Monday, 12 September 2011

Trick your mind ....tackle weight gain !

Trick your mind into doing the things you hate and battle weight. Excerpts from the book Change anything 

Mentally prepare your body to get back into shape 
Love what you hate 
Here's the motivation challenge you face. Right now, while you're reading this book and thinking your best thoughts, you have plenty of motivation to do the right thing. You think, "No big deal; I'll just tough it out." Unfortunately, later, when temptation strikes, your motivation will weaken, and you'll give in - overeating, eating the wrong foods, or ducking a chance to exercise. Human beings are simply horrible at predicting how challenging a future temptation will feel, even when they have faced it over and over for years.

To overcome this motivational mistake, learn how to tap into your existing personal motivation, especially in times of intense temptation.

Find what you love 
This obvious tactic is frequently overlooked because people can't conceive of the fact that eating healthy and exercising regularly could ever be enjoyable. Fortunately, when it comes to food and exercise you can find options that you actually enjoy. For example if you dislike vegetables, broccoli in particular, then explore the vegetable world more carefully. Maybe you'd like broccoli if it were prepared differently, or maybe you can find a different kind of vegetable that tastes better to you. In any case, don't keep suffering through a food you can't stand.

The same is true for exercise. For instance, Mary S loathed using gym equipment but found she enjoyed people watching along the bustling streets of Manhattan. She could walk from her apartment to Greenwich Village and back, logging four miles, and having a good time. Be equally inventive. Take the time to find the best of the worst. Keep experimenting until you find options that you actually enjoy. By all means don't commit to a plan you can't find a way to like.

Tell the whole vivid story 
Ask yourself why you want to lose weight or improve your fitness. Most people spend too little time contemplating the answer. They give themselves generic or vague excuses like "I want to look better," "I want to fit into my clothes," or "I want to have more energy." While these responses provide a starting point, they're too indistinct to carry you through moments of temptation - say a delicious piece of chocolate cake goes head to head with your "I want to feel good someday" reason to avoid it. When a murky vision is all you have to conjure, the crystal clear certainty of the cake will win every time. Here's what John H did to bring his vision into focus. He first described his motivation for losing weight and improving his fitness as "I want to look and feel better. I want to have more energy." This was not the whole story nor was it vivid enough to keep his attention. So he went further.

Visit your default future 
Fortunately, when John looked at what might lie ahead for him, he was able to fill in the details. In his case, he made a mental visit to a rather prominent person who faced similar physical challenges.

"I thought of Larry M." John explains. "He was a prominent local business, philanthropist, and family man. He was about my age and was also overweight like me. We even had the same body type. For the last several years I watched him suffer through diabetes, a heart attack and kidney failure. He lost both his legs to diabetes and then he died - still in his early sixties. Larry's unfortunate demise was my default future. So now, when I'm ready to order a T-bone steak, I focus in Larry M. I can see him right in front of me. Then I order the salmon instead.

Creating a vivid and believable image of your default future provides the detail you can draw on during moments of temptation. But it has to be specific and vivid. As John dug deeper into his reasons for changing he was able to provide the detail he needed. That's key.

Value your words 
After visiting your default future, distill some of your motivating insights into a Personal Motivational Statement you can use at crucial moments. Be sure to capture the feeling as well as the facts. "I'm doing this for my wife Louise. It's the most heartfelt thing I can do to show her my love. It's like Pearls and earrings times a thousand."

By visiting his default future, telling the whole vivid story, and selecting value words, John was able to craft a statement that if he meditates on it during crucial moments can profoundly affect his emotions. To ratchet up the power, he combined this statement with a photo of Louise. The measure of a good Personal Motivation Statement is whether your use of it jars you out of the spell of temptation. If it doesn't, then it is too anemic. Keep at it until it reconnects you with what you really want when it matters most.

Connect to who you're becoming 
Some people focus their Personal Motivation Statement on the person they want to become. For example think of someone or a group of people who do what you hate to do right now but who actually enjoy doing it. Then instead of dismissing them as crazy, become one of them. See yourself as one of them. As you follow through on your vital behavior, pause and mentally celebrate the fact that you're becoming one of them.

For example if you have trouble forcing yourself to work out, tell your self (out loud!), "I'm an athlete in training, and this is what athletes do." Make this identity even more specific. Say, "I'm a hiker," "I'm a runner," or "I'm a skier"; then dig into this new interest more deeply. Read a hiking, running or skiing magazine and imagine yourself in the pictures. Take your eyes off the sacrifice and place them on the accomplishment. Whenever you're tempted to revert to your old self, dispute the rationalizing thoughts with statements that tie you to who you are becoming.

Make it a game 
To finish off his motivation plan, John turned it into a game. He bought a device that displayed his calorie burn rate on a wrist watch. At first john tracked his burn rate; then he manipulated it. He learned that if he got up from his chair at work and walked up and down a few flights of stairs, not only did his burn rate double during the walk, but it took a full two hours to return to his sitting rate. Within two weeks John was posting his scores and celebrating his caloric consumption like an Olympic result. The behaviors themselves become more enjoyable because they were part of his achievement. 

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