Tag Archives: weight

The language of food and what it means.

www.talktherapies.co.uk

A lot of the people I see come to me because they have issues with their weight.

The vast majority of them want to lose weight (though some have issues around limited eating or eating disorders) and they often tell me that they struggle to control their hunger. They are sometimes ‘always hungry‘ and sometimes ‘eat when they are not hungry’. When I ask them about their ‘Newsfeed’, I often get a confused look.

Let me explain where I’m coming from.

Language is a funny thing – especially the English language. It is full of metaphor, simile, multiple meanings and interesting roots. The use of language influences the way we think – so much so that when people do brain scans of bilingual people, they can sometimes differentiate between which language they are thinking in! As a result, the words we think in can influence our feelings and therefore our behaviours.

So, let’s explore some language around eating.

Metaphors around food and eating

Food / eating metaphors are often associated with things we like or dislike

‘That’s just to my taste’  ‘You’re my cup of tea’  ‘I could eat him up’ ‘She’s the cream of the crop’  ‘That’s the cherry on the top’

or

‘It left a bad taste in my mouth’  ‘That thought turns my stomach’ ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’  ‘I’m sick of this feeling’

There are also lots of metaphors related to food and eating when it comes to information.

‘Here’s some food for thought’ ‘Do you just swallow everything you are told?’ ‘Do you fall for it hook, line and sinker?’ ‘How’s is your newsfeed?’ ‘Do you like things sugarcoated?’ or maybe you ‘take things with a pinch of salt’. If things are too ‘plain’ or ‘bland’ do you want them to be ‘spiced up a little?’ If you have ‘too much on your plate’ do you ‘break it down to bite sized chunks’ or spend time ‘ruminating’ on it? If you ‘bite off more than you can chew’, do you find it ‘hard to digest?’ or then again maybe you just ‘choke’. Do you ‘Cherry Pick’ your information or do you want to ‘have your cake and eat it?’

One of the quirks of being us is that we often conflate things. In this case the language of eating and the language of information.

This then begs the question, are there similarities between your approach to information and your approach to food?

Do you believe everything that you see or hear, or are you particular about where your information comes from?

Do you only look for information when you need it or are you permanently on the look out for stimulation?

Do you focus your attention at a particular time or are you always open for more?

Are you fussy about what you let in?

Do you like to be entertained with fast, cheap, junk or are you looking for something that nourishes you?

For those of you on WordPress, look are your reader lists – what do you see? If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, what does your ‘newsfeed’ look like? How often do you look at it?


I am constantly fascinated with the language of metaphors and would love to know of any more that you think of, or any insights you may have.

Please leave any feedback in the comments – I’m ‘hungry to hear’ what you have to say!

 

 

 

 

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How to be kind to yourself

www.talktherapies.co.uk

February is heart awareness month and as I wrote yesterday, I’m focussing on the relationship side of this subject.

I strongly believe that you will not have the best relationships you can if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself, and unfortunately, it’s one of the hardest ones to get right as we don’t get good feedback on it.

Some people are too hard on themselves – way harder than they are on other people. They persistently tell themselves that they aren’t good enough, that they’re stupid, that they’re lazy, that they don’t work hard enough, that they’re not pretty enough, that they’re fat, that they’re ugly. Can you imagine if you spoke like that to another person? I think, at the very least, you could expect them not to want to hang around with you.  Why would you spend time with someone who constantly abuses you?

Some people don’t care enough for themselves. As a hypnotherapist I see people all the time who smoke, who are overweight, who don’t exercise. When I ask them how they would feel if their kids smoked, ate rubbish or didn’t do any exercise they are horrified. They want the best for them, but don’t appear to want the best for themselves….

Some people don’t protect themselves. They take stupid risks with their health. They starve themselves, or dramatically overeat. They take drugs. They put themselves in dangerous situations. Again, they would be really upset to think of someone they loved in that situation, but it’s OK for them….does that mean they don’t love themselves?

So how do you build a relationship with yourself?

Easy – the same way as with anyone else.

Start by being interested. Question yourself and your motives. Find out what is really important to you. Help yourself to achieve that.

Support yourself. Be kind, be understanding, but also be challenging. Stretch yourself without being mean to yourself.

Be a good friend to yourself. You can be your own inner bully or your own cheerleader. Think about what can go right, how brilliant things can be.

Stop being a hater. Don’t hate yourself – ever. Not any part of yourself. Hate is a horrible, destructive emotion and it doesn’t help anyone. I don’t care if you don’t love your thighs, or you skin. I don’t care if you don’t like the way you react in certain situations. I don’t care if you aren’t thrilled with your weight. Work out how to change it, but don’t hate it.

I believe that when you get this stuff right you attract people to you. Self confidence is attractive. That means you draw people towards you who enhance your life. It also means that you don’t need people to complete you so you stop hanging on to people who don’t add anything to your life.

So, whatever your relationship status, spend a little time thinking about your relationship with yourself. Are you being a good friend? How can you be better? What changes are you going to make? What positive effects could that have?

As ever, I would love to know your thoughts on this – why not drop me a comment?


If you’re interested, why not follow me in instagram, twitter, facebook or check out my website.

 

 

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Successful slimming

via Daily Prompt: Successful

Using wordpress’s daily prompt as a jumping point today’s post is about successful slimming, what it means to me and how you can make it easier to achieve.

Everyone has their own idea of what successful is, but to me the idea of successful slimming is about losing weight to get a healthier body, but without any of this suffering nonsense. It’s about not feeling hungry, it’s about eating foods that I love and it’s about not feeling restricted.

So how do you go about losing weight in a successful way?

For me the first place to start is in your head. As with most things in life, when you get your head in the right place the rest is easy. Have you ever been on a diet that failed in the first few days? Or maybe stuck to it for a week or two but felt awful the whole time? If that’s ever happened to you I would suggest that your head wasn’t in the right place to begin with.

When you decide to change something in your life it’s always a bit odd at first – after all, you’re not used to doing it. It can be useful to examine your motivation before you get started, so that you know what you’re working for.

People tend to fall into one of two categories when it comes to reasons to change. The first group are running away from something. With weight loss, they could be running from being fat, from not looking the way they want to, from shopping in plus sized stores, from feeling breathless, from aching joints or from the way that they feel inside. The other group run towards something. It could be running towards feeling slim, to liking the way they look more, to shopping at a high street/designer store, to feeling fitter, to walking easily or to feeling better in themselves. In essence these are the same set of motivators but put in a different way.

People have a natural tendency to fall into one camp or another, and sometimes there is a specific incident that affects that. For instance if someone was very overweight and they could not go on a rollercoaster it may be natural to want to run from that situation and want to change it. Or maybe there is a future event that you want to lose weight for, like a wedding, which gives you something to run towards.

I would say that you should think about whatever motivates you in the best way for you, but where you can, think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Our brains are not very good at discerning the words don’t or not. For instance in the phrase ‘don’t panic’ our brain tends to focus on the word panic….and panics. If that is exchanged for the words ‘stay calm’ then there is a much better chance that the word we react to is calm.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that we are all our own greatest hypnotists, and that most of the things that we think are recycled round and round in our heads. If the words you are using are things like ‘I don’t want to be fat’ or ‘I don’t want to eat cake today’ your brain is picking up the words fat and eat cake – which puts temptation right in our path, over and over again. No wonder it’s a struggle. Instead consciously use the words ‘I want to be thinner’ and ‘I want to make healthy food choices today’. That way you have your own personal diet supporter with you every moment.

You might like some of the other posts this January on weight loss and diet. Give them a click to see more.

Crack your cravings   Why am I always hungry?   January diet tips   Eat the rainbowwww.talktherapies.co.uk


Being at a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself. If you ( or someone you care about) has trouble managing their weight there are people out there who can help. Losing weight doesn’t have to be hard!

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Crack your cravings

crack-cravings

If you live in the western world, the odds are that you are carrying (at least) a few extra pounds. We should all know by now that being overweight increases the risks of a lot of the major killers – heart disease, stroke, cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. That combined with the time of year, a time of new years resolutions and promising to do something after the excess of Christmas, means you may well be on some sort of diet.

There are many different types of diet available. Atkins, Hollywood, Dukan, cabbage soup, food combining, portion control, sugar-free, paleo and clean eating to name just a few. They all have one thing in common. They mean you will have to give up on some foods that you have been previously eating, or at least, cut down on them.

This can lead to cravings, and cravings can ruin the best of intentions.

You may want to be thinner, you may want to be healthier, but if that ‘naughty treat’ is calling your name, that can all be forgotten in an instant.

Dealing with sweet cravings

A big part of the problem with the western diet is that it contains too much sugar. Many of us have a sweet tooth, often a seemingly uncontrollable one. In some ways it’s a little bit like a craving for a cigarette. You only get the craving if you are a user. Non smokers do not crave tobacco. People who don’t eat sugar don’t crave it.

The fastest way to get rid of your sugar craving is to stop eating sugar. Don’t cut back, don’t wean yourself off. Stop.

Part of the problem is that we often don’t know when we’re eating sugar. Not only is it added to many premade foods, like barbecue sauce or tomato soup, but it’s very prevalent in foods that claim to be ‘low fat alternatives’ or in drinks like flavoured water.

The way you can be sure that no one has added sugar to your food is either to carefully read every food label or to make it yourself. Buy ingredients and get cooking!

But what if you hate the idea of giving up the sweet stuff? You can still controll how much of it you eat if you want to. One popular technique is to think about the food you are craving. Close your eyes and imagine it. Thinks what it smells like, what it will feel like in your mouth, how you’ll feel when your eating it. Then think about getting a salt shaker. Take the lid off it and imagine pouring all of the salt out onto the food. Again, think about what that would look like, what it would taste like if you tried to eat it, how it would feel and how you would feel. Still want to eat it? Probably not!

Dealing with general food cravings

Another way you can manage food cravings is to think about the food you are craving in detail again, but this time I want you to mentally change the image. Firstly make the picture in your mind postcard sized. Make the picture black and white, maybe even a little fuzzy. Remove yurself from the picture (assuming you were in it) and make it a little smaller. Now move the picture to the top left corner of your minds eye, so you can barely see it. You should notice a distinct drop in cravings for that food/drink.

The main thing with both of these techniques is that you have to make the decision to do them. After practicing for a while you may notice that it gets easier and more effective, and eventually your brain will use the new pathways so that you find you don’t even need to try any more.

Once you have your cravings under control, making healthy food choice will become easier and easier and you will be on top of your eating in no time.


 

Many people struggle with their weight. Almost without exception the way you think about yourself and food is at the heart of it. Hypnotherapy is a great tool to help put you back in charge of your eating.

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Eat the rainbow, feel over the rainbow.

eat-the-rainbow

How do you feel about Veggies? I’m not talking about vegetarians, I’m talking about what they eat – lovely, crunchy, colourful veggies.

I see lots of people in my hypnotherapy practice who struggle to eat them. I must admit I still find it surprising as I absolutely love them.

Personally I blame the parents, and honestly I think it should be thought of as neglect.

You are literally what you eat. It is the building blocks of your body. Your amazing body takes in food, breaks it down and uses it. Part of it for fuel, part of it for growth and renewal. Your skin is constantly replacing itself, so is your blood, your bones and your organs. About once every 7 years you are practically a different person. How cool is that? But if all the fuel you are giving your body is a bit rubbish, then it struggles to do this. It prematurely ages you, both in appearance and by actually reducing how long you will live.

Whatever you believe about how humans came to walk on the earth, by divine creation or by evolution (maybe both) our bodies work best when given a ‘natural diet’. A natural diet does NOT consist of processed foods. It consists of things that grow in the ground and things that eat things that grow in the ground. Quite simply speaking, if you can’t pick it or kill it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

So let’s think about some of the worst processed foods. Bacon, sausages and ham tend to be high on the danger list. Some scientists say that eating them is as dangerous as smoking. Then there are other things like processed and refined grains. Yes, wheat is natural and grows, but bread does not. White rice is not how it comes – it has to be processed, and don’t get me started on sugar, soda and energy drinks (or even fruit juices for that matter – when did you last eat 9 oranges in a row? That what goes into a normal glass of orange juice!). All of these things put our bodies into a bad place.

Things that put our bodies into a positive place should be enjoyed, not endured, and this is why I tend to blame the parents. I discovered veggies later in life (into my thirties) as when I was growing up I hated them. This may have been because I grew up in the UK in the 70’s and veggies were boiled to a soft mush. Every time. It was sad for all concerned. Consequently I thought I didn’t like veggies. They were tasteless and mushy.

My first real departure from this was when I started cooking for myself. In my twenties I cooked, but there were quite a lot of microwave meals and takeouts. I didn’t have the skills or experience (and more importantly the confidence) to try cooking real food. After I moved in with my partner I started cooking a little more – things like fajitas and roasts started happening. I tried steaming and roasting veggies, and found that I really like them. I tried different varieties and types (fennel and courgettes), I tried different colours (purple carrots and yellow radishes) I tries different ways of cooking them (mixing them with garlic or lemon juice) and I fell in love.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I do eat a mostly plant-based diet. It makes me feel healthy, and I love the tastes. A salad made with rocket and watercress, with red onions pickled in red wine vinegar, baby corn, sweet peppers, radishes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and avocado is the best thing ever. Seriously – try it! As well as tasting great (and it really does) it has the benefit of being properly colourful. That means that it looks brilliant, but it also means that I’m getting lots of different types of building blocks to play with. Dark green gives me riboflavins and iron, Yellow gives me vitamin C, Orange gives me beta carotene that helps keep my eyes healthy. The red tomatoes re chock full of lycopene that protects against skin cancer and the purple in the onion has anthocyanin which helps reduce blood pressure.

It is a common buddhist practice to make sure that every meal has at least 5 different colour fruits or vegetable in it. Assuming you want to keep your sugar content down (as almost everyone in the western world is eating too much of the stuff) try to keep it to the veggies (and some protein) and you will be giving you body the best building materials you can.

Stop being beige – be brilliant!

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 2

On the second day of the advent calendar we will continue our steps of basic self care.

Having read day 1, you should already be up, clean and dressed. Now we need to make sure you are fed and watered!

I’m a firm believer in food as medicine. Your body is a machine – a beautiful, complex, wonderful machine. In order for it to work well, it needs the right fuel inside of it. It needs enough to work well, but not so much that it becomes overladen. If you give your body the right fuel it has a much better chance of working the way it should.

So start your day right. Have a scrumptious, healthy breakfast.

It’s not for me to tell you what is best for you – maybe it’s bacon and eggs, maybe avocado on toast, maybe it’s a bowl of porridge – what ever it is, make sure it’s something tasty which will give you the fuel you need to have a great day.

If you are overweight, self care involves changing that. I’m not suggesting that you suddenly go on a crash diet, but making healthy choices and reducing your portion size will gently reduce your weight and make you feel better. I’m not talking about feeling bad about being overweight – you should love and appreciate your body whatever size or shape it is – but you will help it to work at it’s best if you are not overweight.

If you are underweight, self care involves changing that. Again. I’m not suggesting you should start pigging out on junk food, but you should make sure that you are increasing the amount that you are eating to give your body all the energy and nutrients it needs in order to be at it’s best.

If your weight is perfect – brilliant, well done you! All you have to do is keep it in that range whilst giving your body all the fruits and vegetables it needs to function at it’s best. Whether your an omnivore, carnivore, vegetarian, fruitarian, vegan or a raw food fan your body needs a range of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. Make sure you are giving it what it needs.

So many health problems can be fixed or improved with diet. Changes can be made to skin conditions, dietary problems, joint pains, fibromyalgia, kidney stones, urinary infections, cramps and even epilepsy. Some things like Type 2 diabetes, IBS and coeliac disease are very treatable with managing food choices. What you fuel your body with is important – choose the things that are going to care for your body.

Part of what you eat is what you drink – or at least it should be. If you are trying to reduce your weight, make sure that you are not drinking your calories. Whether that comes in the form of fizzy drinks (about 140 calories in a can) sugary tea/ coffee or alcohol (about 600 calories in a bottle of wine), you need to keep those calories in mind. Those calories don’t really fill you up – so you still eat more. Also, the fact that most of them come from sugar means that you are creating a sugar high, which is followed by a sugar low. This is bad news for your body and what’s worse is the sugar low will make you crave more of the evil white stuff – have you ever noticed how hard it is to stop snacking once you’ve started?

December is the month to eat, drink and be merry – so eat well, hydrate and be happy with the choices you are making!


So many people struggle with weight management, but it is so important to your health – both mental and physical. If you need some support to get your head in the right place to manage your weight effectively give a professional a call and get on the right path.

 

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The power of belief

coventry hypnotherapy

Belief is a powerful thing.

We all believe in things.

Some people believe in God who has a hand in their life.

Some people believe that they are lucky.

Some people believe that everything happens for a reason.

Some people believe in fairies.

Some people believe that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Some people believe in themselves.

Sometimes the things we don’t believe in are just as powerful.

What if you don’t believe in yourself?

Do you try anyway?

What if you don’t think you can do it?

Do you give up at the first hurdle because it just proved to you that it was impossible?

What if you don’t believe you’re lucky?

Does every bad thing that happens confirm that you were right?

We all have something called confirmation bias.

That means that we give extra attention and credit to things that confirm what we already think.

For example have you ever noticed that if you don’t like someone, almost everything you do annoys you. yet if a person you really liked did exactly the same thing it probably wouldn’t bother you (well, not as much anyway).

So when we don’t believe in ourselves our confirmation bias just makes it even harder to believe.

As a hypnotherapist, I often work with people who don’t believe that they can do the things they want. Maybe it’s lose weight, maybe give up smoking, maybe be confident in public, maybe its to be unafraid around spiders. Whatever it is, the more they believe that they cannot do it, the more likely it is that they won’t.

Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

The first thing I have to do is to change their belief set.

Today I was working with a lovely lady who wants to lose weight. She said that she had been overweight since she was a small child. When we first started the session I asked her if she believed she could lose weight and she said ‘no’. When I asked her why she said that, she had never been a healthy weight, so didn’t see how she could be in the future. So, after finding out about her eating habits, how she felt about food and eating, going through her routines and requirements we started with the hypnosis. The first twenty minutes were all about changing her belief patterns – nothing whatsoever about eating, appetite or food. After we had worked on this I asked where she was now – how much did she believe that she could lose weight? She replied ‘90% sure’

So we went from 0 to 90% in 20 minutes.

We then went on to work on changing eating habits and food types and put in place all the things she needed in order to be able to lose weight easily.

The real work was done in the first 20 minutes. She now believes that she CAN lose weight. Her confirmation bias will prove to her every day that it’s possible and if she wants it, she WILL be able to do it. The other stuff was just making it easier for her.

Think about what you believe in and maybe more importantly, what you don’t.

It could change your life!

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Slimming for Summer

hypnotherapy in coventry for weight loss

It’s that time of year again.

The weather is getting warmer, the clothes are getting lighter and we’re all starting to think about how we will look in our swimwear in a few months.

Maybe that’s why I’m getting so many call about losing weight with Hypnosis at the moment.

Often when it’s time to start to take control of our diet we end up having an argument with ourselves.

Part of us want to lose weight – it wants to maintain a healthy weight and/or manage our weight to look good.

Part of us wants to keep up the eating habits that got us to put on weight in the first place.

The tricky part is that the part that wants to keep going is the part that’s currently in charge.

That’s why Hypnosis is such a good option.

Whether you go for something like Hypnotic Gastric Band which immediately and dramatically reduces your appetite, or you go for a weight management system that helps you change your eating habits, what you are doing is short circuiting all the problems and going straight to the solution.

Instead of having the constant battle of wanting to be slimmer, but still wanting to maintain your current eating habits, both parts of your mind can be working together to help you to achieve the figure you want.

You don’t have to have iron willpower, as there is nothing to resist! It’s just the pleasure and excitement you get from achieving your goals.

Here’s a little exercise to help you say no to the food’s you are trying to avoid – I call it Hell NO!

In this exercise I want you to have a really good think about what your life would be like if you gained the body shape you desire. Think about how you would feel, what clothes you would wear, the reactions of other people to the new you.
Importantly at this stage, as you think about that outcome, that goal, that achievement in your life, think about the actions you have to take to accomplish this new fitter, trimmer you.
When you think about those actions you’d have to take, notice and become really tuned in to yourself…
·         What is it that you actually do instead?
·         What feelings and thoughts come up before you get sidetracked?
·         What are the excuses that you come up with to make it ok not to accomplish?
If the excuses do not directly make themselves obvious, perhaps notice how your thoughts redirect you, and what thoughts do actually redirect. We can refer to those thoughts as excuses for the rest of this exercise.

All the time, notice subtle thoughts, images in your mind, feelings that you feel and be very perceptive of this.
You might find that if you attempted to put these feelings or thoughts into words, they possibly sound silly, that’s OK, and in fact it’s great.
They are deep routed rationalisations and excuses that tend to get buried and hidden usually, yet have all the power to keep you off track to achieving that outcome you really do desire

So get as much of an awareness as possible of these excuses, notice how you perceive them if they have sounds to them, any internal dialogue, feelings and so on…

Then when you really have a feel for them, you can carry on with the next part.

Now we want to assess the excuses and see what they are up to…

The best way to ascertain the pattern of your excuses is to ask yourself some questions and trust your unconscious mind’s responses…

·         Is it really just an excuse?

·         Do I want to keep this excuse?

·         How does using the excuse serve me?

·         Is there some way that I gain from using this excuse?
If there is some valid value you receive from this excuse, then you can allow yourself to keep those parts of it, you can maintain them should you wish

With the answers and getting an idea of the purpose of your excuse, move on to the next step.

 Did you ever say the expression “Hell NO!”?? Did you ever deeply refute and refuse something with a strong sense of “NO!” ??
Now is the time to recall a time when you said or felt like saying “Hell No!”

Maybe it was an occasion when you were absolutely disgusted at something, when you totally refuted something, or maybe when something was utterly and completely unacceptable to you. Get in to a state of “Hell No!” and the more disgusted, the more you mean and refute with that sense of “Hell No!” the better!!

Imagine that you spread this state throughout your body. Imagine it as a colour. Imagine the sense of it connecting to every cell in your being.

Spend as much time as you possibly can to ensure you get a very deep rooted sense of “Hell no!” running through every cell of your being.

 Imagine your excuse in front of you.
Tread on it.

That’s right, stamp on itStomp on it. Jump and down viciously on it. Use all the mustered up power of your “hell no” state and bounce up and down on that excuse.

Pick up and throw it to the ground. Tear it in two, cast it to the floor again and stamp ferociously upon it.

Keep stomping. Keep stamping. 

Unleash every ounce of your “hell no” state upon that empty excuse. Make it sorry!

Only move on when you are sure as possible that you have got all that pent up state unleashed on that excuse and it is fully destroyed

 Have a good test to make sure you did this.
Think about your goal, your desired outcome, the body that you want to achieve.

Notice what happens when you imagine taking the actions that move you toward that outcome. Notice what you feel right now, what thoughts you have and what images come into your mind as you think about it.

Get a real sense to see if there are any other excuses lurking in the darkness somewhere. If you get a flavour of any, then return to the earlier steps and run through the process again. Think about how any lingering excuses can interfere with the very enjoyment of your life, how they can be hurdles to your accomplishments and leave your life a lot less satisfying.

When you are sure that you are free of those last remnants of excuses in relation to this outcome, then move on to the next step.

Remind yourself of your state of “Hell No” and how you used this with such conviction. Think about a time in your future, ideally the next occasion when you will be tempted to break your resolve – eat that take away, buy those snacks, choose not to exercise…
Just imagine that as you start doing that thing, you smash the last remnants of the old excuse with a massive “Hell NO!” response… Then imagine watching yourself ignoring the fatty food, walking past the snacks in the shop, getting ready to go for a walk.

Enjoy the beautiful feelings you get with knowing that you are in control and have all the tools and resolve to make a change in your life for the better. Notice how wonderful it feels.

Then – and this is important – go and take an action that is undeniably convincing to you that you have gotten rid of all those old excuses and start hatching your plans for a happier, healthier  life.

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