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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