Everyone has a Beast - Shelley and Katie call theirs "Mad Monkey" and I call mine my "Inner Gollum". Why Gollum? Because Tolkien (author of "Lord of the Rings") has done an amazing job of portraying your subconscious in the character of Gollum - any Lord of the Rings fan will know that Gollum spends most of his time fighting with himself in the book and dealing with a nasty addiction to his "Precious" - the Ring, which in the end takes him to his fiery end.
The same analogy can be applied to weight loss and physique transformation. Much has been written about "The Beast" and your subconscious in the weight loss arena. Put simply "The Beast" or "Gollum" is part of your subconscious, the internal chatter that goes on in your head all day - after all we spend more time talking to ourselves than we do any other person. For someone who is losing weight and feels they're addicted to certain foods, the Beast can have an absolute field day convincing you that you should have x, y or z to make you feel better. It's easy to become scared of "The Beast" who can get very peevish and say things to you along the lines of "You'll never get to experience anything nice ever again", "you're always going to miss out", "why shouldn't I indulge and treat myself?" amongst other things - AND the kicker is that "The Beast" can become so insistent that we forget that we're the ones who are in control.
I have just listened to an excellent lesson on self talk by Coach David Greenwalt. This is part of his Bootcamp program and I really got a lot out of it. We all have a tendency towards negative self talk - and it is this negative all or nothing/in absolute terms "eg I suck at eating well" (negative and absolute) that allows "The Beast" to sit in for a nice round of cards. So we need to go back to continually practising our positive self talk eg "I may not have the best record in eating well, but I can take this step "blah" to get me on the right track" (honest and positive). In effect, losing weight (as is the case of prepping for a comp or just getting lean) is not the answer. You can lose 2 or 20kg and if you haven't learnt how to deal with this change psychologically (ie you can say with 100% certainty that the outside matches the inside..ie you're no fly-by night fake living in a hot body) then you are not likely to succeed in the long term.
This week signals TOM week and my Inner Gollum has been having a field day trying to tell me that it is OK to bake some sweet goodies (my trigger). Conversation has gone something like this:
Inner Gollum: "How can it possibly hurt to make one batch of chocolate chip cookies?"
Me: "I don't want the feeling of Monday Morning, ie I wake up with the regret of Sunday in my head and feeling like I have to paddle ferociously just to hold my position in the water."
Inner Gollum: "But you've tidied up the house and you could do with a treat, something you enjoy"
Me: "Whilst I do enjoy baking, I haven't been able to come to a landing yet in terms of it triggering me to eat everything."
Inner Gollum: "The entire family have gone out for the day. You could buy all of the ingredients and spend all afternoon baking and no one would ever know".
Me: " Well I really don't want to pretend I'm hungry for dinner when everyone comes home when I'm stuffed to the gills with fat and sugar".
Inner Gollum: "You are so weak".
Me: "Shut up already, I can't believe I've had you clattering around in my head about this for the last two days. I actually have things to do and I'm done with procrastinating. I know you tell me that I have hopeless time management skills - but that is so negative and absolute. I am improving all the time"
and so on....
Lately I have been wondering about the value of this blog and my contribution to the blogging community. Originally I started this blog to document my journey to compete in two Figure Competitions whilst living in a remote area. These days I wonder what my relevance is to the bodybuilding community in the competitor sense - I'm not sure where I'm headed in that regard - being unwell certainly hasn't helped that - I'm proof positive of the saying - "you make plans and God laughs".
Many coaches keep blogs to help attract business but I don't want my blog to be that - I want a place to write where I can keep it real. Being able to write about what is going on is cathartic for me.
In that spirit, over to me - I mentioned Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp - I am on the bus for Bootcamp 11 (I did BC-3 last time) and I am now in a strong action phase - my goal to be lean enough to do justice for another photo shoot. Luckily with Lindy and Dallas down the road, hiring an excellent photographer is not a drama.
I have been lucky enough to have the week off work, and am planning on getting plenty of rest and learning the choreography for RPM 42 and BS 75 as well as doing Cathe's STS - Mesocycle 1, as I slowly improve. I taught RPM Hi Performance yesterday and got to meet the delightful Selina. I was nervous that I would be suffering in class but I think the iron is doing its job - all systems go. In between all of that I shall be sleeping and eating really well and practising my positive self talk.