155: The End of Self-Sabotage

Mar 22, 2016

Today we’re having another Primal Potential Book Club episode all about the end of self-sabotage!

I read a lot of books and I’m constantly going through books about health, nutrition & fat loss but I only want to share a book with you when I feel a sense of, “Oh my goodness, they NEED to hear this.” I most recently got that feeling with a book that has nothing to do with fat loss, yet EVERYTHING to do with fat loss.

The book is called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

The book is written for anyone struggling with internal resistance – excuse making, procrastination, quitting – and is perfect for individuals who are trying to get healthy, burn fat or improve their food choices.

In today’s episode I share the passages that moved me the most & discuss how they apply to health & fat loss.

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The End of Self-Sabotage

“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”

This is 100% true of weight loss. It’s not the good choice that is hard. It’s the thinking about it. The debating. The internal arguing back and forth and the situations you create and battle with in your head.

That’s the secret that most people who have lost weight know that people who haven’t lost weight haven’t yet accepted: It’s not the fat loss part that’s hard. It’s tackling the junk in your head that is hard.

On the very next page he writes,

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.

I think if you have any amount of weight to lose you get this. I think you get this if you feel like food is controlling your life.

It’s this sense that there’s the life I am living and the life I plan on living after weight loss. Or, the life I wish I could live if I could just tackle this battle.

What does resistance look like? What does it sound like? As soon as I explain how Pressfield explains it, I think you’ll start to see it pretty clearly in your own life. I know I can. I see it immediately in my clients. It stands out once you recognize it.

“Anything that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long term growth, health or integrity.

Here’s one of the first ah-ha moments I had when I was reading The War of Art:

“Resistance” can be an incredibly valuable tool. If we aren’t sure what we SHOULD be doing – what is BEST for us – look to where the greatest resistance is.

You can USE it in that way. The more important or significant something is, the more resistance we often feel.

That’s so true in weight loss. You know where I’ve seen this most with clients? Alcohol. There is so much resistance to dialing back or working on moderation with alcohol (for some people.)

Where there is the greatest resistance is often a fantastic indicator of where we need to be doing more work,

Now here’s what I think is scary: how does resistance gain strength?

From us. We feed it. We feed it with our fear. It has ABSOLUTELY NO STRENGTH of it’s own unless we fuel it with our fear and our belief and our focus.

We can choose not to do this. We can starve resistance by not giving in to it. When you give in to resistance, it gains power.

One of the most common forms of resistance is procrastination. We aren’t telling ourselves “no”, we’re just saying “later” (even though we know that we don’t do it later.)

I took a picture of the page Pressfield writes about procrastination. Well, just a couple sentences, really.

“NEVER FORGET: This very moment, we can change our lives. This second, we can sit down to do our work.”

This second, we can make a good choice. This second, we can do something that will move us forward.

Pressfield writes about sex as a form of resistance – distraction – but I think his argument there is maybe even more true of food – I’m going to read what he wrote but replace the word sex with food, okay? You’ll love this:

“Sometimes resistance takes the form of food, or an obsessive preoccupation with food. Why food? Because food provides immediate and powerful gratification.

Resistance gets a kick out of knowing that it has distracted us with a cheap, easy fix and kept us from doing our work.

Of course not all food is a manifestation of resistance. In my experience, you can tell by the measure of hollowness you feel afterwards. The more empty you feel, the more certain you can be that your true motivation was not real, but Resistance.

Uh – yeah, ya think? The immediate and powerful gratification? The hollowness afterwards?

Yes. And no.

Say no to that. That is fueling resistance.


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield


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