DiAlto on The Cravings Whisperer with Alexandra Jamieson

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast with Alexandra Jamieson

Today I’m talking to longtime friend and founder of Wild Soul Movement, Elizabeth DiAlto. Elizabeth has a really honest and grounded approach to self help, spirituality, and movement. What I love is that Wild Soul Movement is not about counting calories or losing weight, it’s about getting into your own body and connecting with your physicality. Her mission to redefine and reclaim womanhood is just something I can get behind. And get this, she has a beautiful new book out called Untame Yourself.

Also, don’t forget to apply for my Women on the Verge coaching program! I’ll be selecting 20 folks to spend time with on the phone and coach. I love doing these sessions because when people feel really seen and heard in a non-judgmental way, it can be truly transformational. Apply today!

Today’s sponsor is Audible.com®, who has more than 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products. Get a free audiobook of your choice here.

You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or TuneIn

“One of the ways to find peace with your body is to begin to honor your body for the absolute sacred miracle it is.” -Elizabeth DiAlto (Click to Tweet)

Show Notes:

  • Why being a personal trainer wasn’t enough
  • Why she started working in instead of working out
  • Why we often don’t realize we have control issues
  • The difference between paying attention and listening to your body
  • How to honor your body
  • Why women who have given birth should not loathe their bodies

“Disentangling my identity from my physical appearance was a big thing.” -Elizabeth DiAlto (Click to Tweet)

  • How to use your body to navigate life
  • How to get beyond feeling selfish
  • The importance of having a safe space to be yourself
  • The difference between discernment and judgment
  • Why we have to unlearn to apologize
  • Why we crave love

“It’s a lie by omission to pretend that we are something that we’re not.” -Elizabeth DiAlto (Click to Tweet)

Links Mentioned:

 Facebook | Twitter | InstagramYouTube

“A lot of this is about having so much more energy available to you by being truthful and honest about who you are and what you want.” -Elizabeth DiAlto (Click to Tweet)

 

Top 10 Mind + Body Books of 2015

I love books and read a lot…a LOT.
Books inspire, teach, transport, motivate, and heal me.
This year has been especially inspiring, and I wanted to share the top ten books that moved me, made me laugh, educated me, inspired my thinking or behavior…or, in the case of Come As Your Are, all of the above!

Get one, or get them all. Give them as gifts to people you love who are seeking health, inspiration, and fun…give them as gifts to yourself.

Read them and put their wisdom into action…

top 10 image

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Meeting Brene Brown, and handing her a copy of my book, was a HUGE highlight of my year. Her book Daring Greatly was my bible when I was struggling with my divorce and “coming out as no longer vegan.”

Rising Strong is the next step after you dare greatly to be yourself…
…it’s about how to rise after you fail. Because you will fail.

This quote from the book says it all:

“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness–even our wholeheartedness–actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”

This book shows the psychology and practice of what it takes to be authentic, and to overcome the inevitable shame and self-criticism that comes with rising above your old habits.

Recommended for: those on the verge of more leadership, for women on the journey of self-acceptance, those who desire new relationship dynamics, those who seek bravery to be more authentic. Order your copy here: 

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

I believe being happy in your body requires that you feel comfortable with your sexuality. Sexual health, expression, and desire are very taboo subjects and rarely talked about when it comes to body confidence and health…

…until now.

Emily Nagoski’s book, Come As You Are is one of the best books I’ve read on sexual health. From the psychology of what “puts the breaks on desire and libido” to the physical anatomy of how our bodies work, and how we can love them more, this book makes the science easy to understand.

Recommended for: women and men who desire more comfort with their own sexuality, want to improve their sexual relationship with themselves or a partner, or those who want to boost their libido without pills. Order your copy here:

Woman On Fire by Amy Jo Goddard

If you’ve read Come As You Are or you’re just ready for a deeper, more vibrant, and more sexually empowered life, this book is for you.

Amy Jo Goddard shares a more personal and spiritual approach to sexuality, how to get back in touch with desire, and how to heal past shame and trauma that may be in the way of enjoying your body.

This book walks you through how to find your erotic truth, and how to feel confident and empowered about your truth as a sexual person.

Recommended for: women looking for permission to explore their sexuality anew, for those looking for a guide in exploring new ways to enjoy sex, those who desire to build and activate their desire. Order Woman On Fire here:

 

Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman by Elizabeth Dialtountame

Shame, self-judgment, non-existent boundaries, low self-esteem…this is the torture of the modern woman.

Elizabeth Dialto, personal trainer turned women’s self-empowerment and Wild Soul Movement coach, explores and untangle the ties that bind us to a life we don’t love.

This book offers: spiritual evidence for self-care and “selfishness,” short and efficient exercises for feeling aligned and in love with your body, the low down on becoming discerning rather than judgmental.

Recommended for: Women who want to feel strong and fall in love with their bodies, women who want to learn to trust their instincts and create foundational rituals for juicy self-care. Order Untame Yourself here:

 

Simple Green Smoothies: 100+ Recipes to Lose Weight, Gain Energy And Feel Great In Your Body by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner51tlsfZ1G-L

I’ve been drinking “green and protein smoothies” for years…and never felt the need to buy a book of recipes because – come on – who needs more than a banana and some spinach? Oh, how limited was my thinking!

My dear friends Jen and Jadah invite you into a sane and tasty approach to health that will inspire and energize you to get in the kitchen and blend up some magic. The Simple Green Smoothies’ lifestyle doesn’t involve counting calories or eliminating an entire food group. Instead, it encourages you to make one simple change: drink one green smoothie a day.

Simple Green Smoothies includes a 10-day green smoothie kick-start to welcome you into the plant-powered lifestyle, with shopping lists included. Follow it up with 100+ delicious recipes that address everything from weight loss to glowing skin to kid-friendly options.

Recommended for: anyone ready to eat 15% cleaner, who doesn’t love cooking, or just wants to use their new blender a lot… Order Simple Green Smoothies here:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo51H8x07Fd7L

Despite years of trying to “downsize,” organize and de-clutter, I’ve always had piles of papers and masses of t-shirts that end up like a tangled mess of gluten-free spaghetti.

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, and I’ve found a new way to choose what stays in my life from people to books, to kitchen ware, to underwear…

does it bring me joy.

Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to picking away at piles forever…Marie’s KonMari Method, with its easier-to-implement-than-I-imagined category system, leads to lasting results…

…and way more stuff being donated or thrown out than ever.

My closet is now a sweet place of calm. My book shelves make me happy. My bathroom cabinets are easy to navigate.

Recommended for: the pack rat, the daughter of the hoarder, the new couple that just moved in together or are about to move, the downsizer, the peace seeker. Order The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up here:

Pleasurable Weight Loss by Jena LaFlamme

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This book can be boiled down to one main, beautiful, revolutionary idea:
taking the “guilty” out of pleasure.

Bringing “intuitive eating” to a new level, Jena, a dear friend of mine, has highlighted the purpose and value of pleasure as it relates to our whole lives, proper metabolism, digestion, and more…

As with many of my favorite books this year, Jena connects the psychological issues of body image and sexuality with food choices and behaviors. Filled with no-stress practices for savoring life and food, her examples will help you access your body’s wisdom.

Recommended for: the woman who has tried every diet under the sun and is ready to finally enjoy her body and life NOW. Order Pleasurable Weight Loss here:

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

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In this techno-democratic world where everyone with a smartphone can be judge and jury, public shaming has reached a fever pitch.

When I came out as “no longer vegan” I felt the virtual mob jeering at and demonizing me through Facebook and Twitter. More and more people who make mistakes in full view of the cyber-tribe go through the public shaming ringer.

This book examines some high-profile cases of public shaming and asks: what are we doing with our voices? Why are we mercilessly searching for and dancing around people’s faults? Are we using shame as a form of social control in a new way?

Hilarious and deeply considered, this book is a powerful trip into the public cyber-psyche, and makes you think about what part you want to play on this public stage.

Recommended for: anyone who has been publicly shamed (read: everyone), anyone with a social media account or platform. Order So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed here:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

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I LOVE Amy Poehler. I cried when her show Parks & Recreation ended, and I jumped for joy when her first book Yes Please hit the shelves. Well in my case, hit my ears – I listened to her read the book on audio [get her book FREE here on Audible.com!!], which I highly recommend!

With her warm humor, Amy shows us the show behind the show business curtain – how female comediennes are taking their place in the spotlight, and how she rose to fame with a “rising tides lift all boats” kind of attitude.

With chapters like “Treat Your Career LIke a Bad Boyfriend” and her Plastic Surgery Haiku, Amy will make you laugh as much as she will make you think about how women’s bodies are viewed as part of their talent.

Recommended for: anyone who loves to laugh while being inspired to take a big risk creatively or in their career. Get Yes Please on Audible.com (for free!) or here:

Women, Food, And Desire by Alexandra Jamieson

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What can I say…this book is my heart and soul, and comprises the hours of work, coaching, and teaching I’ve loved serving over the last 15 years. The reviews from readers are amazing, and Goop.com listed it as a top Winter Non-Fiction read.

If you’re ready to change your relationship with food, and your relationship with your body, this book is for you.

BTW, if you like my voice, you can get the book for free HERE on Audible.com! 

Recommended for: the woman who seeks to love and reclaim her body and desires, and the man who loves her.

Amy Schumer: How Women Take Compliments

I love Amy Schumer:
she is bold, hilarious, smart, and points out the messed up ways culture keeps women crazy
with double standards on sexual politics and body image.

One of my favorite sketches from her show, Inside Amy Schumer, puts a spotlight on how
women keep themselves down by not knowing how to take a compliment.

Please to enjoy:

Did you get your 3 free guided meditations to help you through any stressful time?
Download them here:

http://alexandrajamieson.com/3-guided-meditations-for-women-on-the-verge/

xo,

alexsign

64 Emily Nagoski – Sexual Experiences and the Importance of Context

Emily Nagoski on The Cravings Whisperer with Alexandra Jamieson

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast with Alexandra Jamieson

Today on the show we’re talking about some rather adult topics with sex expert and author Dr. Emily Nagoski. Emily wrote this fantastic book, Come as You Are, that has changed so much about how I think about female sexuality. Women and men work differently, we know that. It’s not just about turning us women on – it’s about the context. Any sexual experience requires the right context for it to be pleasurable!

Emily’s book really helps highlight those physical cravings that we have. Humans are designed to feel pleasure, but women as a group are more sensitive to things that put a damper on that desire. And when sexual pleasure is hard to come by, food becomes one of our only options for that pleasure. I really think that this book will change your relationship with your sexuality and understanding what you want, what you need, and how you can get it.

I’m also excited to tell you about my new program Women on the Verge, a six-month private coaching program with me. This program is for women who are really ready to take off in 2016, who are ready to grow, heal, make your mark while having fun and being you. Check it out and sign up to see if working together is the right fit!

Today’s sponsor is Audible.com®, who has more than 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products. Get a free audiobook of your choice here.

You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or TuneIn

“The best predictor of our sexual wellbeing is our overall wellbeing.”  (Click to Tweet)

Show Notes:

  • How she became an expert in the science of sex
  • How she learned about active listening
  • How your sexual health and overall health are linked
  • What is the dual control mechanism
  • Why we have to learn to pay attention to ourselves without judgment
  • The importance of context
  • The complexity of stress and it’s role in your sexual desire
  • What is EMDR
  • How women are being raised to be sexually dysfunctional
  • How food has become safe sex for women

“This is what it’s like being a sex educator: you find out that everything that you learned growing up culturally about sex, pretty much none of it is true.”  (Click to Tweet)

  • How virginity is a biologically meaningless ideal
  • What is non-concordance
  • The difference between sexually relevant vs. sexually liked
  • Why it’s not lazy to use lube
  • What is responsive desire
  • How distance, rules, and novelty can increase desire
  • Why you should get to know your genitals
  • Why you should identify the parts of your body that you like
  • Why you should stop consuming media that makes you feel crappy

“Pleasure is the measure of sexual wellbeing! If you like it, you are doing it right.”  (Click to Tweet)

Links Mentioned:

 Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

“Where every woman can turn to understand her own sexuality is her own body.”  (Click to Tweet)

63 Twenty One Best Tips for Holiday Thriving (and Sanity!)

Twenty One Tips for Holiday Thriving on The Cravings Whisperer with Alexandra Jamieson

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast with Alexandra Jamieson

I’ve been getting tons of questions from all of you crave bears about how to survive the holidays, how to make healthy eating possible with your crazy schedule, and how to make it through the next couple of months without totally losing your mind.

I hear you! So today’s episode is all about how to survive the holidays with ease and health in mind. Be sure to stick around till the end, because I’ve got 21 tips to help you survive the holidays.

In addition to those tips, I’ve also got a great treat for you: 3 guided meditations to help keep you calm and grounded during this crazy time of year. These meditations and the 21 tips are for you to help you maintain your sanity and even thrive through the holiday season.

Today’s sponsor is Audible.com®, who has more than 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products. Get a free audiobook of your choice here.

You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or TuneIn

“You being nourished and taken care of during the holidays means that you’ll be more present, more loving, and you’ll have more patience.”  (Click to Tweet)

Show Notes:

  • Why you need to not run yourself ragged over the holidays
  • You have to get clear with your partner, family, or whoever you’ll be with during the holidays
  • Why you have to schedule in space and time for you

“Make an intention for yourself: talk about how you want to feel this holiday season.”  (Click to Tweet)

  • Here are 21 tips for surviving and thriving during the holidays
    • 1 Notice how you are feeling
    • 2 Ask for it your way
    • 3 Ask to triple the vegetables
    • 4 When you’re out, be confident to ask about the food
    • 5 Beware of low carb, lite menu options!
    • 6 Ask to box half your entree before it even comes to the table
    • 7 Try doubling your appetizers
    • 8 Order veggies or salad or vegetable soup before ordering anything else
    • 9 Watch out for those add ons in veggie salads
    • 10 Do the fork dip
    • 11 Check out the menu before you even get there
    • 12 Read between the lines
    • 13 Skip the bread basket or chip basket
    • 14 Skip the fancy drinks
    • 15 Trim back on the trimmings
    • 16 Be discerning
    • 17 Don’t skip meals
    • 18 Check it out
    • 19 Add some fun and games
    • 20 Try alternating booze with non-booze
    • 21 Put a limit on the variety

“This all goes back to knowing how you feel in your body, and how you want to feel at the end of the meal.”  (Click to Tweet)

Links Mentioned:

“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it.”  (Click to Tweet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

62 Erin Stutland – The Powerful Combination of Movement and Mantras

Erin Stutland on The Cravings Whisperer with Alexandra Jamieson

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast with Alexandra Jamieson

Most of us have a complicated relationship with…eh…exercise. I even hate calling it exercise because the word brings up so much guilt and shame. We all know we SHOULD do it, but most of us don’t LOVE doing it.

See, I like to move my body in ways that are fun for me – things that feel more like play than a “workout.” Roller skating, biking, hula hoop, bouncing on our mini-trampoline, nature walks…these ways to move help me feel like a kid.

I was really struggling with movement as I was recovering from my concussion.

I was starting to feel really defeated and frustrated because I couldn’t do any of the physical activity that I normally enjoy. Then I remembered a conversation I had with today’s guest, Erin Stutland, creator of Shrink Sessions and the Say It, Sweat It, Get It Challenge. Erin believes you have to start small, with just 5 minutes of movement. Well that’s what I did – I walked to the store, or to the kiddo’s school, and those 5 minutes started building up. Last weekend I was able to ride my bike into the city and I feel awesome!

We all know that sometimes exercise can makes us feel more stressed, right? It can feel like a chore, or like we’re not doing it right. But Erin is one of those people that shows you that movement can be spiritually and emotionally moving. She makes it fun and enjoyable, and that’s why I’m so excited to have her on today’s show to talk about moving, mantras, and mindset.

THE NEW YOU

Today’s sponsor is Audible.com®, who has more than 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products. Get a free audiobook of your choice here.

You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or TuneIn

“I just want you to feel the joy of movement. I just want you to feel what it feels like to fly across the room, to feel awesome in your body.”  (Click to Tweet)

Show Notes:

  • Why she loved dance at a young age
  • How she came upon teaching
  • What is the style of Shrink Sessions
  • The power of pairing movement with mantras
  • The value of play and joy

“When you’re speaking out loud, that sound reverberates through your body and has an impact on your cells.”  (Click to Tweet)

  • How she creates affirmations to use in class
  • What is her current favorite mantra
  • The difficulty of getting started with movement
  • Why you have to start small
  • What are morning pages

“You can’t be afraid to start small, and I think that’s where people get discouraged.”  (Click to Tweet)

Links Mentioned:

 Facebook | Twitter | InstagramYouTube

“A little movement every day can have a huge impact. ”  (Click to Tweet)

61 How to End the All Or Nothing Thinking

How to End All or Nothing Thinking on The Cravings Whisperer with Alexandra Jamieson

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast with Alexandra Jamieson

Today I want to talk about a topic that’s been coming up a lot in my Cravings Cleanse group, and that’s all or nothing, or black and white, thinking.

We’ve all done it. Let’s say you’re trying to cut back on sugar, and then you have one piece of your kiddo’s Halloween candy. And then the guilt comes rushing in, and you throw in the towel, figuring you’ve already ruined it, so may as well scrap the whole idea.

But that’s not the attitude we should have! And this is a part of all or nothing thinking. It’s a slippery slope, and I want to help you reevaluate and eventually eradicate those thoughts. Listen in to learn the warning words that signal all or nothing thinking, and hear my tips to get rid of this damaging, dangerous thought process.

Today’s sponsor is Audible.com®, who has more than 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products. Get a free audiobook of your choice here.

You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or TuneIn

“Not all of life events are completely disastrous or absolutely perfect, but they contain elements of both.”  (Click to Tweet)

Show Notes:

  • What is all or nothing or polarizing thinking
  • How that kind of thinking can lead to anxiety
  • Why all or nothing thinking can be damaging
  • How it’s like the fight or flight response
  • Where all or nothing thinking comes from
  • How to break down all or nothing thinking
  • The relationship between your perception of yourself and how you care for yourself
  • How your cravings are affected by all or nothing thinking

“It’s time to get comfortable with tolerating uncertainty.”  (Click to Tweet)

  • Why you have to see life in shades of gray
  • How you can reevaluate your word choice
  • The 9 warning words
  • Questions to ask yourself when you have all or nothing thoughts
  • How challenging your beliefs can lift depression
  • How to eradicate your all or nothing thinking
  • What is cognitive reframing

“The more we polarize our thinking, the more likely we are to become anxious or depressed or hard on ourselves.”  (Click to Tweet)

Links Mentioned:

“That word yet is really important because it leaves the door open for improvement.”  (Click to Tweet)

Write your self-compassion manifesto

How to Write Your Self-compassion Manifesto

There’s a big problem we need to address before you take your next trip down the self-help aisle…

even though we want to like ourselves more…
even when we believe ‘self-compassion’ is the best way to finally enjoy our bodies for good…
even though we have a feeling that beating ourselves up isn’t helping us like food and sex any more…

…we have been trained to be self-critical on such a base level, that we are brainwashed.

We believe, underneath all the positive affirmations and mantras, if we stop beating ourselves up, we will get lazy, complacent, and that we’ll never advance, improve, drop the pounds, or “get better.”

We hang on to our self-criticism. It’s like we are in an abusive relationship with ourselves.

Our sub-conscious thought is that we still have to restrict and deprive ourselves, muscle through, strain, and toil to find happiness and achievement.

I had the honor to coach a woman I truly respect and admire recently…

I’ll call her Janice.

We got on the phone, her in LA, me in Brooklyn, and talked about her desires to create a work-life balance that really honored her mission to run a great company, while at the same time preserving precious time with her daughter and creative time for her own passion projects.

Janice was also struggling with mind chatter that went like this:
I’m in this high-powered role, making good money, but I feel like people are looking at my body because I have a good 15 pounds to lose, and I’m not as young as I used to be, and all these young female execs are hungry and hotter than me, and my sex-life is on the rocks even though I WANT my sex life to be what it used to be, and WHY do they order cookies for every meeting, when am I going to get the trainer with all these meetings on my schedule, and can I get home in time to make a healthy dinner for my daughter and not get distracted by work email so I can actually BE THERE for her childhood?!!! I need to stop eating so much…I wish I had a cocktail right now…

She had come to me to try to end the destructive cycle of if I work harder and put more restrictions on myself then I’ll finally be happy and good enough to deserve pleasure…

My insights for Janice were totally counter to what she thought she needed:

Beating yourself up, restricting your pleasure in life, is like throwing yourself into a cage match with wild animals: your mind and biochemical responses are so stressed that your body is essentially trying to escape the stress by escaping YOURSELF, which is impossible, or to fix the stressed body through suppressing it, which is self-destructive, or you end up avoiding the feelings with food, or other counter-productive actions.

Self-compassion, honey. That’s what you need in this transformation process.

“I hear ’self-compassion,’ but I really believe that if I relax into acting that way, I’ll lose control, gain even more weight, lose my drive, and become a total slug.” Janice was on the edge of a breakthrough…

But here’s the truth:
beating yourself up will never get you a loving, happy relationship with your body…

Beating yourself up blinds you from seeing the truth behind your cravings, and keeps you in a war with what your body is telling you.

Janice confused self-indulgence with self-compassion.

Self-indulgence is what we do to numb our emotional pain and stress, rather than see, feel, and complete the cycle of stress through self-care. (This is where emotional eating, emotional shopping, and other habits come into play)

Self-compassion is taking a deep breath, stepping back, taking the judgment out of your situation, and being patient with yourself through the process of healing and taking a break to align your desires with your life. It gives you the peace you need to choose a new way to manage and honor your cravings.

I gave her an assignment, and I want you to do this too:

Write Your Self-Compassion Manifesto

How to Write Your Self-compassion Manifesto

1. Get comfy with a cup of tea, and preferably a kitten and a cup of tea. (kitten optional)

2. Write an honest description of the situation you’re beating yourself up about. You could be lecturing yourself about work and career path, ranting in your mind about your weight and eating habits, or condemning yourself for your sexual desires and body image. Or all of the above! Include the mental chatter and “bitch brain” criticism word for word…

3. Now write the name of a dear loved-one at the top of the page.

4. Get another fresh page, and imagine this person, who you love so much, and that they are describing this same problem to you. S/he has come to you for help, and you are listening with a full, empathic heart. You give her your best, loving advice. Write what you would tell her as if you were in your best, calm, strongest place. Tell her what she needs to hear.

5. Reread what you wrote to her. This is for you.

Self-compassion is a habit.

It’s a series of actions and awareness practices that helps you to relax (thereby calming your mind and biochemistry), get clear (which helps you define your vision, desires, and mission), and most importantly…
…self-compassion is a tool that helps you enjoy more moments in your body, ever day of your life.

Once you write your self-compassion manifesto, I want to hear from you below in the comments!

Where can you have more compassion for yourself?
What did you feel shift as you wrote and re-read what you said to your “best friend?”
How do you view self-compassion differently now?

 

Inspiration from: Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, Kristin Neff

 

Have a friend who would LOVE a way to honor her body and her cravings? Share the “What to do when you have a craving” chart! Just copy this link and email it to her… http://bit.ly/cravechart

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