Set yourself up to SUCCEED. GROW. EXPAND. w/ Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, Margaret Durnan

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I have worked with women from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages.

From the thousands of encounters I have had with people on the search to improve health and functionality of their bodies, I know that success in achieving our health goals lie in the stories we tell ourselves every day.

Words hold more power than we realize.

From our words, we set intentions.
We make agreements and contracts with ourselves.
We envision our goals for the future to grow into our best selves- our healthiest, happiest and most fulfilled state.

Our words, whether spoken or thought in our mind, can propel us forward with momentum on our health journey.

Our words can also create our biggest obstacles on the road to deep health.

The conventional diet and fitness culture can use words to shrink and shorten our bodies and minds:

“ Lose 10lbs in 10 weeks!”
“Cut out these foods to get that six-pack!”
“Less food, Lose a dress size!”

And on it goes, with women around the world spiralling further into a place where their self confidence and worth is tied to how much weight the scale is measuring up for them.
The more weight you lose the healthier you feel right?

I wish it were that easy!

The reality is that our words tie into our why.

No matter how small we become on the outside, until we address those words we tell ourselves ABOUT ourselves everyday and why we say them, we will never feel enough. In fact, some of my patients who have lost over 100 lbs could not shake their negative self image and despite dropping dress sizes and weight, never see themselves as being the beautiful, sexy, confident women that we on the outside can see.

Does this sound familiar?:

“I need to lose 10lb, I’m going on a diet”
“I am SO fat”
“I’m too lazy to exercise”
“I hate my legs”

It’s time to accept that these words and stories will never serve us and we need to welcome a feeling of growth and expansion, instead of the quest to be perpetually insufficient and restricted.

Diet restricted.
Exercise overloaded.
Self image conscious.

I wish true and evolving health would be as simple as a list of “10 foods to cut out to lose 5lbs” and “these exercises to tone that tummy”, but I would just be asking you to run on a hamster wheel to nowhere.

A motivated mindset requires these words:

I am WORTHY of health


What do I stand to GAIN from making a healthier choice?
What can I do today that will bring me closer to a healthier self?

A shift in mindset is where we can start.
We can use these words to help as a filter for whether a food choice or behaviour will propel us or hold us back.

For example:
“I am feeling hormonal, I want to eat that chocolate bar”
And then starts the internal guilt trip and mental negotiation.


I am WORTHY of health
I CAN make a better choice than this sugar…
I WILL choose an orange instead…OR I will drink two glasses of water first and see how I feel..

What do I stand to GAIN from choosing the orange? Vitamin C, fibre, satiety…

What can YOU do today to bring you closer to a healthier self? Only you can do this…

Let’s be honest, remembering these questions won’t stick from reading this article a couple of times!

Set yourself up to SUCCEED. GROW. EXPAND.

Look to your inner dialogue and become aware of what words you’re using and how you use them. Take a stand for yourself and choose to move forward instead of placing boulders in your own path.

Notice our sisters, mothers, daughters and friends around us and the language we engage in around them. Do we speak to each other how we sometimes speak to ourselves?

When our children are struggling with a Math homework problem and they say “I can’t do it” do we accept that? Or do we encourage them to find the way?


…work out the solution to the problem
…make choices to serve your health
…set goals and intentions despite setbacks
…act in health, consistently.

Three Tips to Develop Positive Story Switching:

Print out the words and questions above. Write them down. Put them on sticky notes on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror. Place these as prefaces in areas you see daily. Set the alarm on your phone periodically throughout the day. We need reminders often and consistently!

Start a morning or evening journal. Make the time to reflect on how you see yourself and your happiness in your body. By developing this awareness, you are taking a step towards empowerment as health starts in the mind. Only you can rewrite your story and make the changes in your life to move forward in health. Remember, words are powerful.

Choose a theme song! We all have that song (or songs) when it comes on you feel like dancing and an instant mood lift. Sometimes, a song is worth more than a thousand words. When you feel like the words “I CAN, I WILL” just won’t come out or the strategies we’ve talked about are difficult to muster, Play. YOUR. Song(s)!
Some of mine at the moment include: ‘I Make My Own Sunshine’ by Chelsea Basham, ‘Come together’ Gary Clark Jr, ‘Woman’ by Kesha. And many More!!

If you consistently use these tools and take action around the words you write in your story, you will see all of the wonderful things you can gain from choosing to expand your potential and cultivate the self love and respect needed for a nourishing life.

Margaret Durnan

Meet Doctor Margaret Durnan

As a chiropractor, Margaret Durnan works hard to provide high-quality evidence-based management of musculoskeletal problems as well as advice for healthy living. She approaches rehabilitation through a holistic approach involving nutrition and lifestyle changes. Margaret is a devoted student of the Ido Portal method and has found her training with the method to be game changing in her Chiropractic approach…as well as life changing on a physical and personal level.

In addition to her Chiropractic qualification she holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Chiropractic and is currently studying her Masters in International Public Health through the University of Sydney. Learn more here.

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