The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Shadow Play

Your ego identifies itself with whatever your “steady state” is—usually your current self, but if you are in a state of flux, whatever your most stable condition might have been. This is one reason why diets don’t work—they are the result of conscious action. Whatever your automatic habits would turn you into? That’s your ego. Take your concentration off for a few weeks, and you’re right back where you started. It takes months of conscious action to begin to change this. Affirmations, hypnosis, meditation, NLP…all are valuable to shift this. Remember: if you don’t change your internal image, your ego-identity, you’ll have to use conscious attention to compensate. And trust me: your conscious mind is the smallest, weakest part of you. Eventually, it will LOSE.
Your “shadow” is the part of you that trends toward the unconscious negative. It will create perfectly reasonable short-term actions that sabotage long-term goals.
For instance: In financial hot water? Your shadow will distract you from balancing your check book. Relationship trouble? Your shadow will stop you from having reasoned discussion about the core issues. Either you will avoid conversation totally, or discussions will be hyper-charged with emotion, so that the underlying truth is distorted by fear, pain, guilt, and blame.

And weight? Wellll…I’ve just detected a “Shadow Pattern” that could make Intermittent Fasting a problem for sedentary people, women particularly. Let me explain:
1) The spiral of “Increasing Energy” is, roughly speaking, good rest, good exercise, good food. Decreasing energy? Poor rest, poor exercise, and poor food.
Now, what can your Shadow do if it wants you to remain heavy? Well, if you’re using Intermittent Fasting, you’ve got a HUGE advantage in the arena of eating—caloric input. Hard for your subconscious to screw with you here. So what can it do? It will attack you at the other end of that two-headed snake. Remember: you have to control both Input AND Output to control weight. If you are sedentary, you will start to slow down even more. Put off exercise, or exercise later in the day (exercising early is more efficient for hyping metabolism.) The effect? Weight loss results slow down.

There is an interesting opinion held by many weight experts: men try to lose weight by increasing exercise. Women try to lose weight by decreasing food intake. So women, especially, please listen now.

If you are using I.F., and NOT in an active lifestyle, and NOT exercising about 1/2 hour a day, your Shadow will slow you down, make you more sluggish and inactive. You will walk slower, sit longer. As your weight loss stalls, you will compensate—unconsciously—by eating LESS on your “feast” days. The result? Subtle nutritional deficiencies. Your energy drops lower. The negative, downward spiral increases until you feel like crap, and literally start getting sick. You react by stopping I.F. “See?” your shadow gets to say to you. “You tried. This is just another thing that didn’t work…”

Be very careful. If you have a totally sedentary lifestyle, make sure you exercise 1/2 hour a day. If you have a moderately sedentary lifestyle, short bursts of intense exercise should work fine with I.F. (that 34 minutes a week we’ve talked about).

Your Shadow is damned smart. Design your basic habits to shine the light in those dark corners.

1 comment:

quality custom writing said...

I really liked this article! I believe that in these statements is true! But after reading this book, I just changed my view of the world!