In a column in Sunday’s Globe and Mail, Amberly McAteer penned a piece about Turning off the Inner Dialogue (if you want to run faster). Here’s a snippet. She writes:

‘Please be careful. Maybe walk for a few minutes, catch your breath. You’re awfully sweaty. Take a break, you deserve it.”

I’m one week into training for my first half marathon, and within the first 10 minutes of every run, this is the voice I hear. At first I thought of it as a negative influence willing to let me off the hook too early, and tried drowning it out with affirmations about how great I’m doing and what I’ve accomplished. Then, a realization: This voice is my mom, in my head, encouraging me away from any kind of discomfort….

“You have to get comfortable with the state of being uncomfortable,” says Jay Walker, a personal trainer at Absolute Endurance in Toronto.

j0382827 Trying to lose weight in a healthy way is similar. Lots of effort, too much self-talk that is negative or sabotaging… We willingly, even if unconsciously stick ourselves with pinpricks of doubt. We wound in an effort to be better. And it’s so unnecessary because over a lifetime, there are lots of other people out there just chomping at the bit to do that for/to us.

I mentioned this yesterday in the context of what Dr. Beck says about how dieters lie to themselves. My inner voice is a 16 year old convent-school girl who is starting to be more self-aware but who chafes at the restrictions imposed by the adult world. “Sit with your knees together like a young lady. Don’t go out of the house looking sloppy – you never know who you’ll run into.” (Mom). The hem is your uniform is too short. You have a run in your stockings that is unbecoming.” (Sister Mary Bernita). “Seventy-five percent? You can do better than this. Don’t be stupid.” (Dad). Too many from my ex to catalogue without my head swelling. Little arrows that pricked my emerging psyche and then my adult self – some were instructive, some I ignored, some were more hurtful than others and took longer to expunge from my memory banks. But I did. I can recollect them now without flinching.

You see, I’ve grown up. I’m happy with the Self I’ve become, despite my lapses into self-indulgence. Those ‘slings and arrows’ (Shakespeare) no longer have the same stinging impact. Now if only I could stop trying to convince myself that walking for an extra 10 minutes entitles me to another glass of wine or a chocolate chip cookie bar. I’m working on it.