What is NLP?
NLP is a way of tapping into the resources you already have within you but are just unaware of them. It’s a vehicle which helps you amplify the skills, beliefs and help to reach your goals. Bit like when you first learn to drive. You know the names of all the bits of a car, gearstick, clutch etc., but until you learn to drive and use each part of the car together your car won’t move correctly! An NLP practitioner is like a driving instructor.
It’s also a tool to use when you are just unsure of the goals you want to achieve or confused about which path to take to reach your goals. It is a set of tools that allow you to explore in a way you have never explored before and to take a road you never knew existed. Bit like a sat nav and signs on the motorway once you’ve learn to drive your car. Helps you decide where to go and how to get there!
One of the fundamentals of NLP, unlike other therapies, is it embraces everything about you, even the parts of you that frustrate you, e.g. the comfort eating side of you. It allows to accept every part of you and helps you explain the good intention of that part. How it is helping you and serving you. Once you accept every part of you and fully understand what its purpose is for you, the fight and the emotions it brings, guilty and frustration disappear. As that part of you is now your friend not your enemy. In the same instance an example of this is with food. The battle with wanting the foods you know are ‘bad’ for you and you ‘shouldn’t have’, you tend to eat, over eat because you’ve started so you may as well finish, and then the guilt sets in. Whereas if you accept that they are a healthy part of your diet in moderation and the serve a purpose, i.e. as part of a nice experience e.g. a birthday then you are more likely to enjoy less of them and not feel guilt and hence it not affect your weight in the same way as over indulging. So it helps you avoid ‘sabotaging’ your success.
An example of how I have used NLP to help a lady deal with her constant battle with ‘Sabotage’ was using a technique that helped her understand why sabotage kept appearing. Ie she knew that her behaviour was not helping her achieve her goal but couldn’t control sabotage (as she referred to it). So we explored sabotages function, its positive purpose for her. It turned out it was there for pleasure for her. It was telling her to enjoy what she is eating and notice how much pleasure it was giving her. Instead of eating all those ‘bad’ foods so fast and in such large quantities that she didn’t even realise she had eaten them! All she was experiencing was guilt and no pleasure! So sabotage kept knocking because she was totally ignoring its purpose to give pleasure when eating those lovely foods that she thought she would enjoy.
Have you ever decided to go somewhere but you are not sure why and once you get there it wasn’t how you imagined it would be and those around you are not as impressed with the place either? Or you set off on a journey and obstacles just seem stop you from getting there? This often happens when goals/objectives are set without exploring the full impact of that goal. NLP helps you to explore your positive goals like wanting to lose weight or maintaining weight loss, in a way that you have never done before. There is a model that uses well informed outcomes that enable you to truly explore your goal and how it would look, feel, sound and smell to you and your significant others. So that when you are going for your goal, you know what it will be like when you get there. You know how you with feel and how it will impact on others. Often by doing this model people find that their actual goals aren’t weight loss but control over their eating or a healthier relationship with food. Once the true goal is established and the end point looks, feels and sounds good getting there becomes a piece of cake! Excuse the pun, but everything in moderation even cake! Often as a result of identifying the real goal, weight loss or healthy weight maintenance becomes a by-product.
How does NLP work?
It’s a series of models used to explore areas in your life that you would like to change for ever. It works on the principle that we develop neurological pathways to manage certain situations. These are learned and repeated over time, for example: emotional eating when sad etc. NLP helps you to ‘rewire’ if you like your learnt natural response to these situations. So first you might explore other ways of managing that situation, try a few out and then decide on a new way of dealing with the emotional eating until that becomes your normal pattern and emotional eating is then not a problem. As your new pattern becomes part of your normal behaviour, values and beliefs you then ‘rewire’ and form a new learnt neurological pathway and a new YOU. I sometimes refer to it as ‘thinking like a thin person’. It’s a bit like when you first switch from full fat milk to semi skimmed milk. It taste to watery at first, then you get used to it, but then if somebody offers you full fat milk it tastes to fatty. Your taste buds have been ‘rewired’ if you like, to preferring semi skimmed milk.
What is ‘The hunger scale’ model?
This is a fabulous tool. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you eat when its time to eat even though you are not hungry?
Do you often find yourself feeling bloated after each meal?
Do you always finish what’s on your plate even though you are full?
Do you find you have inhaled a meal and not even tasted it or could say what it was you ate?
1 4 5 6 10
1 = just about to faint with hunger 5= comfortable and content 10= after x-mas diner full
The idea is that you firstly learn how you do hunger and full. We all have our own unique neurological signals for how we do hunger and full. NLP helps you to identify your own unique signs. Once you are familiar with your signals you then can use them to work with the hunger scale.
Hunger scale rules:
- Only eat when you are at number 4, irrespective of what time it is.
- Always stop when you are number 6, even if there is food still on your plate.
- Plan ahead to allow you to eat in this way i.e healthy snacks.
- Choose healthy foods 80% of the time, working on the 80/20 rule.
- Eat slowly don’t override your full signal with fast eating
- Notice and pay attention to your food, no screens eg Ipads, phones, tvs etc
- If unsure about if you are at 4 or 6 then stop and don’t eat, because if you were at 4 the feeling and signal would be too strong to ignore and would keep feeling your signal for 4. So then you would eat. If halfway through a meal you weren’t sure if you were at 6, the chances are you are. So Stop eating, you can always eat again later if you are at 4 again. The advantages to living in an affluent society, food is always available!
N.B. this will challenge your beliefs, but the idea is you form new beliefs and relationships with food to help you maintain a healthy weight for life!
If you would like help to explore your signals and develop new pathways and approaches to healthy eating for life call Dimple on Tel:07855502952, and book your first session today. It’s your first step to a new you.