Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Thinking Slimmer: The Beginning

I've put off writing about this for a couple of weeks. Partly because I'm nervous about how it will be received and also because it can difficult to expose yourself for fear you might not succeed. But share I will and if you're not interested in chatter about weight loss, I will forgive you if you choose not to read on. There will be more makeup talk very soon, I promise.

I have done a lot of diets in my life. Some have been successful and some have not. I find that some diets suit me more than others; I have returned to Slimming World many times as it tends to give me steady, sustainable weight loss. I tried the Dukan diet earlier this year and it did indeed work. The weight came off quickly but the diet itself was punishing and didn't fit in with my lifestyle or my mostly meat-free eating habits! Needless to say the weight went back on. No matter how good a diet is, the key to whether it works for me is whether or not I'm in the right place mentally to commit to it and I had been struggling with that a lot recently.


Now, I know that the way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. I am a woman of science and logic so I'm not blind to the fact that if I eat more calories than I burn then I'm going to put weight on. I do think it's very easy to say it's simple if you're someone who has never had issues with weight or an emotional attachment to food. No matter how much I want to lose weight and know how to do it, I often find that I will sabotage my own efforts when I reach for food as comfort or a reward.

I first heard about Thinking Slimmer on Twitter. I thought it sounded interesting so did a little investigating. Thinking Slimmer is a system for weight loss that uses the power of the mind rather than traditional calorie counting. Having tried to explain it to people I know it can provoke quizzical looks. Use the expression Wordweaving and you can sound a bit like you've embraced a new cult! I don't really think it's as strange an idea as it may first sound though. I know that my bad eating habits are probably psychological and so tackling my response to food and my behaviour towards it seems to make sense.

Anyway, I'll hurry it along now as I'm starting to ramble. Thinking Slimmer uses what they call Slimpods to help you lose weight. Slimpods are voice recordings which you listen to each evening (you can listen on your iPod, hence the name) and use unconscious persuasion techniques to retune the way you feel about food. Basically, these recordings are retraining my mind to think of food as fuel and not a way to reward myself or cheer myself up. I have been listening to my Slimpod daily for 18 days now and whilst I haven't registered a loss on the scales yet (not helped by the fact that I didn't buy a pair of scales until after I started), I have noticed some major changes in my habits.

Thinking Slimmer Inspiration
My motivational images

The things that have changed so far:
I don't really think about food between meals, so I've not been snacking.
I'm reaching for better food without really thinking about it.
I'm not obsessing about food - something I always do on a diet.
I often feel full before I've finished what's on my plate and I won't feel I have to keep on eating.
I actually feel hungry at meal times. I'm ashamed to admit that I would eat at meal times whether hungry or not.

But the one change that I really want to make a song and dance about is that I am exercising again. Regularly. I have been making excuses not to do my exercise videos for about 8-9 years. In fact, it's so long since I've done any formal exercise that my videos really are videos! I've had to plug in a VCR specially just to watch them. I've done exercise in the evening, I've done it in the day, I've even done it barefoot as I don't want to let the excuse of having no trainers stop me! So, although the scales says nothing has changed yet, my body feels different and I know if I keep up the exercise big things will change. I'm actually wondering if I should set my myself a specific challenge so that I can motivate myself even more with the exercise. Buying some DVDs would probably be a start.....

Even my exercise videos are vintage!

It's hard to say whether all of this is unconscious change or whether some of it is conscious. I feel like it might actually be a mixture of the two. Certainly the Thinking Slimmer team suggest that it works better if you believe it will work. I shall leave it at that for today and I will keep you updated with how I get on over the next couple of months. In the meantime, if you would like more information about the system I can recommend browsing the Thinking Slimmer website. I'm happy to chat about it in the comments or via email or Twitter if you have any specific questions you want to ask me.

Disclosure: I received the Slimpod recordings without charge. The opinions in this post are entirely my own and the links are provided for information only.


  1. Wow! Good luck.. I need someone to have a word in my ear too- as much as I keep dieting, I always go back to eating too much and snacking like it's going out of fashion!

  2. This is really interesting. I have long thought that I put on weight because at night my dreams are quite often me eating. (no joke)

  3. Thanks Stina. Starting to exercise makes me feel more positive that I will lose weight. I was bad before children and would cycle between fat and thin but giving up smoking and losing all self control in pregnancy has made it even worse! It's nice not to constantly think about food.

    Hi Bettina. Gosh, there's no escape when you're dreaming about food too. I definitely do that when I'm on a diet!

    Jane x

  4. Sounds absolutely fascinating, may have to check this out :) Jude xx @jadlgw

  5. I will have to check this out because I have a horrific relationship with food and am busy piling back on all that weight I was so proud of losing!

  6. I can't wait to hear about your progress. I share your struggle. The worst part is I KNOW I need to exercise as well to make any plan work but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to incorporate it into my life anymore.

  7. I will watch this with interest Jane, I eat for boredom, celebration, depression, routine, because it tastes nice - hunger does not always feature in the equation! Had to laugh at your exercise videos, I have them all. x

  8. Interesting, it makese sense and it sounds like there is no harm in trying it.
    Its all going a bit wrong for me at the moment as where I have given up gluten I have found that my increase of chocolate/crisps has increased greatly, I do fall into using food as a treat, however I seem to be treating myself everyday! I made sure to weigh myself before going gluten free and that was a stone more that I thought, hate to think what it will be after the months trial!
    I look forward to seeing how you get on xx

  9. Good luck with your goals! My problem isn't lack of exercise, but an "abusive" relationship with food. I can definitely see how that program will work better if you believe it will. A defeatist attitude never helps. I'd love to see how well it works! x

  10. Good luck Jane with your journey:)
    It's interesting about the mind over matter - this reminds me of a while ago something Paul McKenna did on TV.

  11. Best of luck Jane - I think our minds have a lot more to do with our diets than our tummies! There was certainly no logic to me eating a whole bag of Aero bubbles last night when I was working late - it was purely for comfort - something that I do way too often and a habit I really need to break.

    I'm really interested in following your progress and you may even inspire me to dust off my Davina dvd box set (which I've 'watched') ;)

    Nic x

  12. Hi Jane, this is so interesting and thank you for posting it. I recently had hypnotherapy for weight loss, which I think is quite similar to what you are doing, and it is simply the best thing for weight loss I've ever done. I now don't obsess about food and don't snack between meals, I literally only eat when I'm hungry, not when I think I should. It's been quite life-changing and the weight is coming off slowly but surely. I also think that hopefully it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I wish you all the best with this and look forward to your updates xx

  13. It's an interesting concept, and I need to check it out as I'm trying to change my eating habits at the moment. It would be good for my brain to think of food as fuel.

    I totally understand how hard it is to publish these posts, but I think it's great for motivating yourself and also your readers!

  14. This looks really interesting, will maybe check these out myself. I used hypnotherapy for weightloss and have lost 3 stone using it. Before I had no self control and would just eat and eat and eat until i felt sick and sometimes even then wouldnt stop! Its taken me quite a while to lose the weight but i've been pleased with the results as it seems to have changed the way i view food...its not a diet, its just the way i live now.

    Looking forward to reading how youre getting on. I'm glad you decided to post this, its comforting reading about someone else who is going through similar things x

  15. I'm starting to feel the pressure (the BULGE if you will) to start on a weigh loss plan myself. It's difficult when you only ever eat out and most fast food "healthy" options aren't so healthy. But something is better than nothing I suppose!

  16. Gosh, if anyone but you had mentioned this Jane I would have raised an eyebrow. But if your scientific mind sees something in this, it must be good! Keep us updated on how you get on :)

  17. @Jude: It's a very interesting idea. It makes a change from dieting which tends to perpetuate my fixation with food!

    @Charlie: Oh no, I really know that pain. I've been up and down weight wise over the years. I think it's well worth you taking a look at how it works, I like the idea that works at a less superficial level than ordinary dieting.

    @PP: Finding the time to do it all is hard. Listening to these recordings has helped me find time though which I'm really pleased about. As ever the cleaning is going by the wayside!!

    @Jan: I'm glad I'm not the only one with the exercise videos. It's a shame I'd parted company with my old Beverly Callard videos, I think they would have worth a giggle!!

    @Replica: Fingers crossed the gluten free diet won't spoil your waistline. How are you getting on with it?

    @Esther: Yes, I agree. I think a defeatist attitude would probably interfere with this working. It's been really interesting to see how many people can identify with issue of a bad relationship with food. I feel more positive that sharing my journey will be useful.

    @Meeta: Thanks Meeta. I know other people have likened it to the McKenna technique. I believe there is a difference but I suspect you need to be a psychologist to really understand the difference!

    @Strawberry Blonde: Get the Davina out! :D I have done similar things only my poison is bags of Maltesters. It's interesting to see how my eating habits have changed now I'm only eating to satisfy my hunger.

    @Claire: Thank you so much for sharing Claire. I'm so glad to hear it's been a positive experience for you. I think that the slow weight loss feels fine when you know that it will just keep on going and the change in eating patterns will be lasting. I wish you lots of success with your journey too x

    @Jen W: Thanks Jen, it is hard to share but the feedback makes it worth it. It's been interesting to see how many others have similar struggles. There are a variety of different Slimpods, as well as fitness ones all designed to work on specific areas of brain retuning. Although I think we all know that food *is* just fuel, it's hard to fight against habits and advertising too.

    @Jill: Well done on such a great weight loss Jill! Thank you very much for sharing your experience as this really spurs me on. I'm very pleased that I wrote this post.

    @Eden-Avalon: Gosh, yes it is very tricky to pick healthy food options when you're eating out. Especially with so much temptation around. I'm sure you can do it though, I have faith in you :)

    Thank you so much for all of your comments. It means a lot as I was nervous about sharing.
    Jane x

  18. @dempss01: LOL, I know what you mean! I do think of myself as a logical and sensible person but that all goes out of the window when it comes to eating. So, I feel quite happy dealing with it using a slightly different approach. You can rest assured that I won't be doing an impression of a chicken anytime soon ;)


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