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.
|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.