When T-J asked me to write a blog on goal setting I was fresh from the studio of RedShift Radio where I had talked about goal setting and motivation for weight loss, so I jumped at the chance.
First things first, weight loss is from here-on-in is being referred to as weight management. The reason being that we tend to find things that we lose! So let’s think about it in a different way.
Thinking about weight management in a different way is exactly what a new programme that I have designed with a fellow hypnotherapist is all about. Rethink Your Weight is a weight management programme that aims to help you rethink your approach to dieting, eating, your body image, your attitude to exercise etc, using a number of different techniques including hypnosis and self-hypnosis.
For this blog, I thought I would highlight a few ways in which you can start to change your thinking about weight management right now. If you do these few things you will definitely make positive changes in your life.
Firstly, let go of the concept that a diet is a temporary imposition. It’s not. A diet is what we eat on a daily basis. If you link a goal to a temporary change in diet, once you reach your target weight (or sooner, if you get discouraged along the way!) you will resume your old eating habits and re-discover the weight you thought you’d lost. If you think of a diet as temporary, the results will be temporary too.
Instead, why not create the perfect diet for you, for life. Let your diet be a lifestyle choice not an event. Think about it now – what does your diet say about you? What would you like it to say about you? In the same way that your clothes are an expression of your personality, so is your diet. You have the choice to define yourself the way you want to be. Why not make the positive choice.
Secondly, I suggest you start to eat consciously. Sit down to eat your meals (well at least one of your daily meals), switch off the tv and don’t read. Concentrate on your food. Look at the plate of food in front of you and anticipate enjoying it with all of your senses – it’s important to enjoy food, otherwise it’s just fuel and where’s the fun in that. Eat one forkful of food at a time, slowly. Enjoy and savour each mouth full. Notice what it feels like, how it tastes, how it makes you feel. Never put more on your fork until you have finished your last mouthful – I would even suggest putting your fork down between each mouthful.
And then, listening to the signals that your body is sending to you, STOP EATING when you are comfortably full. If you eat at a slow enough rate your body will have time to tell you when it’s had enough. And if you aren’t distracted by TV or other activities you will be paying attention to your body. Don’t feel you have to finish what’s on your plate – no matter what your mum said to you when you were a child.
Next, don’t exercise. Sounds a bit odd, but again it’s just another way of thinking. A lot of people are put off by the idea of exercise (perhaps cross country runs at school have something to do with that!). Instead, develop a more active lifestyle. Choose the activities that are right for you. Don’t join a gym if you are only going to go for 2 weeks – you are setting yourself up for failure. Find things that you enjoy and that will fit into your lifestyle. How about walking to school/shops/work a few times a week instead of driving? Even taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator can have a profound impact.
Well there’s a few tips for you, I’ve got loads more, I’ll save those for another time, you’ve got enough to be getting on with. Anyway, give them a go and see if you can Rethink Your Weight.
Finally, a word on goals. Goals need commitment. Goals without commitment are just wishes. Saying you are committed to your goal is not actually a commitment unless you take the action required to achieve your goals. So do it. Don’t try. Do.
Clinical Hypnotherapist and owner of Cariad Hypnotherapy and Cariad Birthing. You can also find me on Twitter as @CariadTracy.
I am also, so far, 1 stone lighter due to my efforts to manage my own weight