The Self Love Project Pt. 2

Breaking out of the Extremes

Magnetic Pull

Let’s break down the magnetic pull idea again. I came up with this once while talking to an AMAZING TFGG babe during Round 2, and it has always stuck with me as such a simple way to explain the extreme mentality that comes with so many of our self-hatred cycles. 

Every magnet has two opposing charges (these are referred to as the north and south poles). I like to think of these poles as the most opposite of extremes in our own behaviour, but both with self-hating tendencies.

The north pole can be seen as our restrictive side. This is the side of ourselves that says things like “I’m starting on Monday and this time it’s for good!” Or “I’ll never eat junk food again, I’m serious this time.” It’s our side that punishes us in to extreme over training, and tries to under-eat in order to make up for past calories we feel guilty about. 

The south pole can be seen as our hyper-gluttonous side. It’s the one that says “I ate 2 pieces of pizza so fuck it, might as well finish the entire XL box” or, “I’m going to eat and drink as much as I possibly can because who cares at this point” or, “there is no point in moving my body today because I already ate bad food so I’m writing off the rest of the week”.

Imagine we are living inside of a single magnet. We have both a north and a south pole… makes sense, right? So when a big magnet comes up to us and pulls us toward it with it’s south side, our north side immediately allows us to be pulled all the way over. But then an even bigger magnet shows up with it’s north side toward us and we are pulled over by our own south side!

I know this might be a lot to wrap your brain around, so read it through a few times if you need to! The point I’m trying to make here is that the further and harder we are pulled in one direction, the harder and faster we crash in the opposite direction. We end up living and existing only between these two extremes and never able to find a happy middle ground. So yes, breaking out of these two polarizing extremes is exactly what Part 2 is all about.

Actionables

1. Eliminating extreme language from your vocabulary. So here’s the deal: You don’t have to catch yourself on everything negative you say (just yet) but we have to start somewhere. This means that you need to cut yourself off or correct yourself each time you think or speak in EXTREME TERMS. Here are a few common examples:

“This time it’s for good”

“I’m going to eat until I’m sick”

“I’m writing off this day/week/month/year because…”

“I have to do extra cardio to make up for….”

“I will eat and train perfectly this week/month/anything”

2. No more hiding eating patterns. Whether we are restricting, binging, or doing anything else that we know is extreme tendency and not good for us, we tend to want to hide it. I will never forget when my mom suspected I had a binge eating problem. She brought it up in the most sensitive way, but I was so ashamed and honestly mortified that I’d been “caught”. 

So here is what we need to focus on! No more hiding food (or hiding a lack of food) from our loved ones. Let’s try to eat with friends, parters, colleagues, and family members when it’s possible, and let’s start working on eliminating shame when it comes to what we eat! I used to never eat a cookie in front of my family because I was the “healthy fitness one” but then I would binge the entire container alone in my room at night. We need to start to realize that at the end of the day, no one is judging us for what we are eating as much as ourselves! And if they are, that’s something we will address soon because it is their issue and not yours.

3. Phone a friend. This ties in to what we just talked about! During Part 2 of this Project, I want you to phone a friend (or partner or family member) and make sure they are someone who makes you feel safe. Tell them a little bit about what you’ve been struggling with, and what you are working on overcoming. You don’t need to tell them everything if you don’t want to, but just let them know that it’s a big focus for you right now to improve the quality of your life and how you feel about yourself. Tell them that the first thing you are doing is eliminating extreme behaviours and trying to live in a more balanced way. Make a plan to check in with them once a week (in person, on the phone, however!) and let them know how you’re doing and feeling. Having someone there who cares and has an understanding as to what you are dealing with is going to make a big difference in this whole experience!

4. The Golden Rule. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… If you can’t picture yourself doing something for the rest of your life, you shouldn’t be doing it.

So that pretty much sums up any extreme habit or behaviour, right? The thing is, we tell ourselves we are going to do these extreme things until we get to a place where we feel good and love ourselves… then we think we’ll take on a healthier, more balanced approach. The truth is though, that’s never going to happen. We need to cut ties with the extremes now. For good.

Move on to Part 3 when:

Move on to the next part once you have gone an entire week without binging, restricting, or any of your previous extreme habits. I know that this might be really hard, and it might take a few weeks to grasp. But that’s okay! Focus on the 4 actionables, take it one day at a time, and know that you’re doing what you need to break out of the extremes.



Johanna Seier