Would you agree that you can’t possibly change what you don’t know about?Clearly, to change anything, the very first step is to recognize the problem. This is why all change begins with AWARENESS!
Awareness is a two step process. The first step is the question. As Tony Robbins once said, “The quality of your life comes down to the questions you ask yourself on a daily basis.” The questions you ask yourself are the most powerful tool of awareness. My friend Dr. Michelle May based her entire weight loss program on a single powerful question, “Am I hungry?” Can you see the power of that question? Imagine if you asked that question every time you had the impulse to put food in your mouth? I know for me, it helps me to eat less.
Of course, the question is useless if the answer is a lie. The next most important step in building awareness is telling yourself the truth. So really, the quality of your life comes down to the quality of the questions you ask yourself on a daily basis multiplied by the integrity of your ANSWERS to those questions. Generally, integrity means honesty and truthfulness. The word integrity actually comes from Latin meaning “to be whole.” This is because integrity brings with it an inner "wholeness," that comes from honesty and consistency of character.
Have you ever lied to yourself? I know I have, especially when it comes to food. In fact, I wrote a whole book about it. It’s called “Hey Are You Gonna Eat That? How to lose weight just by eating other people’s food & other calorie free myths, legends and fabrications.” In the book, I take a humorous look at all the ways that we use “truth avoidance” (aka lying to yourself) to justify eating things that we know we shouldn’t. The entire cartoon book talks about all the foods in our world that we choose to believe is calorie free and therefore has no cost to our waistline or health. For instance, did you know that all food eaten while driving is calorie free? How about the fact that drinking a diet soda literally negates all the calories in a fast food lunch? I love to use this book as a way to help people become aware of how they literally TURN OFF their awareness to the REAL cost of many things they eat.
Do You Practice Awareness or Avoidance?
In my experience, most people (including me) don’t like to be aware. They don’t want to look at their bank book or their credit card statements. They close the door on that messy room. They don’t want to know how much their body is deteriorating due to lack of movement. They don’t want to know how much they are actually eating. I get it; sometimes it’s easier to just avoid the things that than to deal. Easier now maybe but, avoidance always makes life more difficult in the long run. It amazes me that so many people would rather avoid inconvenient truths than be successful. Chances are, if you are not where you want to be in some aspect of your life, it is because you are avoiding something.
I have clients that get physically sick when I ask them to read labels. As for writing in a food log, people get so upset when I ask them to do that. Why is that? Why do I have to make such a big deal with most people about simply writing down what they eat? Why do you think I am so adamant about that? It’s because their success depends on it. I am not asking them to count calories per se but, I am asking them to be aware of the health and caloric cost of the stuff they put into their mouth. It seems so simple, yet it is so hard. Why is this so hard?
It’s hard because when you know about something, you then have to choose to keep it the same or change it. Often, when you become aware it means you need to face the fact that you’re not who you want to be. That’s hard and the only way for you to fix it is to do the hard work of change. The fact that all change starts with awareness is exactly why awareness is so difficult. Your subconscious mind likes to keep you in the dark because it hates change. As a result, we will do anything to remain blissfully unaware.