The Gremlins In Your Head, By Robin Mungall

The other day I was catching up with a friend and past client who recently has been struggling with her fitness post life-changing event.

While we were talking I could tell she was not her usual confident self.

At one point in our conversation I had to stop her and say, “hold on a moment, that’s not you talking, those are just the Gremlins in your head.”

Taken off guard she paused or a moment trying to process that statement and with a curious look she asked what the heck does that mean?

I told her that the words she's using are coming from the Gremlins in her head. Those sneaky Gremlins like to fill your thoughts and words with swears that under-mind your confidence, take away choice and create absolutes in your head making it very difficult to grow as a person, keep an open mind or have a healthy self esteem.

And without the right mindset it’s very hard to make changes in your fitness. (or anything else for that matter)

Gremlins like to trap you, and keep you down.

My friend asked me “What words am I … or is the Gremlin using?”

I told her about the 6 major swear words that Gremlins feed off of

  • Must
  • Have To
  • Should
  • Can’t
  • Ever/Never
  • Always

Of course there can be more, and the context in which you speak with these words and others can be equally troubling.

All of these words have the power to take away choice – as my friend was telling me, “I can’t workout, just not enough time in the day” she has just taken away a choice to even go for a 10 minute walk (which later on we rectified).

My friend asked me about all the statements she made where I heard the Gremlins.

“I should have never stopped working out” – she just under minded her own confidence. That was your choice, its ok if you thought it was a mistake, learn and answer the questions “what’s next for you”

“I have to lose this muffin top by June” – That absolute statement sets you up to feel unworthy and likely to give up if June 1st passes and you didn’t reach 100% of your goal.

I asked her “What if you only lose part of your muffin top by June, will you give up because you didn’t get all of the way there?”

“Of course not!” she replied …. “Oh I see what you mean, I guess I don’t have to lose my muffin top by June, but I would like to work on getting as much of it off as I can.”

That statement is a lot better, it’s not an absolute it’s about doing what she can do and of course knowing that she can keep working on it if June comes and goes and she hasn’t lost all of what she wanted she won’t give up.

Imagine stressfully saying “I have to” for weeks on end how draining that would be. Imagine what you would feel like if you got to June 1st and you didn’t do what you’ve been telling yourself you “have to” do for weeks and months on end. Imagine how that effects your mood your energy and if you don’t accomplish 100% of it imagine how that makes you feel then.

Yes Gremlins,

Everybody has them, they are often so subtle they go unnoticed but if you are aware of them you stand a chance at stopping them from ruling your thoughts and words.

This week I want you to think about your thoughts about your fitness goals, your abilities and motivations to be fit and lose weight.

If you notice any Gremlins controlling your thoughts, use that awareness to change your statements and rid yourself of the Gremlins in your head.

- Robin Mungall