As a healer and an intuitive in a country that has an obesity problem, I am often asked to help people lose weight. Consuming more food than we need is an especially hard practice to monitor, because, unlike many addictions, eating is not something that we can or should avoid. It is not only a necessity, it also enriches our lives. So the question becomes, “How can you reform your relationship to food, retaining the pleasure of eating but in a way that nourishes you instead of harming you?”
We live in a country with a multi-billion-dollar weight-loss industry. If diets worked, we would all be thin! What all the diets, supplement programs, and food substitute systems ignore is that our conscious choices and disciplines do not run the show. Our subconscious does. Of course, one of the problems with appealing to the ingrained patterns and responses in our subconscious is that, as the name implies, they are SUB-conscious, or below our clear awareness.
The Circle: How the Power of a Single Wish Can Change Your Life is a step-by-step program designed to engage your subconscious, your intuition, your intellect, and your ability to work with your goals instead of against them, by focusing your energy on a single wish. I have learned some key elements of this system from those of my students who have used it to lose weight.
By taking some of these steps right now, you can learn to “Thin Think”:
1. Have a self-affirming goal.
Many weight-loss programs start from a place of self-loathing or feeling unacceptable if you do not conform to society’s standards. The subconscious will fight you every step of the way if it feels that you are in collusion with people and ideas you resent. Write down a goal for yourself that is something you really want, not something you think you have to do.
“I weigh 130 pounds” or “I am thin and attractive” may not be a goal that your subconscious can wrap itself around. Maybe, deep down, you are furious about living in a world where you have to conform to other people’s judgments.
You need to find your own hook. Something that you are doing just for you, and that you will not want to rebel against.
“My body is the healthy, beautiful vehicle that joyfully carries me through my life” may be the right goal for you. Or maybe “I am so lean that everything is pleasant and effortless for me.”
Once you learn to negotiate well with your subconscious, you will find yourself making choices that support you almost without trying.
2. Find pieces of that wish in your moment-to-moment life experience.
In The Circle, we call this Embodiment. It means directly experiencing what you want to achieve without pretending. Embodiment involves allowing yourself to be what you are wishing for now, and to discover parts of that state of being in the moment.
You may not in this moment be in the shape you want to be in. However, there are pleasurable pieces of that goal that you can experience now, such as moving with ease and grace, or feeling sated without having food. Embodiment is actually an easy step that ignites a complex inner process, engaging intellect, intuition, observation, and behavior in organically reforming to create your goal.
3. Consciously avoid people and revise situations that make you reactive.
You cannot become a new you in an old situation. When you do step 2 and Embody, you will become aware of your triggers. Your job is to minimize those triggers whenever possible. You will find that not only does your weight improve but also your whole life will transform.
Nothing is toxic to only one area of your life. If you always gorge after a stressful morning at work, you will intuitively find strategies to minimize your stress: deep breathing, caring less, doing what needs to be done and letting the politics go — whatever works for you. That is the beauty of The Circle. It allows your subconscious and intuition to give you the strategies that are uniquely effective for you.
Even some of our most well-meaning friends can be toxic to us in times of change. Avoid the people who make you feel insecure or reactive, even though they may love you. When you are more firmly on your way, you will have the intuitions that will help you heal those relationships so that they can be nourishing.
4. Forget starving yourself. Nourish yourself.
Find pleasurable habits of absolute self-indulgence and self-care. Don’t bring an apple for lunch. Make yourself a beautiful fruit salad with a cloth napkin. Put on your headphones with beautiful music at mealtimes and decide on a lovely fantasy to have while you are eating. Your subconscious is not going to allow you to punish yourself — unless you are a complete masochist, which is a subject for another article altogether!
5. Extend your new self to all parts of your life.
You cannot successfully integrate un-pleasurable activities into your daily routine for long. It is your job to make these activities pleasurable. If you are embarrassed by going to the gym, don’t go. Instead find movement activities that you love, and integrate them into your life. Get a membership to your favorite museum and walk through it a few days every week — in fact, walk to it! More rigorous routines will evolve. I have been accused of being anaerobic because I simply hate to move. My routine is that I put on music and pretend I am dancing with all the people I love who are far from me, one by one. It is a way I connect each day with my loved ones, even those who have passed on — and it also raises my heart rate!
You can find less weird routines than mine. Whatever works for you is the right way.
6. Make friends with yourself
No matter how harshly you judge yourself, the truth is that life is hard, and you are doing a great job simply by living it. Be a compassionate friend to yourself. Do not allow “catty you” to judge or berate you. Develop that best friend in you who will reassure and nurture you and direct you to your goals.
When you work with your subconscious you will find that you want to make good choices, and you do. Inch by inch, you and your life will transform.
Laura Day is a New York Times bestselling author of 6 books on intuition, crisis, and healing. You can read more about Laura and experience some of her techniques at www.practicalintuition.com