Entry Permit Stamped : We’re Going In!

Come on in!

Come on in!

Welcome to Day 2 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!)

On the 1st Day of Christmas, it was all about getting in touch with our senses, learning to notice the difference between feeling satisfied and feeling full, learning to be present when eating and learning how rituals can nourish us at many different levels (it’s not only food that nourishes us!). Most of all, yesterday was about pleasure – really understanding the finer distinctions of what pleasure means to you within the context of eating. I’m sure that many of you will have been surprised by the experience and I look forward to hearing about what you learned!

If you remember right back to the project launch post (the one with the wee video about cross-country skiing :)), I mentioned that a big part of this project was all about your learning to listen to your body’s signals, decode the signals effectively and then respect the signals by taking congruent action. Some people would call this getting in touch with your natural body wisdom – the part of you that knows how to regulate your appetite for your optimal health and your optimal weight.

So. Here’s the thing. If you want to be able to pay attention to your body’s signals, you really need to be in your body to get the full message! And that’s what the 2nd Day of Christmas is all about : your getting back into your body. Sounds weird? Well, many of us who have struggled with our weight often retreat to our heads and dissociate ourselves from our body. We don’t feel comfortable with our body, so we do (what seems to be) the perfectly rational thing and get out! The only thing is, when we leave our body in this way, we also lose touch with its very important body messages (like “I told you to stop eating : you are completely satisfied, so put down your knife and fork and back away from the table with your arms in the air!” or “Hey – you are not hungry, you are just tired and emotional : go to bed!”.. you get the picture, right? :)) – the very messages that, when respected, would help us to experience increasing comfort and confidence in our own body.

Move out of your head and into your body

Move out of your head and into your body.

That’s right folks, today we’re going in! And to support your going in, here’s a lovely exercise to help you to move out of your head and into your body. Most people find it really relaxing 🙂 and some people find that certain emotions may come up as they begin to re-connect with a very vital part of who they are. Everyone who does this exercise learns something : and I wonder how curious you are discover what you’ll learn that is of importance to your weight loss journey?

Getting Ready Get yourself comfortable in a chair. Make sure it’s quiet and that external distractions (noise, for example) are kept to a minimum, where possible. You can also do this in the bath or the shower!

Step 1 : Close your eyes and move your attention to your breathing.

Where are you breathing from? Is it deep or shallow? How slowly are you breathing? How is the rest of your body responding to your breathing? When you inhale, what is happening in the rest of your body (allow your abdomen to expand as you take in a each new breath)? When you exhale, what is happening in the rest of your body (allow your abdomen to contract as you exhale each breath)? Are you able to breath from your abdomen? What are you noticing about your breathing as you pay more attention to it? And as you are becoming more connected to your breathing ….

Step 2 : Allowing your breathing to dictate the rhythm and speed of exploration, begin to expand your awareness further into your body (outwards from the point in your body where your breathing starts.)

Just like ripples in a pond, as you exhale, spread your awareness further into your body by gradual increments. As you inhale, bring your awareness back to the core, back to the location where your breathing begins.

On each exhale, focus on the new field of awareness. What are you noticing? How are you experiencing your body now? On each exhale, bring all your insights back to the core. The slower you go, the more you’ll notice 🙂

Repeat this process, until your awareness has reached the outer layers of your body and the extremities (your head, toes, fingers and so on). Oh – and here’s a top tip : make sure you become aware of your heart and your stomach (they are both really worth a visit! After all, if you’ve had a bellyful of not being happy with your body, it’s really worth getting to the heart of the matter J)

Get connected to your own rhythm.

Get connected to your own rhythm.

Step 3 : Get connected! With fully expanded awareness, and returning to the core of your breathing with every in-breath , consider the following questions :

What are you noticing about the rhythm of YOU? Where in your body is the very source of you? Where is your real rhythm ? How connected do you feel to your body right now? How would you describe that connection? What’s present that’s usually missing? What’s missing that’s usually present? Who or what are you in this very moment?

Step 4 : Keep The Connection Keeping your attention on the location where your breathing begins and keeping your attention on the rhythm of your breathing, open your eyes. As you open your eyes, begin to spread your awareness to your surroundings. Pay attention to what you are seeing, hearing and smelling – and to external tactile sensations (What does the chair feel like against your legs? What is the temperature of the room like?). And (this is the clincher!), as you begin to move your awareness to the outside, make sure you keep connected to your breathing on the inside! (This may take a little practice!)

And that’s us for the 2nd Day of Christmas! And, of course, this is something that you can do as often as you like, to condition being present in your body. This way, sooner or later, your natural body-state of being will be “presence”.

Again, I recommend that you journal this experience, just noticing new insights each time you get fully associated, each time you get connected to your physical body. Also, feel free to make the process your own – modify it to fit you and your body.

Okay – so it’s the 26th December and that’s a special ritual day for me. It means a long post-breakfast run. So, I’ll leave you to open more “presence” 🙂

Gotta run! 🙂

JT

© Jane Talbot 2012

Pleasure Permits Issued For The 1st Day Of Christmas!

Permission to proceed!

Permission to proceed!

Welcome to the first post of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (Oh – and a very merry Christmas to you too!) So, here’s the deal. Over the next 12 days, I’ll be blogging about how to “stay on track” over the festive period (you can get the full low-down on what I mean by staying on track and how it’s going to work here:

https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/ )

“But it’s only the 24th December and it’s not the 1st Day of Christmas until tomorrow!” I hear you shouting. That’s right, it is – and sometimes it’s good to open presents early so that you can make sure that they are all ready for use on Christmas Day. (I’m just making sure you have the metaphorical batteries, plugs and adaptors in place to have the full festive fun tomorrow :))

Okay, brace yourself. Here comes Top Tip Number 1 for your staying on track over the Christmas period :

Your pleasure permit is valid!

Your pleasure permit is valid!

Give yourself full permission to enjoy the festive food you’d really like to be having. Take full pleasure in eating and in the ritual of sharing food.  Yes. You read that right. If you want to have turkey with all the trimmings, goose with all the glitter or pheasant with all the finery – go right ahead and have it.  The thing is, most of us who have struggled with diets in the past know that this can be a pretty grim time of year if we feel that we have to stick to a set of diet rules (no matter what) and yet every inch of us wants to eat what everyone else is enjoying. Feelings of deprivation hang like an angry black cloud over festive gatherings – and it’s not just about the food, it’s also about missing out on all the associations linked with the food (l know that, for me, all my childhood Christmases are contained in a spoonful of my grandmother’s bread sauce :). Bread sauce IS Christmas.)

So. What if you didn’t have to feel deprived? What if you could go right on ahead and lap up the full pleasure of Christmas and “stay on track” by respecting your body’s natural signals?  Do you want to know how to do that? Are you willing to experiment ? Are you in? Brilliant! Here’s what to do tomorrow (and relax. If you opened this “present” early, feel free to play and have fun with it straight away!)

1. Give yourself full permission to take pleasure in enjoying the food you would like to be eating. You might want to say it out loud while looking in a mirror, or write it down. Notice what feelings or thoughts come up, if any. Handle negative thoughts or feelings (such as guilt or “that’s me off the wagon”) by explaining to yourself :

1)     Why it’s important for you to be able to enjoy eating festive food and to be able to feel that you are taking part an important ritual.

2)     That you’ll be respecting your body’s signals in a way that has benefits for both your physical and emotional health.

2. Be present while you’re eating. Every time you eat, do the following : 

0)     Remind yourself that you have given yourself a full Pleasure Permit!

1)     Ask yourself “Does this look good?” .What is it about the food that looks appealing?

2)     Ask yourself “Does this smell good?” What is it about the aroma of the food that I find so appealing?

3)     As you put the food into your mouth, ask yourself “Does this taste good?”  Which flavours stand out?  What does this food feel like in your mouth?  What do you enjoy about the texture of this food?

4)     As the food travels from your mouth and into your stomach, ask yourself “How am I experiencing this? Does this feel good?”

5)     Chew slowly, savour every sensory aspect of the experience and rest between each mouthful, asking yourself “How satisfied am I already? Have I had enough?”

3. Eat only when you are experiencing FULL pleasure (you can eat whatever you want, as long as you are really enjoying it). If the food looks good, smells good, tastes good and feels good – that’s full pleasure and you can go ahead and eat until you are satisfied. If it’s not giving you full-on pleasure, put your knife and fork down and leave it.

4. Stop when you are SATISFIED rather than FULL. The feeling of being satisfied is usually a pleasurable one, easier to pay attention to when you are operating at SLOW speed! This is not about stopping at the point at which the seams are about to burst (which, for most of us, is not pleasurable at all), this is about continually tuning it to what your body is telling you. If it’s been a while since you’ve paid attention to your body’s signals, this step could be a little hit and miss to start with. However, the invitation is for you to pay exquisite attention to your body’s communications and see if you can work out the point at which you should put the knife and fork down (no matter what is left on your plate). Here’s a tip – feeling satisfied often comes well before the feeling of fullness :). I recommend you making a mental note of your evidence for feeling satisfied as the 12 Days of Christmas project progresses (you might want to ask yourself the questions “How do I know when I am satisfied?” “What’s going on in my body that lets me know I’m fully satisfied?”)

Savour it all!

Savour it all!

5. Be present to the fullness of the ritual – savour it all! Whether you are on your own or with friends and family, as you are eating, pay full attention to the other pleasurable aspects of the experience. Who/what is bringing fun to the table? Who/what is bringing peace? What is familiar about the festive ritual you are enjoying? What is new that is bringing you pleasure? What are the positive connections between you and others at the table? If you are on your own, what is pleasurable about connecting with yourself at this very moment? What pleasurable emotions are you feeling as you nourish yourself with the experience? Where do you feel them the most in your body? Ask yourself, what does the ritual of sharing food with myself and/or with others mean to me right now?

So that’s you – all set for the first day of Christmas! You’ll be learning a heap of stuff about your appetite and your body over the next 12 days : many people like to keep a journal of their experiences when undertaking a project like this and I’d really recommend this approach. (You might want to consider some of the following questions : What happened when you gave yourself full permission to eat what you wanted? Did any food you expected to be totally pleasurable actually turn out to be not so pleasurable at all? Did some foods taste good but not feel good? Do you know the difference between feeling satisfied and feeling full? What is the difference for you? Did some foods not actually taste how you “remembered” them tasting? What did you learn about your relationship with food, your body and the ritual of eating today?)

Please feel free to share your 1st Day of Christmas experiences by posting a comment. If you have any questions, leave them as a comment too and I’ll post an answer as soon as I can.

Your next “present” will arrive for unwrapping on the 26th December 🙂 In the meantime, focus on your own present and savour every pleasurable moment!

Right, that’s me – I’ve a turkey to roast and that bread sauce to make!

Gotta run 🙂

JT

© Jane Talbot 2012

Welcome To The 12 Days Of Christmas Project!

With only 7 sleeps to go before the big “Ho Ho Ho!!”, it’s time to launch my 12 Days of Christmas project! If you are already on a weightloss journey and would enjoy support over the festive period, or if you are considering making 2013 the year that you make peace with food and with your body, then I’d be thrilled to welcome you to join me (it’s FREE!)

Everything you need to know about how the project will work is included in the short 10-minute video (below).  A snack-sized text version of the project information is also available (it’s underneath the video!)

If you’re feeling anxious about “staying on track” over the festive season, this blog-supported 12-day project is for you! Over the course of 12 days, I’ll be sharing tips and activities that will not only help you to “stay on track” but will also offer you the opportunity to ditch the “carrot sticks ‘n’ low-fat dips” menu. (It sounds like all your Christmases have come at once, doesn’t it? Well, if you can get in touch with your own natural body wisdom – and respect it – not only will Christmas never be the same again, your relationship with both food and your body will be totally transformed :))

Watch the video to discover the link between skis and this project!

Watch the video to discover the link between skis and this project!

If you are ready to give yourself a Christmas gift that will help you to break free from the dieting paradigm, all you have to do is click on the “Sign Me Up!” button on the right-hand navigation bar and just wait for your first “gift” to arrive in your email in-box on Christmas Eve (it’s okay to open this gift early!)

Oh – and there’s an added bonus! Each of the 12 “gift blogs” will have a title. If you take the first letter from each title ( in sequence), it will spell out a festive message just for you 🙂 (I wonder how quickly you’ll get the message……)

Gotta run (I’ve got gifts to wrap for you!)

JT

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  😉