What if a breathing technique could help you manage your weight better ?
By Lori Hammond
Coach and Professional Hypnotist. Giving you simple tools to stop overwhelm and harness joyful forward momentum.
Can I share a game-changing discovery I just made?
It's a 30 second trick that creates mindful eating and peaceful weight management.
I'm always looking for tricks that make it easy for people to take charge of their habitual decisions and weight management is dear to my heart since I learned hypnosis to get a handle on my own weight.
Hypnosis has helped tremendously. Now and then I slip back into less than awesome habits. Instead of beating myself up and saying...
"It didn't work! I'm a failure!"....
I use my tools to quickly get back on track.
Here's the backstory on the technique I'm about to give you.
Backstory #1. I recently read the book "Breathe" by James Nestor where he shares the life-changing benefits of taking 5.5 second breaths through the nose.
NOTE: These are gentle, peaceful breaths, not deep breaths.
I realize that sounds a bit complicated but there are soundtracks on YouTube that guide your breath so it's easy.
I've been using this peace-inducing breathing practice for awhile now.
Backstory #2. I've noticed that people who tend to struggle with their weight also tend to enjoy their food LESS than people who don't struggle.
Does that seem backwards?
I've observed that people who crave extra food or eat too much at meals or eat junk food are often so caught up with the "MUST EAT NOW" story that they aren't truly tasting the food they eat.
They're stuck in a story about eating rather than paying attention to the experience of eating.
Part of that story might go like this...
"If I eat chocolate (or have seconds) it will make me feel good."
Then we imagine it's working even though - after we've indulged - we usually feel WORSE!
(Talk about some powerful self-hypnosis!)
I know exactly how that feels. I sometimes feel that way too so I'm always looking for more effective ways of mindful eating.
Mindful Eating Definition: Actually paying attention to the experience of having food in your mouth instead of only paying attention to your story about having food in your mouth. (It's really peace-inducing.)
I recently purchased this candle holder for my table thinking, "Hmm, maybe this will create mindful eating mealtime ambience."
I've had the candle holder for a couple weeks but just finally tried it out a couple days ago.
I am blown away by how well it works.
Before I jump in and share my story, I want to acknowledge that everyone's mealtime is different.
There were times in my life when it would've been difficult or impossible to do what I'm about to share.
I invite you to ask yourself, "What's a small, realistic way I can try this out in my own life?" as you read.
Even if it's something you only do for ONE bite, it can make a massive difference.
Ok, here's what I discovered.
The first time I sat at the table and lit the candles, I planned to just sort of be aware of them.
Then I noticed there were 5 candles! That made me think of the 5.5 breathing pattern.
I decided to try the breathing pattern while I was chewing my food. (No need to be a perfectionistic here. Just count to 5 in your mind.
So I'm looking at the candles and chewing and thinking...
"1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5."
Instant story turner-offer!
When a person is saying "1. 2. 3. 4. 5" they can't be thinking, "This is so good! I just can't stop!"
Then I realized I was accidentally chewing to the rhythm of my counting.
I looked at the first candle and inhaled, "1. 2. 3. 4. 5." (while I chewed 5 times).
I looked at the second candle and exhaled, "1. 2. 3. 4. 5." (while I chewed 5 times).
3rd candle - Inhale for 5, chew 5 times.
4th candle - Exhale for 5, chew 5 times.
5th candle - Inhale for 5, chew 5 times.
And SHAZAAM! The food was had magically moved from my mouth to my stomach but I had chewed it thoroughly instead of rushing the process.
In James Nestor's Breathe book he talks about the incredible value of thoroughly chewing your food (something people rarely do when they struggle with their weight).
So when I caught myself accidentally chewing more just because I was counting and breathing with intention, I had a eureka moment!
Then something even more magical happened!
I realized that I wanted to slow down.
I wanted to pause between bites.
(Wanting is the opposite of trying.)
And I wanted to stop eating while there were still a few bites of delicious food on my plate.
Because I felt completely satisfied.
"What the heck!" I thought.
Here I've been creating 6 week weight loss programs and implementing all kinds of systems and hypnosis protocols to help people create their ideal body.
And my programs are awesome and effective.
But what if this ONE simple practice...
When repeated bite after bite...
Meal after meal...
Day after week after month.
Is all a person needs to free themselves of an overeating habit.
Because that's really all it is, you know?
I believe that with all my heart after working with hundreds of people.
No matter why a person struggles with their weight (past trauma, stress, boredom etc), underneath is a habitual way of thinking about and interacting with food.
What if a person conditioned themselves to automatically Breathe and Count and Chew each time they ate?
How quickly do you imagine it will become automatic?
I intend to find out. And if you want to join me in this experiment I'd LOVE to hear what you discover.
OH! I almost forgot the most important part!
I learned the following from Dr. BJ Fogg, behavioral scientist at Stanford University.
Here it is...
You must CELEBRATE your success!
Your automatic, habit maker LOVES celebrations.
You automatically re-create what you celebrate.
So if you want to program yourself to remember to count, breathe, and chew each time you eat, tell yourself, "GOOD JOB!" every time you do it.
That's all the celebration you need.
BONUS points for adding over-the-top emotion.
Nobody has to know you're doing it. You can just think, "I did it! Good job! I want to do that again!" and imagine jumping up and down and throwing confetti.
Just be careful because that imagination might just make you smile big and people will wonder why you're so happy.
Thank you for reading this cheat sheet. I hope you got lots and lots of value.
I really would love to hear what happens when you try this - or try out some variation that fits your lifestyle (I promise there is one.)
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