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

 

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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

Observe, Learn And Let Go!

When the shadow is respected, full beauty emerges.

When the shadow is respected, full beauty emerges.

Welcome to the 6th 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 reviewing what you’ve learned so far (and it’s a really good idea to review your learning on a regular basis : you may be pleasantly surprised at how much progress you are making 🙂 )

Today is all about exploring the contents of your 3-day food diary in a little more detail. You may have guessed by this stage that the most useful aspect of this exercise isn’t necessarily the recording of the food you eat .Some of the most useful aspects of keeping such a diary are:

1. It helps you to become consciously aware of some automatic patterns you may be running (which may no longer be serving you).

2. It encourages you to spend time in your body so that you can get connected to physiological signals.

3. It helps you to re-learn the difference between an emotional signal and a physiological hunger signal.

Today, we’re going to focus on emotional signals . We’re going to learn how to recognise an emotion by observing it . We’re going to learn how to learn from the emotion (emotions are very powerful forms of communication : are you getting the message?). And finally, we are going to learn a simple technique to help you to process the emotion and let it go.

The theme of the 12 Days of Christmas project is all about your learning to “stay on track” naturally. One way of staying on track is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full: sounds so simple, doesn’t it? So why isn’t it that simple for all of us?

Well, it comes right back to being in your body. To be in touch with the signals, you really have to be close enough to the signal to hear it – that means getting back into your body and spending enough time there to know what each signal means. And when you know what each signal means, it’ about responding appropriately. Eat to respect a hunger signal : that seems obvious enough 🙂 But how do you respect an emotional signal?

Well, that’s what today’s activity is all about.

The Set-Up Take a look at your food diary and notice which emotions are present at the point at which you experience “hunger”. Which are your not-so-positive “regular visitors” 🙂 ? Sometimes, we are not sufficiently present in our body (or so out of touch with our emotions) that we are not able to name the emotion. If this sounds like you, check through your food diary for physiological feelings that didn’t feel good. Is there a pattern of physiological feelings that occurs at the point of “hunger”?

When I first got back into my body, I had absolutely no idea what anything meant at all! I experienced a lot of physical agitation and tenseness at the time of feeling “hunger”. I later decoded this message as “anxiety” (but it took me a while!)

A Little Note For Those Of You Who May Not Be Feeling Totally Comfortable Right Now. You are about to spend time with an emotion – and it’s been a while. It’s a bit like going on a date for the first time in a very long time and not even being sure whether you even like your date! You may be feeling nervous , even a little afraid  And you might want to respect those feelings by going gently with this process. You don’t have to dive in : just dip your toe in to start with. You might just want to start with Steps 1. and 2. After doing this several times (and noticing your increasing comfort), you can move further through the process. GO AT YOUR OWN PACE 🙂 And, if don’t feel ready to engage with your emotions on your own (and you have a genuine desire to get re-connected to them),I would suggest a 1-1 session with a professional. *

Step 1 : The next time you experience “hunger” or a desire to eat, check in with your body and see if one of your regular not-so-positive emotional visitors is present. (Or one of your regular physiological feelings that you don’t really enjoy). How do you know it’s there? What are you experiencing that lets you know that there is an “additional guest” at the table?

Step 2 : Once you know it’s present, welcome your guest in a way that is right for you (I know, it’s all very like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost but it’s important to acknowledge its presence. You may not have acknowledged its presence for some while!)  If you can name the emotion at this stage, do so now. (I do this out loud.). Now invite your guest to leave your body and sit next to you : give the emotion its own place.

Tip : If your guest needs a little help leaving your body, give it a hand! Locate the feeling in your body and imagine pulling it out gently (it’s always good to be kind but sometimes they may need a bit of a tug!) and then place it beside you.

Observe!

Observe!

Step 3 : Observe your guest. Sit at a comfortable distance from the emotion or physiological feeling. How do you know that this feeling isn’t physiological hunger? (That’s important to ask if you were unable to name emotions in your food diary. If you realise that this is actually physiological hunger sitting next to you, thank it for its presence and take action :)). How do you know that this feeling is an emotion? What are you noticing about it? What are you noticing about your own internal responses? What does your guest remind you of? How is it relating to you? How are you relating to it? What are its distinctive qualities? (Answering this question can be really helpful in identifying this as an emotional signal rather than a hunger signal in the future). As time passes, what do you notice about your comfort level? Are you able to move your chair a little closer? What happens if you move it closer? What happens if you move it further away? What is the name of this emotion? Name it now if you were not able to name it at Step 1.

Step 3 : Learn from the emotion. Emotions are a very powerful means of non-verbal communication. After years of experiencing them, we develop skill at decoding the message. Once we get the message, our task then is to take congruent action : that is, respect the message in a way that is supportive of both our mind and our body (and beyond). As we begin to respect the message in this way, our emotions quieten : their job is done.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, yes, if you’ve been in your body for some time and lived amongst your feelings and emotions (the good and the not so good) – in that case, it is easy. However, for those of us, who have only recently arrived back in our body, it may take a little time to get the message and it may take you a while to get used to the “noise” of emotions 🙂

As you sit next to the emotion, ask the following questions:

1 What message, of value to me, is this emotion communicating?

2.What is the positive intention of this emotion? (How is it trying to help me?)

3.What is there for me to learn from this emotion (of a positive nature), the learning of which would allow this feeling to go?

3.What is something I could do to respect the message, something that I feel aligned and okay with? (Avoid life-changing decisions and big commitments at this stage! Take a small step in the right direction 🙂 Learning to listen to your emotions counts as a step :))

4.Thank the emotion for its communication and for trying to help you. (If the help it is offering is no longer relevant for your life today , still thank it and explain how things have changed. This is a version of congruent action.).

Tip 1: If you get the message but you don’t take congruent action, your emotion is unlikely to quieten 🙂

Tip 2: It may take a short while for the insights to arrive. Be patient 🙂 If no answers come up immediately, just sit next to the emotion and wait. If after a while, nothing has come up, complete the process (the answers may arrive at a later time!)

Let it go!

Let it go!

Step 4 : Let it go. Once you have thanked the emotion, you can invite your guest to leave. I do this by imagining the emotion turning into the wind and blowing through my body. As the wind blows through my body, I feel the feeling and bid it good-bye, by name. You may enjoy a very gentle breeze, you may prefer the wind to blow around your body ,or away from your body, instead of through it (although having the emotion go through your body lets you get used to feeling feelings again – and that can be very helpful :)) or you may even prefer to design your own process for letting go!  

I have to tell you that the first time I tried this, I had a real epiphany moment at this stage. I realised that when it was time to let go of the feeling, I didn’t want to! The emotion I was working through at the time was sadness. As I looked at the sadness and acknowledged everything it had done for me, everything it was trying to tell me, I became incredibly sad myself (I am actually crying as I am typing this). I realised that I had enjoyed spending time with my emotion : it felt sacred and I wanted to keep the connection.I was actually feeling the feeling for the first time in a long time. I wasn’t frightened of it at all. In fact, I was suddenly in awe of the gentleness and dignity with which this emotion had handled itself in its attempt to help. It was an utterly tender experience. It was at this very moment that I decided to start respecting my body. It was at this very moment that I decided to start respecting my emotions : all of them.

In a nutshell 🙂 By learning to recognise an emotion and its purpose, we can begin to respect our body and our emotions in new ways. Just pay attention to what’s happening the next time you experience hunger : are you getting the message in a different way? If you begin to listen to your emotions rather than feeding them, what happens?

I look forward to hearing how this works for you!

Gotta run  🙂 ! JT

Group experiences can be nourishing and nurturing!

Group experiences can be nourishing and nurturing!

*If you would like to discuss the possibility of 1-1 coaching sessions (face-to-face or via Skype) with me, do feel free to call or email. If you think that you might enjoy exploring/ resolving your emotional relationship with food in a group setting (it can be fun, transformational and extremely nurturing to work with a group of peolple who really get where you’re coming from), do consider coming along to a live event! The next live events are in Northern Ireland (in Portrush and in Belfast in January and February) and in the England (Warrington in February). Check out this page to find out more https://thighhighbootcamp.com/dates-venues-price/

© Jane Talbot 2012

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  😉