So if our will power is poor, how do we boost it and stick to the diet and exercise plan?
According to chartered psychologist and weight loss consultant Graham W Price it’s about finding the right motivation, developing self control and becoming resilient. All of these are attributes that can be acquired.
Motivation comes from being clear about your values and the benefits of achieving your goal. Weight loss has obvious benefits around health and sex appeal, but it’s more than that. Another major benefit is the sense of control it can generate over our whole lives, with the consequent impact on confidence and self-esteem. If we can gain control over our weight, we can gain control over other aspects of our lives. Knowing that we’re healthier, fitter and more attractive can itself boost confidence and self-esteem.
Graham uses visualisation and time-line techniques as a way to help clients “experience” these benefits and give them the motivation they need. “There is no point starting a weight loss programme unless you are really motivated to lose weight. Without the right motivation failure is almost guaranteed.” he explains.
After motivation you need self control. Motivation isn’t enough to get us through the challenging times, for example, when we’re faced with temptations to break our diet or skip training. Helpful tools to enhance self-control include how to deal with ‘trigger points’ (predictable challenging situations), light hypnosis and a commitment process.
The third attribute that’s needed is resilience. This is the ability to deal productively with uncomfortable experiences. The most powerful tool to boost resilience is ‘accepting what is’. This means an ability to accept what’s happening right now, different from the usual meaning of ‘acceptance’ which is future-oriented, as illustrated by the idea of accepting things we cannot change.
An example of ‘accepting what is’ is accepting how we are right now, at the same time as choosing to change it. “Being unhappy about how we are, which is an example of ‘resisting what is’ might be thought to be motivating. In fact it’s generally de-motivating and debilitating and is nearly always unhelpful. Knowing how we want to be, being clear on the benefits and being confident we can achieve it are generally much more effective motivators.” says Graham.
‘Comfort eating’ is a classic example of someone not ‘accepting what is’ as it involves using food to deal with uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, loneliness, or boredom. To successfully lose weight you need to learn more productive ways to deal with these feelings – and that starts with learning how to accept them. This means accepting it’s OK to have them right now, not accepting that it’s OK for them to remain.
“In my experience with my clients, accepting uncomfortable feelings is one of the most powerful psychological tools anyone can learn. Acceptance nearly always diminishes those feelings but, more importantly, it allows us to act in ways not determined by our feelings, such as ceasing comfort eating or simply not giving-in to a desire for chocolate cake.” says Graham.
It’s this technique of acceptance that gives us the resilience to maintain our weight loss programme.
Utilising the tools of motivation, self control and resilience will enable anyone to lose weight and keep it off. But the good news doesn’t stop there – these same tools, which give your will power the strength to beat any opponent, can be used to help you achieve any goal in your life.
Graham’s weight loss sessions, using the tools described above, are so successful they’re fully guaranteed, practically unique in the world of weight loss. He gives a one year money-back guarantee for both achieving the initial goal and sustaining it.