Change Those Habits And Be Slim!

Weight loss is a lifelong commitment which requires appropriate lifestyle changes in order to not only lose weight but maintain weight loss too. And whilst that may sound daunting – changing habits can be tricky to say the least – it is not impossible.

If you have the right technique to help you let go of outdated habits which are keeping you from losing weight (perhaps binging late in the evening, eating biscuits with you tea etc) then you may find you are on the way to weight loss success more quickly than you imagined and who knows – the view may be stunning too!

Below is a simple NLP technique that can help you replace your old habitual patterns with new healhier ones in a matter of minutes. Yes you read that right – you can reprogram your mind in a matter of minutes with this amazing NLP tool. So give it a go and get on your way to a healthier lifestyle and a slimmer you. So give it a go right now and transform your life and your figure. Remember this Swish process can be used for any habit.

The Swish Technique

1. Firstly, identify the unhealthy habitual behavior that you would like to change. For example, if may be that you don’t exercise enough, that you always clear your plate or you eat too fast. Chose a specific habit or behavior that you want to get rid of.

2. Identify the trigger behind your habit or behavior. Your habit or automatic behavior is more often than not, triggered by a specific stimulus i.e. you don’t consciously chose to behave in this particular way, your mind responds automatically to an external trigger. Once you identify the trigger that causes the unwanted behavior, you can then to on to change it.

So for example, the memory of your mum’s voice from childhood telling you to finish all your dinner could be the trigger behind you cleaning your plate every meal time. Watching TV could be your trigger for snacking in the evening. If you struggle getting to the gym, what is the exact moment when you decide not to go? Is it an image of you being out of breath on the exercise bike that makes you say ‘sod it’ or is it the thought of relaxing in front of the TV instead?

Whatever the reason, there will be a specific trigger that generates an automatic response. If you find it difficult to identify the specific trigger for your behaviour, then imagine trying to teach someone how you decide not to go to the gym, or how to decide to eat up all the food on your plate. What is that they will have to see, hear or feel that will make them also want to avoid going to the gym or want to clear plate? What is it exactly that convinces you to do what you do?

Now before we go onto the next step, get up and walk about or count backwards from 10 to 0. This helps to break state (change your focus from what you don’t want in order to focus on what you do want instead).
3. Choose Your New Behaviour

Now you get to choose what you would prefer to do instead of the old behaviour. What new habit or behaviour do you want instead? What image in your mind will inspire you to go to the gym or stop you eating all the food on your plate? The image you choose has to be as compelling as you can possibly make it – it has to motivate you to choose this new behaviour over the old one.

It is very important that you chose an image that will motivate you and make you feel positive. So for example, you could have an image of you immediately after a gym session, buzzing with those feel good endorphins and feeling fantastic. You could see a slimmer you at the table leaving food on the plate and feeling proud of what you have accomplished. So get a clear picture of the response you would like instead right now. Close your eyes and see it.

Ensure when you chose the image for the new behaviour you need to be able to see yourself in the image.Once you have got your picture in your mind – then make it even more compelling, even more motivating. Make the picture bigger and brighter – add some sounds – perhaps compliments from other people – really get into the picture and see every wonderful detail.

Now add some feelings – imagine how fantastic you would feel if this was happening now – really turn up those feel good feelings so that you feel absolutely amazing. Now double those feelings – triple them and really enjoy this image, the sounds and these feelings. Brilliant.

When you are happy with this image and the feelings it produces then break state. Get up and walk around for 10 seconds; have a good stretch or sing ‘Happy Birthday’ – anything that changes your focus.

4: Lets Swish

Now is the time to get rid of the ‘old’ and bring in the ‘new’. You will replace the old trigger picture in step 2 into a new compelling image you created in step 3. To begin with you need to get the old trigger picture in your mind – make it as big and as bright as you can so that you can see every little detail. When you see the image it should be as though you are looking at it through your own eyes i.e. you are associated into the picture (you are not in the picture).

Now you have the old image in your mind, I want you to bring in a small postage stamped sized image of the new compelling image. Place this smaller image in the bottom left hand corner of the old picture. Keep the image small, darker and ensure that you see yourself in the image so that you are disassociated.

Now you are ready to Swish. All you do now is simply say the word ‘swish’ in your mind or out loud and as you do instantly increase the size of the new picture so that it totally covers the old one – so that it wipes it out completely and all you see is the new compelling image. As you increase the size of this new image make it brighter and add those feelings and sounds to it. Ensure that this new image totally obliterates the old one so that there is nothing remaining what so ever.

When the new image is big and bright really get into the details, the sounds and the feelings – luxuriate in how great you feel. Relax and enjoy this image and the feelings it creates for a few moments. Take your time and enjoy these feelings as the stronger the positive feelings the quicker the results. Now, break state.

5. Make The Change Permanent

Now you have completed this process once and it felt good right? Well now it’s time to make sure this change lasts – that it takes root in the inner most part of your mind and becomes as automatic as your old behaviour. So simply repeat step 4 at least 7 – 10 times ensuring that you break state in between each swish (get up and wiggle!).

This step is usually quicker than what you expect- this process usually takes me around 20 minutes to do with a client and that’s including the explanation! so stick to your guns and get going – the results are phenomenal. I have helped clients improve eating habits, get more exercise and improve their self image with this simple tool which means that you too can bring about lasting change.

So bring back the old trigger picture, put the new image in the bottom left hand corner of it and ‘swish’ – obliterate the old image and make the new image bigger, brighter and full of life. Remember to luxuriate in the wonderful feelings, sounds and details of the new image for a few moments to really make a powerful switch. Break state and start again!

6. Future Pace

Once you have run through step 4 several times you may have noticed that the old image starts to fade or that it completely disappears. That’s great! It means that you have been successful. If you still can see the old image that’s okay too as you will notice that it no longer has the power over you that it used to have.

If the old trigger still has strong feelings attached to it – run through step 4 a few more times. If there is no change that it may mean that you have the wrong trigger. Just start again and ask yourself ‘at what point do I decide to do the old behaviour? What do i see, hear or feel that makes me want to do X?’

Now think about your old behaviour and notice what you notice about how you feel about it now and you may be surprised to find that you feel completely different. Well done! You have succeeded in changing your habit!

So give this powerful tool a go when you have 20 minutes to spare – and don’t say you haven’t got the time – because you can always make the time.

Good Luck!

Luck or Lifestyle?

I am lucky in that unlike many women I know, I do not have to ‘watch my weight’ as such. Many of my friends appear to be on lifelong diets whilst some have given up completely on reaching their ideal weight. They bemoan how once again their weight loss isn’t enough or how they cant stop eating those crisps in the evenings or biscuits with their tea and I can sympathize with them. Losing weight can be hard! I know – I have been there.

However today (certainly not in my past) I consider myself to be lucky in that I don’t have to count the calories or watch what I eat. My weight remains pretty static no matter what I eat and it’s great! But it hasn’t always been that way. And when I think about how things used to be for me – perhaps it isn’t purely down to ‘luck’ that I am slim, perhaps it is more about ‘lifestyle’ choices.

Weight loss is a full time commitment – if you want to lose weight and remain slim – you have to be committed full time to being slim and healthy. That means that you need to put in place a lifestyle that can support weight loss maintenance long term. Dieting will only ever be a short term commitment and will only ever produce short term results, if any, so in order to lose weight and remain slim, you will have to change your diet and lifestyle permanently.

Whilst that sounds daunting – it makes sense. If you begin to eat healthily and exercise regularly, you will begin to change your outdated habits which lead to you being overweight in the first place, and you will find that you naturally begin to lose weight and keep it off.

Those people who have successfully reached and maintained their ideal weight, have all made successful lifestyle changes – there are very few ‘lucky’ people out there who are just naturally slim. There is usually a lifestyle to back it up behind them! If you want permanent weight loss then forget the ‘magic’ pills and ‘low fat’ ready made dinners and make a commitment today to change your diet and lifestyle to one which supports a healthier and slimmer you.

Research had concluded that those who list health as their number one priority for losing weight are more likely to put in place appropriate long term lifestyle changes, and as a result are more likely to maintain weight loss. So make health your main weight loss objective and hey, if you look amazing too after a couple of months – then all the better! So forget about luck and think about health and a life long commitment to looking and feeling sensational. When you begin to eat healthily – yes you will lose weight – but you will also feel better emotionally too, due to your improved eating habits.

So when people tell me how lucky I am that I remain slim – I know technically that luck has no part in the equation – it is about lifestyle choices. I am slim because I eat healthily most of the time and avoid meat and dairy. My food choices are limited so I am never tempted to snack on a Mars bar or cream cake. I am active – I walk daily and exercise most days too. I try and run around 3 or 4 times each week – even when I don’t want to (like this morning) I still run. I eat chocolate (Green and Blacks!) and drink wine – so yes I indulge every now and again but not all day everyday. My lifestyle choices have ensured that I remain slim and relatively healthy. It has nothing to do with luck!

And the most amazing part is – is that my lifestyle is who I am now. I don’t feel as though I am missing out on anything as I enjoy salads and vegetarian cooking. I still get the munchies every now and again and snack on chocolate and the odd biscuit and no, I don’t feel bad about it as for the majority of the time my diet is healthy. I don’t think about what I ‘do’ – I just do it!

When you change your lifestyle you may find it hard going to begin with but persevere – it only takes around 30 days to change a habit. If you have a bad day – get straight back on the wagon the next day. But by making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle you will ensure you put in place appropriate strategies and lifestyle choices to ensure you not only shed your excess weight but maintain it too. You have a right to be slim and healthy – so make that commitment to be healthy and slim right now.

You are worth it – so do it!

Stop! And Smell The Roses

I am sure I am not alone when I say that some days, when everything seems to go wrong, I wished I had have stayed in bed.

I had one of those days this week which kicked off with my son having a melt down over getting a later bus, closely followed by his brother refusing to get out of bed. A while later a client cancelled at the last minute and the offer I had just received on my house wasn’t quite as much as I had hoped it would be. I lost my car keys (well couldn’t remember where I put them is more precise) and so ended up arriving late for work and the day had barely started!

I felt exhausted and I still had the day ahead of me. I was feeling disappointed with my boys for spoiling my morning, angry with myself for misplacing my keys and frustrated that the offer on my house meant I would have to rethink my buying options once again. As I sat and prepared for my first client of the day, I could feel my anger and frustration brewing and I hadn’t even had time for a cup of tea that morning, no thanks to the kids!

As I went over the events of the morning I became more and more upset until I had literally had enough of listening to my own whining voice in my head! Enough is enough! Did I want to continue to feel upset and get even angrier because my son refused to get out of bed or that my client cancelled last minute or did I want to feel better?

I wanted to feel better. So what if my son had a melt down about the bus, that had nothing to do with me so why was I taking it personally? And I’m not surprised the youngest wanted to stay in bed that morning as it was a Monday and we’d had a hectic weekend. Once I realized that life is not always about me – I was able to release all that frustration. And besides, no-one had upset me – I had upset myself by taking on board everyone else’s issues.

Sometimes we can get lost in our doom and gloom and it could be easy for us to remain bitter about things that happen in our life – things that for the most part – aren’t actually important. However it could be just as easy for us to move on and leave the past where it belongs and take a different slant on life. The choice is ours.

You are the only person who can allow yourself to get upset and by focusing on the ‘wrong doings’ that others have seemingly done to you, you are handing them your power. People can be rude – that’s their issue. People can be thoughtless – that’s their issue. People can loose it over tiny things – again that’s their issue so why make it yours?

If you want to feel positive, happier or more fulfilled then focus on what is going right in your life, focus on what you want out of life and allow others the space to do, say and be who they want to be. You can not control other people however you can control how you respond to them.

My son had a meltdown because he feels anxious about any changes to his daily routine. My other son was tired. My client either changed their mind about therapy or was really sick. These things I can not change but I can change how I deal with them. I can reassure my son that he will be fine on the later bus, I can gently coax my youngest out of bed and I can empathize with my sick client and hope that another (higher!) offer comes in for my house.

Life is what you make it and if you make it miserable inside your head then it will be miserable outside in the real world too. So STOP those negative thoughts and focus on something positive instead and notice how you begin to feel happier, brighter and more positive.

Stop and smell the roses because they don’t stay in bloom all year long.

In Search Of Happy

I was recently asked if I would rather be very, very happy for a day or content for a long time and my response was based purely on my interpretation of what ‘content’ meant.

In my younger years my interpretation of what content meant is very different from how I would describe it now. I once saw ‘content’ as bored middle aged married couples, ‘making do’ with their lives, and swore I would do everything in my power to avoid ‘contentment’ thank you very much. I was young, carefree and lived for the weekends (no work!!) and the thought of being tied down with kids, a mortgage and a ‘proper’ job terrified me. I wanted excitement thank you very much not drudgery.

However many years later I have that ‘contented’ life, yet it isn’t all that I had thought it was cracked up to be. I have a mortgage, kids and a job (though most would not describe my job as proper) and whilst some days are as far from the fast lane as they could possibly be – in fact I am in reverse some days – I can honestly say that I am happy in my contentment.

I no longer see content as dull or boring and as an older and sometimes wiser woman, I see content as being at peace with who I am and the life I live. Things are by no means perfect in my life, yet it is my life and I have made peace with the fact that some things I would so love to change, wont and that’s okay because I can change how I see things.

I no longer need to rely on the thrill that I sought in my younger days – although I still love the excitement of a new challenge or living life fully the way I want to, I realize that happiness or contentment reside deep within each one of us. We each have the capacity to feel happy on our own or in company; to feel happy when the world around us seems to be going mad – happiness is a choice and is not reliant on external factors.

I have grown to accept who I am more and more and with that self acceptance comes inner peace and contentment with life, however, I certainly do not feel that I am ‘putting up’ with life, it just means that I am more accepting of life and it’s ups and downs.

So what would I chose now? Contentment – totally.