Welcome to days 54 to 56 of homeplay for Adventures In Weight Loss
We have reached the end of Adventures In Weight Loss. I hope you have had some real Aha! moments. However, we are now entering a bit of a danger zone…
This is where complacency threatens to come knocking at your door. Life is full of efforts to make real, lasting changes – but so many of them fall short of the outcome we intended when we initially set out to make the change.
I believe this is mostly due to a consumer mindset that gets drilled into us – buy this product, do that course and change is yours for the taking. Once the novelty of the gadget has worn off, or the course ends, the person selling you the magic pill has no more reason to motivate you to change.
At this point, most people blame their perceived lack of willpower and fall into self sabotage and/or run towards the next shiny bright answer to their problems.
I hope that you have noticed how this course has been different – there are no magic pills in these adventures. I believe that everything we’ve looked at – whether it is when you eat, the importance of healthy fats, the dangers of artificial sweeteners or Sabotage You – all this is where the action is when it comes to permanent shapeshifting.
I know how challenging some of the material has been for you. Weight Watchers this ain’t.
If you can stick with the discomfort, choose curiosity over self criticism and sit down for peace talks with Sabotage You, then you massively increase your chances of achieving your weight loss goals.
(I wish she’d stop going on about Sabotage Me, I’ve had enough of that! What about this untapped source of power she promised in the title?)
OK, point taken. On to the untapped power.
There is a mechanism that is built into your brain that can ensure success in any area. It doesn’t rely on knowledge. It doesn’t involve subduing Sabotage You.
It is the power of habit.
Imagine your weight loss goal as being achieved through a series of many, many small actions. Everyday we make dozens, if not hundreds, of decisions that affect our weight (Shall I have a second slice? Should I have pudding? Walk or drink off my stressful day?).
If we can turn the decisions that serve us into habits, then we make life much, much easier. Think about how easy it is for you to brush your teeth. Now think about your average 7-year-old, for whom this is a real pain. The difference is that brushing your teeth has become a habit for you.
What if only having one slice, or walking off your stress, or refusing pudding were all as automatic for you as brushing your teeth?
This is very possible, even with Sabotage You screaming and shouting. The reason it’s very possible is that the more you repeat an action, the more neural pathways you form in your brain which order you to repeat that action in the future.
Lessons From My Feet
I remember the day, about a couple of months after I’d given up bread, when this kicked in for me. Whenever I craved bread – and initially it was a few times a day – I would walk over to the bread bin, open it and gaze longingly at the contents before having a mental tussle with Sabotage Harriet. Not to be recommended. Anyway, on this day, there I was, all ready for my silent argument with myself.
Then – seemingly independent of my head – my feet turned around and walked away from the bread bin. The rest of me, of course, had no choice but to do the same.
I was furious (in a tortured kind of way, I actually enjoyed salivating over the forbidden goodies).
At the same time, I was amazed. Because this was the neural connections kicking in and overriding my conscious mind.
I grew up next to the weir in Shrewsbury. Whenever anyone came to stay, they always talked about how loud the crashing of the water was there (a weir is a kind of ramp they put into the river, presumably to change the water level). It was as if our guests had been staying next to a construction site.
I and my family, however, never heard a thing.
The reason for this, as you can probably guess, is that we had got so used to the sound that we were in effect deaf to it.
What has the weir got to do with the power of habit?
At the start, your change efforts are met with resistance that is screaming in your head as loudly as the weir was to our visitors. It feels bloody uncomfortable.
Then you reach a certain point where that discomfort gets the volume turned down on it. Eventually it disappears, just as the sound of the weir did for me and my family.
The work I do is partly about educating people. But I know that my real value is in helping people ride that screaming discomfort while those important neural pathways are being formed. This is why I keep going on about Sabotage You – because this concept allows you to disentangle your sense of self from your actions. I would give anything for you too to experience the feeling of your feet turning – alomost against your will – and walking away from the bread bin (or whatever your trigger is).
By the way, media and culture don’t want you to bother sitting out that discomfort. Neither do most people around you. Why feel the pain of real, deep change when you can distract your discomfort away with the next sugar fix / stressertainment / magic change pill?
This work involves going against the grain of the world around you. This is tough, because we are social animals. We want to be part of the group. It’s deep in our DNA. I say this to communicate the challenge that Sabotage You doesn’t want you to acknowledge. And remember, what you can’t see, you can’t change.
As you can guess, I really want you to carry on with the ideas we’ve covered over the last 8 weeks. Here are some practical applications:
- Keep experimenting. Extend and refine your tests.
- Run through the course again, following the homeplays. Access all the homeplays here
- Review the cravings busters in The Chocoholics Rescue Toolkit.
- Help someone else with one aspect of what we have covered.
- Buddy up with someone else on the course
- Access the resources. Read, watch and refine your own ideas.
- Find a bigger Why to lose weight than your original reasons, for example to be a role model to a younger person or to use it as a springboard for transformation in other areas. How you do food is how you do life, and the concepts in this course will change other aspects of your life if you let them.
- Go deeper with eating psychology coaching.