Born To Win, But Taught To Lose!
One of the great tragedies of human life is that so many of
us have no idea who we really are, or how powerful we are
capable of being, or that having healthier bodies is much
more within our reach than we had imagined.
We are literally brainwashed as children and young adults
to believe disempowering things about ourselves and about
life in general that simply aren't true. These megadoses of
misinformation we're exposed to can result in low
self-esteem, a bad self-image, and feelings of
powerlessness to be, do, or have what we want in life. As a
consequence, we live lives that are far below our
potential, and much less satisfying than we deserve.
The truth of this is easy to see by observing young
children, or perhaps by recalling our own lives before this
destructive cultural brainwashing had taken its toll.
Children are full of optimism, excitement, playfulness, and
a willingness to dream big. But as life moves forward, the
prevailing cultural notions begin to slowly but steadily
chip away at their childlike wonder. They eventually become
cynical, negative, depressed, or even suicidal.
Think about it for a moment. Look around and see how many
people you can spot who are clearly suffering from chronic
low expectations--who are always expecting the worst in
life, and usually end up getting it. But even those of us
whose afflictions are not so obvious can still suffer
greatly because of the untruths we've been taught.
Cultural Time Bombs
Not every limiting thing we were told as children had
its impact right away. Some of the verbal toxins took
years, or even decades, to kick in. They were "cultural
time bombs," planted in childhood, but timed to explode at
point in our adult lives when they could do the most
How many of us were told that, "You'll never amount to
anything," or "You're not smart enough / pretty enough /
strong enough to have what you want." Or maybe you were
told that you were too short, too tall, too skinny, or too
fat to succeed. Such statements generally came, not from
the culture at large, but from people we knew well, and
often from our own parents.
While the impact of these messages may have been minimal at
the time of delivery, they were seldom heard only once.
Instead, they were typically repeated many times over many
years. Since we saw our parents and teachers as the primary
sources of wisdom in our lives, we had little choice but to
give at least a certain amount of credence to whatever they
The overall effect was that these toxic, self-sabotaging
beliefs slowly but surely wormed their way into our belief
system. Over time, they made the transition from being
other people's opinions to being the undisputed truth. So,
even if they didn't cause us significant harm in childhood,
they would have many more opportunities to do so in our
The Real Recipe For Becoming Overweight And Out Of
There is a popular notion in this culture that being
overweight and out of shape is something that "just
happens" as we get older. We often say justify it on the
basis that it's an inherited problem; We're overweight
because our parents were. This simply isn't so. Genetic
obesity accounts for the tiniest fraction of overweight
adults. We can see the truth of this by thinking about the
fat cats and dogs we know. When you look at a fat cat
sprawled out on the sofa, do you think, "Poor kitty. It's
the victim of genetic obesity." Of course not. You know
exactly why the cat is fat. It just eats too much!
Let's give ourselves the courtesy of applying the same
clear logic to our own lives. We're overweight because we
eat too much! We can look around and see that many people
remain trim and in shape because they don't eat too much.
What is the biggest difference between the two groups? It's
those negative and untrue beliefs about who we are, what we
can do, and what we're entitled to have in our lives.
Your Past Does NOT Have To Determine Your
As adults, each of us needs to understand how we may
have been impacted by the culture we grew up in and, more
importantly, by the words of the influential people closest
to us. If we are finding it consistently difficult to lose
weight or get in shape, it's a safe bet that we've bought
into some very disempowering notions along the way that
have now become beliefs.
Please understand, the fact that we bought into these
self-sabotaging beliefs as children is nothing to be
ashamed of and nothing to be in denial about. Quite the
contrary, we need to see that all of us suffer from this
cultural brainwashing to one degree or another.
What we do need to avoid is keeping our heads buried in the
sand. If you have a history of struggling with fitness and
weight loss, you need to understand that the root cause of
your problem is in your own beliefs, and nothing of a
physical nature. But you also need to know that, until your
self-sabotaging beliefs are identified and replaced with
self-supportive ones, no amount of messing around with
diets, exercise machines, drugs, metabolizer pills, or
anything else physical is going to bring you the safe and
lasting results you desire and deserve.
In all likelihood, you have decades more life ahead of you.
I'm sure you're aware of that. What you may not be aware of
is that you have a tremendous amount of power to determine
how your future life will be lived--including your level of
self-esteem you get to enjoy and the shape of your body you
get to occupy. If you are seriously interested in making
your future better than your past, I urge you to take to
heart the message of this article.
If your current condition is not to your liking, there is
still time to do something about it. If you would like to
know more about how you can identify and replace any
beliefs that are right now lowering your quality of life,
please click here.
By Dr. Frank B. Smoot, DD, MA GHF's Success & Personal
Global Health & Fitness