Over the month of November, my inner Sloth and I have had to have many conversations with each other that we do not like to have. We’ve discussed what our goals are. Sloth’s goals are to take a nap as often as possible.
My goals are a little more complex. We’ve discussed our diet. Sloth is unhappy with this because Mountain Dew and Starbursts are it’s favorite foods. The Sloth is rather angry that they are forbidden.
We’ve discussed our life and life style as a whole. Sloth is not always happy with these conversations and generally feels that if we are upsetting the delicate balance of our life, the house of cards may fall down. Doom! Gloom! Despair! Pain! Agony! You know, all of the usual stuff that won’t really happen but grumpy face thinks it could.
Conversations with Sloth
My inner Sloth and I have a conversation everyday over the meaning of the words we use when discussing topics like eating healthy, working out, fitting in an outside walk, really the times we do this could be endless. This typical conversation usually goes a little something like this.
Beck: I think I want to cut back on carbs.
Sloth: No. No, you don’t. Carbs are delicious.
Beck: Well carbs are delicious but they increase sugar levels and other unhealthy blurbs I’ve read.
Sloth: So you didn’t research this?
Beck: Yes, sort of. Google. Google told me stuff, lots of stuff… so much stuff there should have been notes.
Sloth: But there wasn’t?
Beck: No, no notes. It’s a Google. You too! You Google too! AND you do it just as haphazardly as I do. Hush. We’re cutting back on carbs.
Sloth: I can’t.
Beck: You know you are a fictional being I’ve made up right? I know that so you have to know that. This isn’t a Fight Club scenario dude. We’re doing this.
Sloth: I can’t.
Beck: What? What’s that mean?
Sloth: It means that all the side dishes we eat are in fact carbs. Pasta, rice, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted red potatoes. PO-TAY-TOES! Come on man! It’s all carbs lady. ALL carbs. You will starve if you do this. OH and it’s getting cold. Veggie soup! Lower carbs means no potatoes or butter beans in the soup. Chili! What about CHILI!? Why? Why would you do this to yourself?
Beck: Lose weight, healthier… Google it.
At this point the Sloth sighs… and doubles up. Crosses it’s arms.
Sloth: I CAN’T!
Beck: Okay Slothy, at this point I’m gonna have to Google definition of can’t and see if you are full of it!
Google search… Definition: Contraction of Can not. Definition: To be unable to otherwise do.
Hmm.. so what does “do” mean?
Okay… let’s jump into this shall we? Do: To bring to pass (Carryout), to bring into existence (Produce), Commit, Bring out, Effect.
These are all very positive things Slothy… I think we CAN “do” this.
Sloth: Don’t blame me when you are hungry and angry!
And then it crosses it’s furry arms and refuses to speak to me.
Silence the “I Can’t”
This happens with myself in a vast array of scenarios. I can’t go to the gym after work. Yes, I can. I might not get there in time to take a class but I could in fact go to the gym and work out. It is possible. I may not want to, but I can do it.
I can’t go for a walk. It’s too cold, it’s too hot, the sun…. I wanna be a vampire when I grow up! Effort and sweat and ew. Yes I can go for a real, off the treadmill walk. Again this is a case of want to over what I can do.
I can’t do this exercise. Why? Is it an injury that is preventing it? No? Then it’s a you can. Go DO it. If the answer is yes. Move on to the next question.
Is there a modification that you can do of that exercise? The answer is almost always yes to this. But in the extremely unlikely case that you find the single no here, ask yourself the next question.
Is there another exercise that I can do or has a modification that I can do that works the same area? The answer will most likely be yes.
But in extreme cases of disability where you physically can not do much at all… clap. Get in the habit of doing this two to three times a day. Clap for five minutes at specific times until you are trained to do so. When you got it down to routine. Add some other exercise in.
Baby step it up until you are power lifting, running a marathon, or simply putting in maximum effort towards your goals. In other words, find your DO.
Write Your Own Internal Dialogue
Everyone on this journey has to rewrite their internal dictionary. Until that’s accomplished or at least worked on the mindset stays fixed and immobile. That isn’t I can’t. That is totally I won’t.
I’ve moved passed that point to “I’m doing it.” If you aren’t on that path, you wouldn’t be here. You took a step. Now DO.
Until next time,
Be kind to yourself and others.
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This article has 10 Comments
Oh Beck, I love this. I thought I was the only one that had daily conversations with Sloth. In fact, as I was reading, Sloth was saying “close the laptop. This Beck person doesn’t know what she’s on about. Now go get me a cookie.”
But I had to tell Sloth that Beck was right. Whilst it might be hard for Sloth, we need to be in this together. Sloth and I have agreed that baby steps might be the way to go. We will start with some walks, and then go from here. We’ve both agreed that we at least make a start. No more ‘I can’t’, which deep down we both knew was ‘I won’t’.
Melissa! YOU CAN DO IT! Keep us posted on your progress! I’m sure now that you are having healthier conversations with your inner sloth those baby steps will start to be giant steps in no time! Get it girl! Don’t allow your inner sloth to dampen your MUCHNESS! You can do anything you want to do.
Thanks for your humorous review that really touches on some of the stuff we tell ourselves.You are so right about silencing the “I Can’t” as the stuff we tell ourselves in our inner dialogue drives so many of the actions and outcomes in our lives. You are right in saying You CAN do it and taking baby steps. I hope more people read your article and you’ve got the mindset and internal dialogue tips down perfectly!Thanks for the article, you have motivated me to exercise today and make it enjoyable with family too – jog with infant and playground time. Thank you!
Oh John! You picked the most amazing workout ever! Playground time! I might have to sneak myself on a playground and give the swings a go! I seem to remember liking them. Enjoy your family time! Beck
This is so hilarious and true. I know, I have been trying to do the keto diet and cut carbs pretty much out of the picture. Yes, part of me is with sloth on this, they are so yummy and make me feel good. But that good feeling doesn’t last and then I feel slow and sluggish, like a sloth I imagine.
Excellent article and thank you for the laugh and the encouragement. SHHH Sloth
Our inner sloths show themselves in so many ways. Good luck on your journey. I haven’t done much research on Keto yet, I’ve heard it’s very hard. I wish you all the luck in the world. I have faith you can do anything you set your mind on doing. Beck
I absolutely loved this, Beck! You’ve shared a really, deeply important message but wrapped it all up in amazing humor that was a joy to read. You are so right…we must address our Inner Dialogue first and foremost for any changes/improvements we want in our lives. We MUST learn to be our own best friend. It can be so difficult, especially when we are addressing things we think “aren’t right” about ourselves. Thanks for a fun-to-read article that reminds us about seriously being our own champion and DOING what we know we should or at least doing WHAT WE CAN until we get to where we want to be. Keep up the great work!
Cheri, Right? We all have things we beat ourselves about. Our “aren’t rights” so to speak. Usually, we see them as much worse than it really is cause that voice in our heads says so. You can! You WILL! Keep me posted on how your journey is going! Beck
what a unique post of your, I really enjoying reading it, specifically the dialogues :). What I understood was that we all have a inner voice (sloth) that tells us that we can not achieve our goals, a inner voice sloth that gives us thousands of excuses, always being negative.
We have to fight back all the time, we must not let that inner voice defeat us!
Thanks for this unique and entertaining post!
You are so welcome. That’s exactly how I feel. I’m constantly fighting with my inner sloth to stay motivated and moving. I think most people are battling their inner spirit. Keep coming back and checking in. I’m sure my mind will ramble out a post or two in the near future! Beck