I am a huge fan of Esther Hicks and the Law of Attraction mainly because it makes so much sense to me. The concept is basically ‘what you think about you bring about’ and if you are all doom and gloom, then guess what? That’s mostly what shows up in your life.
So in relation to weight loss I have heard her talk about the concepts of upstream and downstream and have actually written about it a few weeks back in relation to self talk. Read that story here. However it also applies to actions you may be taking that are pointing you upstream and making it harder, instead of feeling like you are ‘in the zone’ and floating easily downstream to where you want to be.
So to bring it to practical examples, feeling like you have to try really hard is pushing it upstream. Actions like suffering in starvation to try to do it is an upstream action, punishing yourself at boot camp when you really secretly hate it is one too, eating brussell sprouts and lettuce with no dressing when it’s the last thing you want to eat is another. Blahhh!
But here is the key point, it’s not actually the action itself that is upstream, it’s whether it feels good to you personally to do it or not.
Some people love boot camp; it makes them feel strong and alive. They bound out of bed at the crack of dawn ready to get into it, love having sore muscles afterwards because they know it is just building more muscle and they can’t wait for the next session. So for this person, boot camp is a downstream action.
For me, I hate it with a passion. I would rather drop a brick on my toe than participate in a class. I find it exhausting, painful, humiliating. I hate being told what to do and the soreness afterwards gives me no gratification whatsoever, it just makes me not want to do it again. Ever!
So this activity is so totally upstream for me with bells on and a huge megaphone shouting – “It’s the wrong way, it’s the wrong way!!!”
So no wonder it didn’t work for me. And this is the confusing part…
…the exact same thing can work like a charm for some and yet be the worst thing in the world for others.
And yet mostly the person is blamed for being soft, undisciplined, lacking in willpower and lazy. Rather than understanding the truth of the matter, which is, IT’S THE WRONG WAY for that person!
In my weight loss journey, I can pin point exactly the moment when I stopped pushing upstream to try and lose weight. I just remember thinking – “that’s it, I’ve had enough.” None of it was working anyway after 15 years of torturing myself, so I just let it all go.
At first I thought I would just get bigger, but slowly over time I started to just tune in to how my body felt when I ate certain things. And without trying to push it to where it didn’t want to go, it drifted slowly into where I physically felt the best, which was totally downstream and easy to do.
Basically though, feeling good is your guide. It leads you downstream to everywhere you want to be. But don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean you don’t do anything at all and it doesn’t mean there won’t be mild discomfort along the way as you find your new path, new habits, new lifestyle that changes your life forever.
What you are looking for is…fun, excitement, feeling alive, feeling empowered, feeling like your life is on track and not even wanting the food that made you overweight or the wine or the lifestyle you had before, because it doesn’t feel good to you any more.
So kick that paddle overboard, you don’t need it anymore to struggle upstream against the tide. Let the stream float you down to where all the good stuff is and when you recognise the actions that feel good to you – like a power walk with a friend or that dance class that is so much fun you don’t even notice the 3 hours pass…take it up! And watch your life transform like magic while you barely notice.
Bubbles & blossoms,