Do you know this crazy woman?

Are you familiar with Brenda, the crazy exercise tyrant?  You totally know her.  She's the task-master in your head who decides if your workout was tough enough to deem you worthy of a treat, or second helping of dinner.   When in yoga class, you might here Brenda whisper while you are in pigeon pose, "So yeah, it’s all well and good you are stretching but just FYI, this doesn’t count as a work out!" Yep, she’s a tough one and one of the many ladies in your head you obey to keep yourself “on track”, doing more, and gettin' stuff DONE.  Yet what happens after a few too many Brenda berating sessions?  That's right.  You tell her to f*ck off and head straight for the chocolate and those little muffins you've decided "don't count" because they are just so small.  You lay on the couch in a groggy food stupor, barely conscious until you hear Brenda's booming voice again say, “Well, now you’ve really done it....AGAIN.  You better hit the gym extra hard tomorrow and don't even think of eating anything other than a side salad with fat-free dressing for lunch.”

And so the cycle goes, round and round again.

You get controlling with your food, try to eat clean, be perfect, work out hard to earn your meals and by the end of the day you're in front of the fridge, mouth stuffed with almonds like a rabid squirrel,  looking for something else to shove in.

This is major.

Of course I'd love to say if you just ignore Brenda she will go away.  Not the case, unfortunately.  In fact the more you ignore Brenda, and all the other negative nancy voices in your head the louder they get.  Think of them like snotty 2 year olds.  The more your ignore them, the louder they get.

So how can we get Brenda to chill out and not be so mean to you?

First know that she exists for your protection.  Yep, that yappy girl who’s always reminding you that you aren't doing enough, need to be better, workout harder, faster, AND cut back on sugar, is there to keep you safe.

Seems a little counterintuitive, so let me explain.

Somewhere along the line you decided you needed someone to monitor your body.  You decided your body needed order and structure because that's when you feel safest.  That's where you feel you have control.  And because you didn't trust yourself and believe if you didn't have a nagging voice in your head you'd lay on the couch all day eating tortilla chips and watching Orange is the New Black, you gave the reins to Brenda, who is doing her job marvelously.  She never gives you a break and holds tight to the rigidity YOU told her makes you feel safe.

The problem is that you can't be rigid with your body the way you are with everything else.

Yes, schedules and calendars are good for work, but try to cram your body into a similar box and that girl is going to rebel...hardcore!

And when you rebel with food what you are really asking for is space to breathe and some freaking freedom, for goodness sake.

So, what if you gave Brenda a break?

What if when she chimed in with her every-other-hour rants you said, "Brenda, thank you for looking out for me.  You are doing an amazing job and I know you just want me to feel secure and in control.  I want you know that today, I got this.  Go relax, my dear.  I can safeguard my body today and thank you for always being so vigilant."

Holy cow, doesn't that feel amazing?  Now like I said, Brenda will not ease up right away.  Think about how long she's been in charge of your body, monitoring you so you don't "mess up"?  She's going to need your speech quite often until you BOTH understand that YOU can trust your body and yourself without a drill sergeant breathing down your neck.

So here's what I want to know.  What is your crazy exercise tyrant's name and what are you going to say to her so she knows her tough love is no longer required?  What can you do to make you both feel calm and secure?

Know any other ladies who deal with their own mental exercise task master?  Then be sure to share this article with today's TWEETABLE.

Biggest love and here's to saying BYE BYE to Brenda,

Jamie

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