First of all, I’d like to wish my patients, clients, friends, family and followers a very Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! In celebration of this Irish tradition, here’s a gluten-free, paleo-friendly version of Irish Soda Bread. I use currants or golden raisins, since my family doesn’t like cooked dark raisins.
Today I’d like to talk about stories. Your stories. The negative scripts we write about ourselves every day. You know the kind!
“I’m a klutz and not athletic.”
“I’m always late.”
This week alone, patients said to me:
- “Once I put a carb in my mouth, I splurge on them for the next two weeks.”
- “I will never have enough time to exercise.”
At times I myself have been guilty of the same kind of self-deprecating dialogues. For years I told myself I was just too anxious to speak in front of groups of people. I couldn’t even ask a question at a conference without a pulse of 130! And when my friends wanted to start a band, I felt there was no way I was ever going to be able to sing in front of anyone! However, I prioritized my desires and goals over these self-imposed shortcomings by pushing myself to take on opportunities that would allow me to break through my own stereotypes. As an executive member of several local and national medical societies, I have learned quickly that I can in fact, stand up in front of large groups of colleagues and overcome my public speaking anxieties when my time comes to make a presentation. Additionally, my cover band Take Two And Call Me In The Morning plays a gig almost every weekend here in Connecticut where I am featured as lead singer. I have discovered that the feelings of joy and achievement I get out of these experiences help me to slowly overcome those old fears – but only when and if I give myself the chance to engage in those moments of positivity!
So how do we make these leaps and bounds in our everyday lives?
OK, well, here’s the thing: there are surely things about yourself you can’t change. I’d like to wake up tomorrow 5’7”. Not gonna happen!
But, so many things we say about ourselves we want to change; we should change; and we really, truly CAN change!!!!
You don’t have to eat all carbs for two weeks after one cookie if you are trying to reverse metabolic syndrome. As I have written before, you can enjoy at treat and move on. But you have to tell yourself: “I’m not a person who sabotages his/her health because I ate one thing.” Maybe you won’t believe yourself at first, but say it anyway!! Say it enough times and you start to rewrite your story, eventually you will start to live differently.
So: You CAN find 10 minutes in your day to exercise. Walk up and down your stairs or around your house, the grocery store or the parking lot. Put on music and dance for 10 minutes. Or try strengthening your core by engaging your abdominal muscles while you complete everyday tasks such as picking up a heavy object out of your car or stepping over the baby gates at home.
Think you’re not smart? Say: “I’m pretty smart!” and then make yourself smarter by exercising! Yup, that’s right — a study by Harvard shows that physical activity not only strengthens our bones and muscles but also our minds!
Try to recognize the stories you tell yourself that you would like to change.
Rewrite your story the way you’d like it to read.
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!
Dr. Emily Nolfo