‘Seek first to become thin within, thence to become thin without.’ – Anon
I wanted to write a blog about my recent weight-loss success. Overweight and eating issues are such a major source of misery and hopelessness, I hope my personal experience may inspire some people to transcend the dogma of magazine ‘pseudoscience’ and take charge of their own personal destiny.
As I said, this is a personal blog, not a research paper. Although weight/eating issues can be life-threatening, this is written in a casual, light-hearted style for reasons of brevity and readability. Each little paragraph probably deserves its own book – even library. If you want to know more, get in touch and it will be my pleasure to direct you to some of my source material.
WHEN I SAW THIS I KNEW IT WAS TIME TO GET SERIOUS
2 MONTHS LATER – 2 STONE LIGHTER
My decision to relaunch my coaching brand as ‘happiness first consulting’ coincided with the shock of being described by a client as ‘a burly Englishman’ and seeing a picture of myself confirming the description.
Several years of avoiding some difficult feelings at the cost of my health, wealth and happiness was officially over.
One of my core values is to go beyond the integrity call of ‘walk the talk’ to the greater challenge of ‘canter the banter’. I never offer any programme to a client that I do not personally validate.
Could I canter my own banter and validate the mantra ‘put happiness first’ in one of my toughest problem areas? If I did, then it would not only reward me with losing a ton of unwanted, harmful, adiposity, not only transform me into living proof that my new positioning really does work, but also give me the unshakeable experience and self-confidence to back up my new level of work with my clients.
First step – assemble the key ingredients of a successful, life-changing project. I treated myself as if I were my own client. These techniques apply to all goal manifestation strategies that take you out of the comfort zone into the destiny galaxy:
- Spiritual attunement, guidance and protection
- Understanding your ‘payoff’
- Homoeopathic support for the hypothalamus
- Tracking systems
- Inner child work and reprogramming
- Behaviour modification and rewards
- Support network
- Acting as if…
- Journal work
- Law of return
- Next steps
Spiritual attunement, guidance and protection
This is too easy, really. Anyone can do it. Very few do. All you do is ask inside ‘for the ‘Light’ for highest good to take place’ and as you let go and let Spirit do its thing, it’s time to awaken to the intuition, coincidences, and serendipity that come into your life. The Light is universal spiritual energy that, way below conscious awareness, regardless of belief, sustains all life, and is freely available to all who ask. Check it out for yourself!
At a deeper level, the axiom of ‘happiness first’ is that you are already happy. Who you really are is a soul. The nature of the soul is joy, fulfilment, and happiness beyond measure. This means it’s not that you need something or someone to ‘make’ you happy, you need to identify and eliminate those things that rob you of the happiness that’s already present. Asking for ‘the light’ automatically initiates a soul-attunement and allows space for the action of grace to participate.
Understanding your ‘payoff’
If you ask, ‘why do I keep doing something (e.g. overeating) when I know it makes things worse?’ the answer is usually because at a deep, unconscious level you are making a choice in the belief it will give you something you need (e.g. comfort, security, approval, etc.). You are always making the best choice available to you in the moment, so it follows, like the night the day, that to make a more effective, empowering choice what you really need is an effective choice to satisfy that need. A good coach should be able to help you discover this for yourself.
Homeopathic support for the hypothalamus
In cahoots with a startlingly low calorie regimen, I used homeopathic HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) that tells the hypothalamus to access deep layers of stored fat to burn to replace the missing energy. Instead of feeling hungry and ratty, you just feel normal energy levels and a surprising loss of cravings for food.
If you drop down to a strict ‘no fat, no carb’ regime of 500 calories a-day, you can lose around 1lb each day. This makes the transition to the maintenance phase quite a jolt. I just cut down very significantly without becoming obsessive and was well happy to lose around 4-5 lbs-a-week. I eliminated 90% of the alcohol, carbs and saturated fats I used to indulge in. This helped build in a new preference and habit for a diet that, with slight modifications, I can enjoy as a long-term lifestyle change. True success is all in the sustainability. Now, if I have a big bowl of pasta and a few glasses of Beaujolais and stray up into a few extra pounds over my new baseline weight, it’s no biggee to downsize for a day or so to rebalance.
Inner child work and reprogramming
Call it the inner child, lower self, subconscious mind, basic self or whatever you like, but this is the ‘lower’ level of sub-consciousness that is a kind of ‘inner 5-year-old me’ who is programmed from birth to hold onto beliefs, habits, and compulsions. To lose weight permanently, and/or release compulsive patterns and change lifetime habits, you have to understand what ‘payoff’ (symbol, compensation, hoped-for reward) you get from the self-destructive behaviours, and enrol the basic self into the game. This habitual drive is the auto-pilot that holds you on course, if you don’t change this deep level, you’re just going on holiday – soon enough you’ll be back home in Glutton-on-Avon, South Pigshire – overeating for England.
I was an only child and had to spend a lot of time on my own. I also learned to love food and cooking at a very early age. Cooking and eating delicious food became my ‘best friend’. To this day, whenever I feel alone or abandoned I look in the fridge or the pasta jar for my old pal.
Thus, armed with this conscious awareness I could make more effective choices when that urge came up. Of course it’s not easy. But, every day I listened to a wonderful, deep, guided meditation called ‘Body Balance’. This ‘talks’ direct to the basic self in a caring, loving way and gives it positive new direction and beliefs with which to replace the old strategy. You ain’t going to change unless you have something of greater value with which to replace the old pattern, is you?
One essential way to keep the basic self in the game is to track progress regularly. Like achieving any goal, you have to know where you really are now, and where you want to be. It’s then easy to just take one small step in the direction of the goal. And feel good about it. If you slip up, it’s no big deal, because you’re living so much more in the present.
I used two tracking systems. One was a simple graph of weight loss per day versus my target line.
The other was more creative. I filled a suitcase with books weighing the amount of weight I wanted to lose. As I lost the weight, I’d take out the books and pile them up on the dresser. It’s horrifying how heavy 2 stone feels. It’s wonderful to feel it on the outside and know I’m not schlepping this around with me any more. Notice the well-deserved smug expression on the right here. That pile of books had been under my shirt for 3 years!
Behaviour modification and rewards
The major behaviour change I made was ‘putting happiness first – not food’. Whenever the urge to go off-piste came up, I’d stop, feel the feeling, see if it had useful information for me, and consciously and deliberately choose ‘happiness first’. in this case, a sense of control, and the deep desire to be wearing my ‘skinny clothes’ gathering dust in my wardrobe. Each time I achieved a short term weight loss I’d give myself something special:
A nice riding lesson, new riding gloves, a movie, long hot bubbly baths, watching TV in the morning, all kinds of ‘basic self stuff’ to keep my energy positive and up. And to celebrate my 2-stone lossage, a Greek Island holiday for two!
I am blessed to naturally enjoy exercise. This protocol does not require or advise upping the work the sweat glands have to do. I carried on with my 3 fundamental exercise things: a short daily yoga/ calisthenics and press-up/sit-up routine I’ve been doing for decades; riding 2-3 horses a day (as you do) and swimming 1/2hr+ every week.
If you don’t do any exercise at all – now is a great time to build something enjoyable into your life. It is so important for moving energy, releasing toxins, relaxing, and clearing stuck emotions and depression. Magic!
When we have self-judgments, regrets, painful repressed memories, or resentments, etc. surface they can make us feel very uncomfortable. The easiest way to get rid of those feelings can be found in the fridge, or in a bottle, cigarette pack, or a needle! In choosing to put ‘happiness first’ I committed to sit with those feelings and forgive them as they came up. If it doesn’t work the first time, I just keep saying ‘I forgive myself for judging myself for…’ until it stops plaguing me. This can be a lifetime’s work! But the less emotional weight we carry around, the more agile we become in dealing with the slings and arrows of life.
As I said before, when I first saw my ‘burly’ picture, I hated how I looked. I realised I was hating my image every time I saw it in the mirror. This is not helpful. It drives you down the plughole of hell. The worse you make yourself feel, the more you need to eat to feel better!
The challenge is to love yourself just as you are now – unconditionally. If you say ‘I’ll love myself when I stop this behaviour and lose weight’ then you’ll never get to love yourself. Accepting ‘what is’ and self-loving are the greatest healers and change-agents on the planet.
Affirmations – energy follows thought
Part of the re-programming and goal-achievement is the use of affirmations. (Affirm-actions). Like mind-muscles, they get firmer and more effective the more you exercise them. They must be positive, present-active, and empowering. Getting them spot on is an art. I had a dozen or so I would read through and say every day. But the one that really made me tingle is ‘I am wearing my skinny clothes’. It just popped up. And I think it was given to me by my basic self because that was the thing it really wanted. It’s no good ‘moralising’ or filling it with scientific reasons why you should eat healthily – the basic self doesn’t necessarily give a shit about that. Those reasons are also important – but more for the adult self. You have to build a fun, loving relationship with the basic self as well – or you are doomed.
Visualisations are the other side of the coin to affirmations. If you’re a visual person you must be able to ‘see’ the new body image you want to have. For me I need to feel it, see it, and hear the admiration and acknowledgment from my support team, in my own mind.
I am often much more effective when I have a group to support me. But this time I chose to enlist the support of my wife and my own steely resolve. I must confess, since moving to the countryside with my horses, I can easily slip into feelings of isolation and loneliness. I love hanging out with my horses, and they challenge my comfort zone beyond all measure, but the conversation is a tad one-sided. Nevertheless, I had so much of my own inner support with this DIY programme, it was rather fun to suddenly show up and shock people with the new me.
Acting as if…
Acting as if…is a powerful supplement to any manifestation process. As soon as I could, I would squeeze myself into my skinny clothes and ‘pretend’ they fitted. Sure enough, before I knew it, they did. Again, this supports the affirmations and goal-setting and keeps the basic self feeling involved in the game.
Writing stuff down is a great way to get clarity and clear out unconscious crap. I love to write down my wins, and things I’m grateful for. I am fascinated by dreams and adore contemplating them at my leisure. I relish the interpretation of symbols though in-tuition. Journal work is brilliant – especially for looking back on progress and finding more and more reasons to be grateful – just for being alive.
The law of return
From a soul-centred perspective, all our habits, patterns, fixations, compulsions, etc. are perfectly designed for our individual soulic learning and evolution: balancing past-life actions and having new experiences. An aspect of this idea (that is empirically verifiable) is that whenever we overcome a negative pattern, the urge to return to the old familiarity will cycle back on us. Therefore in around 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and a year, we can expect to be strongly lured back into the old pattern. If we can overcome this temptation for a long-enough period we can eventually step free.
Remember, the cell-level memory will still store the neural and sub-atomic pathways for 7-11 years. As the masters say, ‘perfect freedom is perfect discipline’. And ‘the price of freedom is eternal vigilance’.
The confidence I gained with this life-changing project has inspired me to apply the same levels of intent and commitment to my brand relaunch. To rebuild a client base and ‘following’ from scratch at age 70 is going to take even more determination and support. I am investing in myself, and building renewed levels of health, wealth, and happiness (yes, that’s an affirmation, btw). You’re welcome to join me on my journey.