A legend often contributed to the Cherokee, speaks of a grandfather who is teaching his grandson about life. He tells a story of two wolves who are fighting. “One” he says, “is angry, envious, greedy. He lives with regret, arrogance, self-pity and pride. The other is kind, humble, compassionate, full of empathy, generosity and faith.”
The grandson asked “But Grandfather, which one will win?”
The wise grandfather responded simply, “The one you feed.”
There are two wolves inside us. One holds a Shame Voice, the other a Victory Voice.
The Shame Voice tells lies such as “Why are you even trying to eat healthy? You know you are going to fail. You always do.”, “So what if you lost 5 pounds. You still have 100 to go!” and “Oh you think you are doing so good to be getting out here and walking. See that runner over there?”
The Victory Voice holds the truth. It says “I have done hard things before, I can do this too.” It points out your victories: “I ate vegetables at lunch!”, “I walked 150 minutes last week!” and “I am strong in my recovery today.”
A Lifestyle Transformation graduate recently shared:
I was using food to numb the Shame Voice. At first there was no Victory Voice, I didn’t even have a script for this. But I found two things that helped me to develop my Victory Voice.
- Gratitude. If I walked up a flight of stairs and I was winded, my Shame Voice would jump in to berate me for being so fat. Because all I could see was my deficits, my Victory Voice sounded ridiculous at first but I did it anyway. I said to myself “I am grateful I have legs to walk up these stairs with. Over time, gratitude came more easily and my Victory Voice got louder.
- Connection. Because food addiction lives in isolation, I forced myself to share the comments of my Shame Voice with at least one other person or my group. It was hard. I had to be vulnerable. Sometimes I had to let the others know what it is that I needed to hear back from them. But as I did this, the Shame Voice got quieter. It wasn’t so big when I shared it with others.
Now my Victory Voice is stronger than my Shame Voice! When the Shame Voice activates, I can be curious about it and replace it with Victory statements.”
Increase your awareness of your Shame Voice and start to replace it with feed your Victory Voice. No matter how foreign it sounds at first, remember that over time it will become easier and it will dominate your thoughts.
Shame Voice or Victory Voice?
Which one will you feed?