Personal Training Works Best When It Gets Really Personal!

Today's the day!

Today’s the day!

My Facebook newsfeed is jam-packed with folks declaring that today marks the first day of their 2013 “health kick”. Local gyms are starting fitness and weight loss challenges as I type. Personal trainers in every global nook and cranny are reminding me about their services to support the achievement of our weight loss and fitness goals, so we can (at last) be the proud owner of that “dream body”.

As a fitness professional myself, I think that the fitness industry offers valuable support to those of us who want to lead a healthier life. Being physically active is a really important aspect of our journey towards a healthier relationship with our body and towards achieving (and maintaining) our optimal weight .Being physically active encourages us to spend more time in our bodies and gives us the opportunity to develop exquisite levels of body awareness. Bottom line : exercise definitely supports your getting the “bottom line” you really want :)!(That’s just me being “cheeky” :)! Ooops!)

Are you an active fan yet?

Are you an active fan yet?

If you’re on a weight loss journey, you probably agree with everything I’ve just said. And whilst you might be an “intellectual fan” of exercise (and you could probably give a lecture on everything you “should” be doing to get the body of your dreams – and keep it), chances are you’re not an “active fan” (yet :))! Chances are, you wish you didn’t have to do that whole exercise thing – or that someone else could do it for you! Chances are, you might not find it easy to get motivated to move your body. Chances are you might even sense some resistance every time the word “work-out” is mentioned (and chances are, you’re not even sure why that should be the case .. especially because you intellectually acknowledge that working out can move you in the direction of that dream body!).

What often happens at this point is that people decide to engage the services of a personal trainer. Sounds ideal, right? Well, there are some really useful things to be gained from working with a personal trainer. Firstly, they know stuff about physiology; they know what “good form” and good technique looks like; they know about training frequency, intensity and volume. They know the latest thinking on the best ways to achieve your physical goals. The really good ones also know a thing or two about nutrition. Add to the mix that you’re spending time with people who are just “oozing” vibrant energy, body confidence and health (that’s contagious and you might be at serious risk of catching some of that if you spend enough time in their company!) and it all looks incredibly appealing. And all of this is both valuable and important – and, if you take regular training sessions (and eat what they tell you to), sooner or later you get to see physical changes in your body.

Sounds perfect, right? Or can you see where this might be heading? Does this remind you of anything? Like the diet you really didn’t enjoy but you forced yourself to do it anyway to get the results? Did you manage to stay “on track” for good? What happened when your emotional appetite shouted louder than the diet rules? Did going on a diet resolve your relationship with both food and your body? Did going on a diet resolve your emotional issues once and for all? Did you eventually get to love that strict diet in the end? (I’m guessing it was unsustainable and didn’t work out the way you’d hoped, right?)

Are you plugged into your own motivational power source?

Are you plugged into your own motivational power source?

So what am I trying to say here? Here’s the thing : working with a personal trainer can definitely improve your relationship with your body and bring massive physiological benefits. The personal training process can help you to develop confidence in new ways too. But, what if after weeks or months of personal training you still don’t feel motivated to exercise? What if you rely on the personal trainer to take responsibility for your motivation in the longer term? What would happen if you stopped working with the personal trainer? How will working with the personal trainer have contributed towards your developing a life-long love affair with physical activity?

For some lucky people, resolving their emotions, beliefs, values, attitudes and identity around food and their body can be the piece of the puzzle that transforms everything. For these lucky people, once they have been able to stop emotional eating and to start relating to their body and food in healthy ways, they find it easy to do the whole exercise thing. Things just fall into place. They’re enjoying being in their bodies again, enjoying exercise as an end in itself rather than as a means to an end. Motivation comes easily.

For some of us, however, even when we’ve resolved our emotional eating patterns, the exercise piece still doesn’t fit naturally with us. And this is the crux of it all. Until you’ve worked out why you don’t enjoy working out and why you don’t find it easy to access powerful positive motivational forces , you’ll just have to work out how you’re going to pay your personal training bill in the long term! (The minute you “break-up” with your personal trainer, the divorce courts will let them walk away with all the motivation. After all, it was theirs on the first place).

Personal training can be transformational!

Personal training can be transformational!

My view is this : your personal trainer’s responsibility is to help you to become your own best personal trainer. Their intention shouldn’t be to have you as a client as long as they can! Instead, the relationship should exist for a sufficient time – enough time to get to the a point where you are ready to fly solo (in touch with your own motivation and really enjoying a positive relationship with physical activity). In order to get to that point, your personal trainer needs to be skilful at working out what’s really going on with you. Over and above training your physical body (and teaching you how to do that for yourself), they should also acknowledge the all-important mind-body relationship ~ so that all of you is lined up for “effortless” success within the context of physical fitness. That’s right, I actually said effortless and I meant it! I’ll go one step further. What if you were to break out of the “Exercise is hell” paradigm and break into this one “Exercise is a true reward for both me and my body : it is a joyous communion my deepest natural self.”? Are you shouting “Get real!” at the computer screen? (Get real? I just did :)).

If you are considering the personal training route to help yourself get back into regular physical activity, my advice is to ascertain just how personal the experience is going to be! When interviewing a prospective personal trainer, it’s really worth checking out their philosophy. If you meet one who is capable of helping you to explore how your emotions, attitudes, values, beliefs, identity (and even your life purpose) are impacting on your current relationship with physical activity (and food!) – that’s what I call personal! If you meet one who is qualified to help resolve unwanted emotions – that’s what I call personal! If you meet one who knows how to help you to develop supportive beliefs about yourself and physical activity – that’s what I call personal! If you meet one who knows how to help you to get in touch with your most powerful, positive motivational forces – that’s what I call personal!

If you walk into a personal training studio with a mindset that isn’t totally supportive of your fitness / health journey (or supportive of you as a whole for that matter!) then just make sure that, one day, you’re able to walk out of that studio with a whole lot more than the body of your dreams. Just make sure that you’re able to leave all that no longer serves you (physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually) behind. For good.

Make sure it's more than cosmetic!

Make sure it’s more than cosmetic!

Just like forcing yourself to go on a strict diet does little to heal your relationship with both food and your body, personal training that does not acknowledge your unique psychological, emotional and spiritual make-up is at best only that – make-up : a cosmetic that makes the surface look good for a little while and then wears off.

In my experience of the fitness world, fitness professionals are genuinely committed to helping people to develop, and maintain, healthy lifestyles. If you are hoping that getting a personal trainer will help you to resolve your relationship with food and your body, do satisfy yourself that they can support you in this way. I am really thrilled that more and more personal trainers are becoming qualified in the psychological aspects of weight loss and fitness – I’m a huge fan of the holistic approach. And if you meet a personal trainer who you think can help you achieve your fitness goals but may not be qualified in the emotional and psychological side of things, my advice would be to make sure that you find a way of resolving the emotional/psychological spiritual stuff too. I’d suggest finding a qualified coach or therapist who is fit to work out this side of things with you 🙂 This way, every inch of you is headed in the same direction : your body is taking action and your mind will be wired up to support your success!

Here’s the take-away : Only when personal training seeks to explore the deepest truth of who we are, is personal training personal enough.

 Gotta run :)!

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

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Ready For The Next Epiphany?

You're getting even more enlightened!

You’re getting even more enlightened!

Welcome to the 10th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here : https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/  and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)

Yesterday’s post was all about learning how to be a pilot 🙂 so that you can be confident that you are heading in the right direction – and be aware when you’re wiggling 🙂  (That word makes me giggle!)

And today? Well, it’s already Day 10 and that means that the 12 Days of Christmas project is nearing its end. I thought that today might be a lovely opportunity to check in with what you’re learning as we did on the 5th day. As you continue to check in, I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the progress you’re making, the changes that are occurring and the insights you are gaining. How much more have you learned since the last “Epiphany” on Day 5?

What are you learning that's of value to you?

What are you learning that’s of value to you?

Activity 1 : Your Second Epiphany! As you look back over the whole project , what are the 3 most significant gifts (in terms of learning, insight and awareness) that engaging with this process has brought to you ?  What is changing as a result of your learning? What have you learned in the last 5 days that’s different to what you learned in the first 5?

Activity 2 : Complete The Following Statements

1.Right now food means __________ to me.

2. I would describe my relationship with my body as ______________

3. I know I’m present in my body when ________________________

4. When I look in the mirror I say to myself _____________________

5. Considering the future, in terms of my relationship with food and with my body, I feel ___________________________________________

6. The thought of processing my emotions without the help of food is ____

7. I could support myself on my weight loss journey by ______________

8. My body is ___________________________________________

9. I am becoming more _____________________________________

10. It’s now time for me to stop __________ and to start _____________

The best way to do this exercise is to be as honest as you can! Let whatever comes up, come out 🙂 And as you consider how you’ve completed each of the statements, what are you noticing? What’s changed? What’s new? What would you like to resolve? Are you heading in the right direction for you? (You may sense more statements coming up naturally : let ’em out and learn!)

If anything comes up that you’re not comfortable with, ask yourself this question: “So, this is how/what I’m feeling/thinking/talking/experiencing right now. How do I want to be different?” (Just a wee nudge – remember to answer this positively. Not how you don’t want to be BUT how you DO want to be!)

Remember to fuel the flames!

Remember to fuel the flames!

As you ask this question, you might want to revisit my post on goal-setting and how to get in the mood for action!  Here’s the link : https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2013/01/01/energising-action/

As soon as you feel the powerful, positive state emerging, just ask yourself what’s the next smallest step I could take to help me to keep heading in the right direction? (Then take it 🙂 and use your pilot’s licence :)).

Please feel free to share your learning :sometimes what you’re learning can be a fabulous gift for others (and can really help pennies to drop!)

So that’s us for Day 10 (oh and if you are playing the Get The Message game, we are already on the 3rd and final word..Just 2 more letters to go – but I’m sure, even with a few letters missing,  you’ve got the complete message already!)

Gotta run :)!

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

 

Act In A Response-Able Way!

Welcome to the 9th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here: https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/  and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)

Yesterday’s post was all about setting goals, harnessing the positive energy attached to your goals and taking your first small step towards success. I wonder how well it went for you?  More importantly, I wonder how you will recognise whether it’s going well for you now and in the future!

Your ability to recognise whether you are “on track”, heading in the direction of your outcomes, or not “on track” is really important. If you recognise that you are not “on track”, then it’s really important to be able to take appropriate action, to make fine adjustments, to make sure you’re heading towards success.

Be like a pilot!

Be like a pilot!

I remember someone telling me once about training to be a pilot. I was fascinated to learn that if you track an actual (as opposed to “planned”) flight-path from A to B, it never turns out to be a straight line : it’s always a wiggle! I learned that planes spend quite a bit of time “off- track” and that the pilot’s job is to pay attention to all the dials in the cockpit, so that he can see when the “wiggle” starts and take action (increase speed, lift the nose, bank slightly and so on). So, it’s not only about knowing where you want to land, it’s also about checking that you are always headed in the right direction and taking appropriate and timely action should you “wiggle” :).

If you spent yesterday setting or re-setting weight loss, wellness or fitness goals, the most helpful thing you could do for yourself right now is to:

1. Decide which “dials” you can pay attention to that will help you determine whether you need to take action or confirm you are “on-track”

2. Turn up your “sensory acuity” so you can pick up / interpret the information from the “dials” as soon as there is any change.

3. Be ready to take action, make adjustments and re-check the dials to make sure the adjustment had the desired effect.

Learn how to read the dials!

Learn how to read the dials!

The Dials : If you take a look at the answers to the questions I asked you yesterday, you’ll find some of the key dials for your cockpit. What will you be tracking? Your weight loss? Your body fat percentage? The size of the clothes you are wearing? Your resting heart rate? How comfortable you are feeling in your body? How much you recognise yourself in the mirror as “the real you”? How much energy you’ve got? How well you’re listening to and respecting your appetite? Your relationship with your body?

Look at your answers to yesterdays question and decide what’s best for you to track.

Sensory Acuity This bit is really all about your response – ability. It’s all very well having dials but you have to know how to read the dials and interpret the information in a way which will inform intelligent action.

Let’s take an example dial of “your relationship with your body”. In order to “read” this dial, you might engage a range of senses :

1. When you look at your body, how do you feel (are you feeling more or less positive)?

2. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what are you saying to yourself (are you hearing positive self-talk or not so positive self-talk?)

3. When you sit down to eat, how much attention are you paying to your physiological appetite (To what degree are present when you’re eating? Are you becoming more skilled at recognising the difference between emotional signals and genuine appetite signals? Are you more or less connected to the physiological feelings? Are you respecting the feelings or not? Are you stopping when you are satisfied or are you continuing to eat? Do you know the feeling of satisfaction? How much better are you at recognising the feeling of satisfaction? Are you only eating when you are physiologically hungry?

4. Do you trust your body? (How do you know? What are you feeling, seeing, hearing or experiencing that lets you know that you’re trusting your body – or not?)

Response-Able Action Having interpreted the dials , you now know the degree to which you are “on track” or not! If you are heading in the right direction : great ~ just keep an eye on the dials! If you’re “wiggling” a little, make an appropriate adjustment! Let’s say, for example, I realise that  I’m not moving in the right dial direction with the relationship with my body because I’m not fully present when I’m eating. A response-able action might be to renew my Day 1 “Pleasure Permit” (I forgot to mention that your Pleasure Permit is valid for life, by the way!) or I might use my Entry Permit from Day 2 to re-connect with my body.

Top Tips!

1. When assessing the validity of your adjustments, you might find this question helpful : “Is the action I’m about to take going to move me towards or away from my outcome ?”

2. “Wiggling” is part of the journey : it can give you new insights and new perspectives (all the best pilots do it :)). In fact, you might even want to giggle when you wiggle because when you’re wiggling, your learning – and the more you learn, the more intelligent the subsequent action will be!

Additional Resources If you’d enjoy some more top tips for “effortless success” in 2013, you might like to join the brilliant Kate Trafford over at Cruise Control For Life. Yesterday, she launched a series of posts which you’ll find really helpful if you are in “New Year Resolution” mode! There’s a feast of learning to be had (and she’s a total goal-setting guru and a muse for effortless success!)  http://katetrafford.typepad.com/cruisecontrol/

Gotta run :)! (#Giggling-While-I’m-Wiggling :))

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

Energising Action!

Welcome to the 8th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here: https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/  and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)

First things first : a very happy New Year to you and I hope this post finds you in fine fettle! Yesterday’s post was all about developing your own nutritional philosophy and today’s post acknowledges what many of us may be doing today : setting intentions for 2013. We’re going to be taking a look at how to set outcomes and take action geared towards achieving your outcomes, geared towards helping you to “stay on track”!

Learn how to fuel the flames of action!

Learn how to fuel the flames of action!

Last night, I spent a wonderful evening in front of a roaring fire. The Christmas tree sparkled in the corner .The dog stretched out in bliss. My partner, Ian and I sat all cosy on the sofa. I felt a deeply satisfying sense of “home”. (If Barry Manilow had been playing on the stereo and my partner had been wearing his Indiana Jones hat, it would have been the icing on the Christmas cake :)).

As you and I have known each other for 7  full days, I feel I can be open with you. Truth be told, last night I was so in the mood. Conditions were perfect 🙂

If you are blushing whilst reading this, relax! I was in the mood for setting an intention, for setting a goal of moving into,and making, a new home in 2013.And the conditions were perfect for setting that intention because I was already experiencing what it would be like to feel completely at home. Let me explain a little more…

Feeling completely “at home” last night was a really big deal for me because it has been a very long time since I have felt at home. I moved from Scotland to Northern Ireland in Summer 2011. I moved from my own home into someone else’s. I thought I would soon feel at home but I didn’t.Even with the prospect of my partner and I moving into a farmhouse that we could renovate and “make our home”, I just couldn’t get excited about it. I couldn’t even talk about it without feeling quite distant and totally disconnected. I didn’t unpack a lot of my belongings (they, like me, just didn’t seem to belong!) and I often thought about Scotland. Ian kept taking me to the farmhouse, asking for layout suggestions, colour schemes and even oven specifications (he knows I love cooking and hoped that would get me interested in the house move). None of it lit any kind of flame at all in me.  So, here we are right now in January 2013 and we are still not moved in. And, until last night, I felt like we were still living in a “stop-gap” house in Limbo, County Antrim. Nothing felt permanent. It didn’t feel like home at all.

Positive energy can be a powerful force!

Positive energy can be a powerful force!

Last night it all changed.  Feeling the intensely satisfying feelings of connection, love, belonging and home, I heard myself set an intention to move into the farmhouse. That’s right – whilst I was feeling all those good feelings, the words just popped out! Ian and I talked the house into life as the embers warmed our imaginations. I could see it right in front of me, I could smell the food from the farmhouse kitchen, I could hear my son playing teenage music in the tree-house nearby and I could feel myself belonging to that place. I could feel myself in the bricks and in the roots of the orchard trees and in the soil which would provide us with food. I was in a state of utter connectedness.

When Ian realised that I had “moved in” right in front of his very eyes, he asked me, “What’s one small step we could take, to get the wheels in motion for our move?”

After I’ve published this post, I’ll be checking out internet coverage. That’s my next small step that will take me closer to my outcome. And guess what state I might want to be in while I’m taking that step? That’s right, I’ll be getting myself into the “feeling at home” state, the feeling of “utter connectedness”. That way, I’ll be feeling really good while I’m taking the action and any following small steps I plan will be pulled along by the positive energy attached to my goal (to make a new home). My focus is clearly set on making Northern Ireland my home, rather than on a wistful ache for Scotland.

So, if you’re sitting there, scratching your head and asking “what’s this got to do with me making a New Year’s resolution about weight loss ?” Well, if you think back to times in the past when you’ve resolved to lose weight once and for all – and then found it an incredible struggle to keep your resolve, chances are that you may not have been in the optimal state for setting your goal / intention or for taking action. And the chances are that when you considered the steps to achieving your goal, it suddenly looked huge and overwhelming because you felt pressure to do it all at once!

Keep your attention and energy heading in the direction pf your outcome!

Keep your attention, energy and action heading in the right direction!

Today, I’m going to share with you a process for setting your intentions for 2013 which helps you to focus on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. So, I was focused on not feeling at home, feeling disconnected and Scotland ~ rather than focusing on feeling at home, belonging and Northern Ireland. People who want to lose weight often focus on how bad they feel about their body instead of how good they’d like to be feeling about it, for example. Is the penny beginning to drop about what happens when your focus, attention and energy is not fully aligned with your outcome? Achieving your outcome may turn out to be less than easy, right? The process I am about to share with you will also help you to identify and access the powerful positive states attached to your outcome, so that you can use this energy to plan and take the next step. And the invitation is to take small steps : this way change will be evolving gradually and it will feel more manageable as you experience regular small successes that keep you heading in the right direction.

Here’s How To Do It Ask yourself the following questions (I give some example answers just to help clarify the process). Go into the changing room of life and try the questions on fully 🙂

1. What do you want? (State your outcome positively and in the present )

A : I am feeling comfortable, healthy and confident in my body. I am living a healthy for-lifestyle.

2. How will you know that you’ve got what you want? (What are you seeing, hearing, feeling that lets you know you’ve achieved your outcome? Engage all your senses!)

A : I am enjoying shopping for clothes. I am looking in the mirror and recognising myself for the first time in a very long time. My skin feels as though it fits perfectly. I feel like this body is me. I feel at home 🙂 I am taking real pleasure nourishing myself with food that my body enjoys. I am physically active.

3. When do you want it?

A wee tip here, if you’ve struggled with your weight in the past, you’re probably answering this with something like “tomorrow” or “yesterday” 🙂 . I understand that  AND I also know that very short time frames can pile on the pressure. So give this question some consideration, knowing that while you’re losing weight you are probably going to be in a much more positive state this time and you might even enjoy the process of becoming healthy! (And you know what happens when you give yourself permission for pleasure and you take all the pressure off, right?) When I took action to lose weight, I decided that I would achieve my goal at the perfect time for me and I would just concentrate on enjoying the “getting there” bit. I was clear about my outcome, I kept it in mind and I literally took one small step after the other until one day I realised I had “arrived” !

4. Having achieved your outcome, how will you be BEING different as a person? (This is the powerful positive energy that you can ride towards your outcome. The idea here is to actually experience this state of being now. The additional questions I ask help to bring the state of being to life.).

A : Unstoppable

What’s that like? Where do you feel it in your body? Does the feeling have a colour? Is it moving or still? Is it warm or cold? Where does the feeling start in your body?

A : Wow. It’s hot, red and really high-energy. It feels like it’s pulling me along. I can barely contain it. It’s right in my stomach and in my chest.

5. When you feel the positive state of being emerging (so you’re actually feeling the feelings), ask what’s the next smallest step you could take TODAY to move towards achieving your outcome?

A : I’m off for a 15-minute stroll.

(Reminder : evolution requires much less effort than revolution. Small steps soon add up as long as the small steps are heading in the right direction 🙂 )

And that’s all there is to it. We’ll talk more about achieving your outcomes tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you really enjoy getting into some deliciously positive states that will energise your action! Oh – and do take the next smallest step and share your experiences in the comments box!(I’ll ask you how it went tomorrow :))

All this talk of being unstoppable has brought on a sudden urge! Are you in the mood for a change too?

Gotta run 🙂 !

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

Connect, Communicate and Collaborate!

Re-Connecting!

Re-Connecting!

Welcome to the 4th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here: https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/  and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)

Yesterday’s post was all about your going inside your body to locate your appetite and to learn about it. By getting back in touch with your appetite, you can begin listen to it and to build a respectful connection with it. We’ll review the results of your 3-day Appetite Awareness Action Adventure in a few days time 🙂

“Come on then! What’s on today’s menu?” (I know you are raring to go now 🙂 !) Well, today’s all about your deepening your connection with your appetite and your body.

Let’s just look at things from a relationship angle for a moment. Imagine being in a relationship (a couple) where one is communicating very clearly and the other isn’t listening or can’t understand the communication. Imagine a relationship where one is communicating honestly and directly and the other offers a wall of silence or disdain.  Imagine being in a relationship where one is doing nearly all the “housework” and the other takes it all for granted or just goes around making a mess. Imagine a relationship where one regularly offers thoughtful or useful gifts and the other does not appreciate the significance of the gift or destroys the gift every time the couple gets into an argument. Imagine a relationship where one offers unconditional love and the other offers only crumbs of affection when their partner is “looking good” or “behaving themselves”. Imagine a relationship where one offers steadfast fidelity and the other leaves at the drop of a hat (and then returns, knowing that open arms await them in spite of how cruel they have been).

Build a loving and respectful relationship!

Build a loving and respectful relationship!

Now, consider the relationship with your own body and your own appetite. Read that last paragraph again. Ring any bells?! If it does, then maybe today is the day that you and your appetite/body are ready for some relationship coaching! And I’m not going to pull any punches here : I’m going to be straight with you. Brace yourself. Here it comes… Your appetite-body is the “good guy” here and, as my mum (married to my father for almost 50 years now) would say to me about my partner “It’s great that he accepts you for who you are. Make sure you look after him, make sure you are kind to him, make sure you let him know how much you appreciate him: he’s your rock. And, if times ever get tough, just remember to keep talking.”

(Oh – and if you are packing your bags ready for a guilt trip. Just stop right there! It’s worth remembering that most of us are doing the best we can with the resources we have at the time. Today’s activity isn’t about feeling guilt : it’s about learning, it’s about listening, it’s about dialogue and it’s about starting the process of rebuilding a healthy relationship.)

So are you in? Are you up for re-building your relationship with your body and with your appetite? Great! This next activity is all about your building a healthy relationship with your appetite/body based on a loving connection, honest communication and genuine collaboration (teamwork!)

Consider things from all angles!

Consider things from all angles!

Relationship-Building Barry Manilow-Style 🙂(Really – I’m actually quite a fan of his :)) Do you remember that song of  Barry’s (we are on first-name terms, obviously :P) called “Bermuda Triangle”? There is a GREAT line in that classic that goes something like this : “Bermuda Triangle, try to see things from my angle.” And this next exercise could have been designed by the man himself : it’s all about looking at a relationship from several angles (or perspectives) so that you can achieve a deeper understanding of the relationship and  gain new insights which may help you on your quest to improve the relationship.

 The Set-Up You’ll need 3 chairs for this activity. Take the chairs and place them in a triangle configuration. Chair 1 is the chair for you / you in your head / your mind (you choose whichever works best for you). Chair 2 is the chair for your appetite or your body (you choose whichever works best for you). Chair 3 is the expert chair / the Oprah chair 🙂 / the all-knowing chair or the higher-self chair (choose the description which appeals most to you).

Here’s how to do it! I’m now going to offer you a framework for this exercise and some suggested questions to ask / answer in each chair. However, once you get the hang of it, feel free to play with the process and have the conversation that you need to have to get the kind of relationship you want!

 1. Sit in chair 1 and look at chair 2 (your appetite/body chair). Create a visual representation of your appetite / body in Chair 2 and now CONNECT with your body/appetite in a way that is right for you. You can do this by greeting it or smiling at it – or even waving at it. What’s important is to acknowledge it! Now, talking to your appetite/body, explain how you feel about your body/appetite right now AND explain the kind of relationship you would like to have with your body/appetite instead. Acknowledge your part in the relationship “break-down” (some people actually like to apologise, express love and gratitude at this point. My advice is, just do what feels right for you at each stage of the process). Explain why having a healthy relationship is important to you. If you are clear about some of the actions you are prepared to take to improve the relationship, let your body / appetite know what you are prepared to do.

Tip : do not edit or consciously mediate your words. Let the words that come up, come out 🙂

Worth noting : what feelings come up as you are talking to your body / appetite? As you made the representation of your appetite / body, did it surprise you? Did it remind you of anybody or anything?

It can be a very moving experience!

It can be a very moving experience!

2. Stand up from chair 1 and get ready to “access” your body / appetite. Imagine yourself stepping fully inside the “mind”of your body/appetite – so that you have the experience of “becoming” your appetite / body. Sit in chair 2 and start to communicate with chair 1. This is your chance (appetite / body) to be really heard  Respond to what was said in chair 1, describe the kind of relationship you would like with your mind / your head / you , let chair 1 know what you think about their suggestions for improving the relationship. Offer your own suggestions for improving the relationship.

Tip : to gain the most valuable insights, make sure you are fully associated to the representation of your body / appetite. Really “see” things from your body’s / appetite’s point of view.

Worth noting : what feelings come up as you are talking to chair 1 from chair 2?

3. Now, stand up and move over to chair 3 – I’ll call it the Relationship Expert’s chair. Before sitting down, make a visual representation of the owner of chair 3 and then imagine yourself floating into “the expert”, so that you are fully associated to this position. In this position you are outside the relationship looking in and your value to the relationship is the ability to offer a more dissociated perspective. From this position, answer the following questions : what needs to happen for this relationship to move forwards? How can this couple collaborate better and become a team? What does the head / mind / you have to do in order to build a healthy relationship with the body / appetite ? What could the body / appetite do to support the relationship-building process. What advice / feedback would you have for either chair 1 or chair 2 or the relationship? Give a small task or activity that this couple could do today to start to re-build a collaborative partnership.

Tip : this can be a very powerful position for insights when you are able to remain dissociated from both chair 1 and chair 2.

Worth noting : were you pleasantly surprised at your level of relationship expertise? (It’s not call the Expert Chair for nothing!)

4. Now return to chair 1, fully associating yourself to your head / mind / you . Having heard the views from chair 2 and chair 3, what insights have you gained? What’s changed for you ? How are you feeling about the future of the relationship at this very moment? What’s the next smallest step you can take right now towards building a deep and respectful connection with your body / appetite? Thank both chair 2 and chair 3 for their contributions to the conversation.

Tip : you may want to continue this conversation, spending time in the chairs which give you the greatest insight (that’s usually chair 2 and/or chair 3 :))

Worth noting : write down all your learning in your journal.  You’re beginning to access some of your deepest body wisdom – it’s really worth recording this momentous event!

Sometimes a good honest conversation can transform a relationship. I wonder how this conversation will transform yours. I wonder what you’ll discover that may transform your perception of your body or appetite…

Gotta run 🙂 !

JT

© Jane Talbot 2012

Welcome to The Thigh-High Boot Camp!

A very warm welcome to you! I invite you to watch this short welcome video if you’d like to get a better feel for what I’m about :

  • Are you unhappy about your weight or your body?
  • Are you fed up of dieting?
  • Have you had enough of looking at yourself in the mirror and saying things about yourself that even your worst enemy wouldn’t say to you?
  • Are you fed up of waiting to live the life you want, and feel the way you want to feel, because you feel your weight is getting in the way?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place! And if you think this is one of those strict military- type boot camps – that just isn’t what I’m  about (that’s because I know you’ve read every diet book going and you’ve probably started many an exercise regime too.. and it’s still not working out for you.)

This is not a diet. This is not an exercise programme. This is a heart-warming, soul-nourishing feast of learning that offers you the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with your emotional appetite and to get back in touch with your natural body wisdom.

If you have struggled with your weight for too long, now is the time to end the battle and discover what all graduates of the Thigh-High Boot Camp know : give your weight a piece of your mind and it’ll give you the peace you’ve been looking for all this time 😉

For full details of the (women-only) Thigh High Boot Camp (what it is and how it works), just click on “About The Boot Camp”.

What are you weighting for?!

Jane Talbot  😉