Is there something you would like to do but haven’t because you think it’s outside your comfort zone, BUT you’re actually more uncomfortable not being able to do it? Think about that for a second, you might need to re-read the sentence to process it. Think about losing weight, feeling happy in your body, dancing with energy…..sounds great but the actions that you need to take to get you there URGHH! Right now you don’t feel comfortable doing anything outside of your comfy (yet uncomfortable), sluggish, despondent routine, EVEN though that routine is making you more miserable day by day.
There are many things I don’t want to do; like driving a formula one race car at speed round a race track. As I have no desire to do it, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable not being able to. If I’m not uncomfortable not doing it, by default it can’t be outside my desired comfort zone. I have no racing car comfort zone at all!
Becoming slim may be ‘outside your comfort zone’ but if the reality is that you are more uncomfortable not doing anything about it, you need to respond to yourself differently, as your habits right now aren’t working and they are getting stronger and stronger.
There are many techniques that you can do to help you change how you automatically respond in a situation: one of the best ones is the process of anchoring. We all have many anchors, which work like triggers to elicit a conditioned response. For example, you can be anchored to a smell that immediately reminds you of a specific place and time, or a piece of music, a place, pretty much anything can be anchored. Food is a really powerful emotional anchor. You can be anchored to reaching for a glass of wine and a few cg hunks of chocolate each time you switch on your favourite Netflix box set.
The good news is you can create a new anchor, to collapse an old anchor. I’ll use this video below (recorded in the Summer!) to demonstrate how to set a mood anchor, but here are the basic directions for how to collapse a food craving using anchoring:
1 – Think of a food you crave, but want to stop wanting (e.g. chocolate).
2 – Think of the worst thing you have ever tasted – this needs to be something so repulsive that it makes you retch to even think about it. Perhaps you once ate something that made you physically sick? Now add to that some body fat scraped off the floor of a sauna at the end of the day, mixed in with some hair from a public shower. Mix all these ‘flavours’ together and imagine how they would taste if you have them in your mouth now. Close your eyes and take a moment to really do this, and when the revulsion is at its peak, squeeze the thumb and the index finger of your left hand together as you focus on the taste and the slimy, revolting texture. Imagine what it looks and smells like too.
3 – Create a mind blank by focusing on something different, like a blue elephant for example, then repeat step 2. Do this at least 6 times until as soon as you squeeze your left index finger and thumb, you automatically imagine the taste and the smell, and see in your mind’s eye the revolting mess and want to retch. You have now created a powerful negative anchor.
4 – Now think about the food you want to stop craving – get a sense of the taste, texture and smell, and mix those sensations together with the repulsive mixture, so you have, for example, a chocolaty blob of someone else’s body fat and hair mixed together; use your imagination to really blend and combine the two until they are totally linked. Squeeze your left index finger and thumb again once they are totally combined in your imagination, and when the thought is at its most intense, blank your mind and think about blue elephants. Repeat this at least 6 times.
5 – Now imagine the food you want to stop craving (i.e. chocolate) and if possible, get some in front of you to look at. In your imagination, see the body fat and the hair mixing together with the chocolate and oozing out of it. Really see it in your mind’s eye; smell it, and know it is there – inextricably linked with every single bar of chocolate (or whatever the food is). Now imagine putting that in your mouth: taste the body fat (this has a slimy, sticky texture that leaves a film of fat in your mouth – much like chocolate in fact!) and the hair, along with the food you used to like; imagine that it makes you feel sick. Really sick to your stomach.
Feel the disgusting mixture in your throat and squeeze the same left index finger and thumb together as you imagine needing to retch, because it is so awful – but make yourself chew and then swallow it and then really imagine you do feel even sicker. Taste the vomit. As you do this, squeeze your left index finger and thumb together again and anchor this feeling to this food using this physical signal. The idea is to combine the food you used to like and want to give up with the foods or things that are revolting, so your unconscious mind links them together forever. Every time you think about the food you used to like, you automatically associate it with this horrible experience.
6 – Now stand up and imagine that a giant version of this horrible concoction is right in front of you (perhaps it’s a giant bar of chocolate filled with hair!). In a moment, you are going to imagine it flying towards you at speed and consuming you with its revoltingness. You will need to take a deep breath in – and step through it. It may feel sticky, or heavy and horrible; the hair may feel prickly and it may smell awful. When you have moved through it, feel it and sense it is behind you. I am going to count to three and then it will fly toward you, so imagine you can see it and smell it now: 1- 2 – 3 – POW!
Every time you see the food you used to crave, squeeze your left index finger and thumb together and remember to remember how violently sick it makes you feel; remember this moment. Use the finger squeeze to re-create it any time that you need to.