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-Michelle's Fitness Journey-

WEEK FOUR

In this episode, Michelle shares how negative self-talk has not only affected her self-esteem but how she treats other people, especially the people she loves. 

"You're stupid. You're worthless. Nobody likes you." 
-Michelle Kruger

When I sat down with Michelle this week, I wasn't expecting our conversation to get so real. It was a powerful interview that shined a light on the internal conversations that we all have and how sometimes those conversations turn brutal and leak out into the world around us. 

THE INTERVIEW

TIGER: So how's your program going?

MICHELLE: It's going good. I did have some life events happen and I actually skipped two workouts.

Well, I'll back up I did ONE workout while I was traveling. It was really funny because I used wine bottles and shampoo bottles as my weights because I didn't have anything in the Airbnb that I was staying in.  

And then there was an upholstered coffee table and I used that as my roller. I'm not kidding. I was like rubbing my leg up against an upholstered coffee table. 

TIGER: That's great!

MICHELLE: I did my first workout on a Monday, then Tuesday I got married, and then Wednesday I was just really tired. So I didn't do anything.

I was a little concerned. I missed two workouts and I did light weights on the other workout and I was like "what is my endurance gonna be like going back into this workout?".

But then I remembered something Tiger said which was whenever you're not feeling like a workout you just need to do either no weights or just light, light weights.

So for Monday's workout that's what I did.  I think I did like half weights and then some of the exercises I didn't even do weights at all. And then on top of that, I did a longer stretch in the beginning and a longer stretching at the end. 

And then this week I did another easy workout, but I could feel that it was a little too easy.  

But, yeah, I was nervous about skipping workouts. I think I've skipped one workout in the five months that I've done this program.

I was scared that I would lose my endurance or that I would not want to work out again, like lose the desire to work out. 

I genuinely have a fear of losing my desire to work out.

TIGER: Tell me about the internal dialogue that's going on when you are going to miss a workout. What, what are you telling yourself inside?

MICHELLE: I feel like I have two conversations with myself.

The first conversation is "Don't get off track". That's the first thing that I say to myself "If you get off track or if you get off balance, it's going to mess you up and you're not going to be able to get back on track".

TIGER: Been there.

MICHELLE: That's initially what I say to myself. And then I say, well, wait, you've skipped a workout in the past and you still got back on it. 

Those are the conversations I have with myself. One side is like"It's going to be okay" and then the other side of me is like, "No, it's not going to be okay".

I usually win, I say me, because, you know, that other person, that's not me, that negative voice, that's not me.

TIGER: You know you're both of those voices.

MICHELLE: I know. I mean, I know I'm both voices. Like, I think, and, like, we might be getting into a little bit of a therapy session here.

TIGER: We definitely are. When it comes to doing anything, not necessarily just working out, it's important to understand that both of those voices are you. The one cheering you on, AND the one trying to talk you out of trying. 

MICHELLE: I love this analogy that I heard a long time ago which is, you need to be friends with fear but it can't drive your car.  You need to drive the car and fear can sit in the passenger seat, it can sit in the back seat, but you can't kick it out of the car, and it can't drive.

TIGER: Once you realize that you are both voices it's easier to balance the two sides

Have you heard of Internal Family Dynamics?

MICHELLE: No.

TIGER: It's the theory that we're not just one person in our heads. That there are multiple parts of ourselves. They're called parts.

Each of your parts has their own way of doing things. Strategies that they developed to survive. 

That negative voice in your head is what I call the protector. And she's there to keep you from trying anything that you might fail at. That's how she's gonna protect you. Right? Or one of the ways that she's learned to protect you, right?

Don't try anything new because we might fail, right?

MICHELLE: Nobody wants to fail.

TIGER: Correct. That part is trying to protect you. So whenever I talk to my parts, I'm always very gentle and I'm inquisitive. Like when that voice would say, "We're never going to get back on our workout track" I would say, "Honey, Where's that coming from?".

MICHELLE: What do you mean by that?

TIGER: You're already doing it intuitively. You're already telling yourself, "Hey, we've gotten back on track before". 

MICHELLE: I used to be really, really bad at the whole judging thing. I still find myself doing it, I judge myself so harshly. That was something that I realized that I was doing that was harmful to myself.

 I used to have a very negative inner critic. Any time I messed up, "You're stupid. You're so stupid. You're worthless. Nobody likes you". I was very bad at negative self-talk. 

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TIGER: Tell me about how you overcame that negative self-talk.

MICHELLE: Honestly, the way I realized it was in my relationship. For instance, I would do something and I would mess up and maybe it was something that affected my partner, like messed their day up or messed some of their belongings up or something, right?

They would be like, "Oh, it's fine. It's not a big deal". And then I'm over here going, "I'm so stupid. I can't believe I did that. What a fucking dumbass". Negative, negative. Really mean.

I realized in my partnership, that when I would get angry, we get into a fight or something, I would also say the negative things that I said to myself to that person.

And they told me that hurt their feelings. And I was like, really? It's just a word. It's not a big deal. Like, if I call you an asshole, like, you're being an asshole. I call myself an asshole, so, what's the big deal? .

And so kind of piecing all those things together is what made me realize, wait a second, I can change how I talk to myself. All I have to do is stop treating myself meanly. 

And so that's kind of how it started, and then it kind of like snowballed into being more mindful around how I speak to other people AND myself.

Every once in a while that negative self-talk comes in very harshly and very abruptly, and then I immediately say something like,"Okay girl, like, don't be saying that to yourself, that's rude".

My relationship with myself is so much better because of that. But it definitely was a slow journey and just piecing things together and realizing like, wait a minute, I can change this.

TIGER: You just have to fall in love with yourself.

MICHELLE: I've heard this about relationships; you can't be in love with somebody else if you don't love yourself and for the longest time I didn't realize that I didn't love myself.

And so it took me a while to realize that no one who loves themselves talks to themselves like that.

TIGER: Nice.

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