Setting goals are easy…

September 17, 2009

… it’s the follow through that’s difficult.

I know some of the readers here don’t set goals – and the only reason you don’t is that you don’t want to fail. I understand this. I know how difficult, hard, destabalising, unbalancing and depressing not achieving a goal is. So to save us that pain, we don’t set them.

That doesn’t make it ok to not get what we want, it just makes it less painful.

There are many books, many programs, many recordings out there to help you set goals. I also spend quite a bit of time in my Butterfly Transformation Program on goal setting, including the main keys to ensure you overcome the difficult parts – like getting up early, exercising and making the correct food choices – easily.

One of the keys to make sure you reach your goals is to understand that the only way you can fail is to stop. You may not reach the target in the timeframe you set and there may or may not be some good reasons. Either way the only way you’ll fail is if you then stop.

Think about this next time you get frustrated because you didn’t achieve your goal.

There is a rule of thumb that states: 80% of the result comes from 20% of the effort.

The problem with this is that we never know what that highly effective 20% is. So, I’ve given this rule a slight shift when it comes to dieting: Focus on eating right for 80% of the time and the other 20% will take care of itself.

Very few can stick to a rigid diet long term (and all of those that can are elite sports professionals – never someone wanting to lose weight). Every one else ‘slips’ sometime. Maybe it’s a chocolate bar, lunch out, or something else.

Some people, after dieting for a week give up after one slip. This is silly. We all fail – we’re human. One slip on a diet doesn’t mean the diet will fail or that we’ll fail. Just means there was one slip.

Hence my 80/20 diet rule: As long as you can keep your diet 80% of the time, the other 20% will take care of itself.

TV dinners are a fantastic invention. It made the creation of dinner in a hectic lifestyle easy. It was a quick and easy way to create a somewhat healthy meal.

It did have a few unwanted side effects. One unwanted and usually unrecognized side effect of eating dinner in front of the TV (or internet), is that you’re not attending to what you’re eating.

What this means is you notice the messages from your body that you’re full much later. It means that you often shovel the food into your mouth, chew a few times then swallow, quickly filling your mouth again. You might have had the experience with a packet of chips while you watch a movie. Happily munching away only to suddenly notice the packet is empty.

If you’re part of the Butterfly Transformation Program you’ll know how to eat anything you want, as long as you make it a constant conscious choice.

One added side effect of doing this, is that you notice how the foods you eat actually taste, and your choice of foods changes naturally as a result.

I taught this method to a client last year. She was a big fan of a particular doughnut, eating several each day. She told me she was addicted, needing one in the morning, one after lunch, one before dinner and sometimes one before bed. She boldly told me once she smelled one, she had to have one.

Then I taught her how to eat consciously and got her to sit and eat one consciously. After two bites she was struggling and by halfway, she couldn’t finish it. “Way too sweet” was her comment.

One of the first steps of eating consciously is to not multi task. No eating unless your full attention is on the food; how it tastes, the texture and how every mouthful you swallow makes you feel.

Do you like icecream?

July 27, 2009

Personally, I love ice cream. I’ll eat any kind, even some of the more confectionary things that are called ‘ice cream’. Even though I know the closest they’ve come to cream is a cow had walked past the production plant a few months ago.

Normally when I spoon out my ice cream, I select a small bowl that overflows when two scoops are plopped in. Yet the other night, I selected one of the larger soup bowls by accident. This bowl was over twice the size of my usual bowl choice.

After the third scoop say in the bowl and I was reaching for a fourth, I realised what I was doing. I stopped and smiled.

It’s easy to overeat: Simply use a larger plate. Open a large packet. Open a 25% more can.

We all hate wasting food, but if we don’t remain conscious when we are preparing or selecting the food we eat, we waist that food instead.

Learn about how to remain conscious by joining the program!

Stick it in your mouth

July 21, 2009

Are you stuck with the desire to eat and eat? Do you find yourself eating too many bad things, and not enough good things? Do you eat good things, until you have a bad day, and then all your good work is out the window?

This is more common that you think, and if you have difficulty shifting this behaviour, it might be because of the conditioning you received as you grew up.

How often do you see a baby that begins to cry be soothed or ‘pacified’ by a bottle or dummy? You know from your own experience that when that baby cries, most likely it’s after food and food is presented soon afterwards.

A little later in life, say about the age of 2 or 3, what I like to call the ‘food battles’ start. Things like brussle sprouts are refused, things like lollies, cookies and other sweets are coveted. Most parents I’ve seen or heard of, often use the sweets as a bribe to eat the sprouts.

A little later in life, say about the age of 6 onwards, punishment and rewards are now firmly set with food. If you’re a good girl you’ll get a cookie. If you’re a bad boy you get sent to bed without dinner.

Years of training go into this. These time honored methods work and work well. They train the child many things that are useful in later life. And in some cases enable that child to get to later life (imagine a baby that got to eat only whatever it wanted). The results are consistent: The child grows up healthy. But as an unwanted side effect: We like sweet and ‘bad for us’ food, we hate the peas, sprouts, and other ‘good for us’ foods. So with these side effects, is it any wonder some of us have eating problems and find dieting difficult?

You can overcome this conditioning. With attention, focus, and the right training, it’s easy to notice the past conditioning and re-condition yourself for better results.

P.S. Now, this is not an opportunity to blame your parents for your current situation. You have to remember, every single parent that ever lived, is an amateur. Even the most skilled parents, have raised only a few children. Your parents did the best they could at that time, and now it’s up to you to thank them for what they gave you, work with it, and learn and grow so you can raise your own children better.

Whenever you start a diet, exercise program or enact a new diet you don’t ever know where it’ll lead you.

You might achieve the results you want when you started out. On the other hand you might not achieve any. You might get some, but not others.

This is pretty much common sense, right? But whenever we start, we seem to forget that the future is never set in stone. We are so attached to our outcome, it’s easy to forget that fact in the process of change.

In the program, I use the below phrase to remind everyone (myself included) that we never know what will happen tomorrow:

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it will be a butterfly.”

I’m a big believer in what we do is who we are. That’s why I encourage you to watch this video.

The presenter, Anne Cooper, is talking about feeding school children in America. It will open your eyes to how adults treat food. And more importantly what this is teaching our kids about food.

Watch it, and think about what your own relationship with food is teaching the children and adults around you – even if you’re not a parent.

(It seems wordpress strips out the embedded video. You can find it here.)

Now think about your own upbringing; what did your parents teach you through their behaviour? Do you have to eat everything on your plate? Were you sent to bed without dinner? Was food always available? Were you scolded for eating outside regular meal times? Did you have to steal or hide food?

Since starting Butterfly Transformation officially over a year ago, I’ve been shocked about what other diet, exercise and weight loss programs offer. Some of the things I found deeply saddened me.

Unfortunately, I’m bound to get some abusive comments for writing this. I might even turn off some readers who were just about to sign up.

The thing is, right now Butterfly Transformation is not making enough to cover server costs. So it can’t cost me much more than it already is. Thankfully, I didn’t put together this program to become rich. I did it to help people trapped by their own beliefs. I did it to help people gain back their freedom and enjoyment of life. While I’m disappointed that some people might not join a program they can benefit from because I’m exposing some truth, they are probably not the people I want as part of the program anyway…

Over the past year my eyes have been opened, my ears unclogged to one subtle, but powerful and common belief that permeates many of the programs. That one belief sets almost everyone enrolled in these programs up to fail.

You see the belief in the marketing:

  • “Lose 25 pounds in three weeks…”
  • “Lose weight instantly…”
  • “Achieve your weight loss goals in three easy steps…”

You hear the belief in their programs:

  • “New winter menu…”
  • “The treatment is painless, drug free, with no side effects…”
  • “takes away your appetite…”

That belief is that if you take this pill, drink this juice, follow this diet, do this exercise, buy this machine, then your weight will suddenly disappear. That belief is if you do nothing but use this program, you’ll reach your goal. That belief is if you remain passive, you can achieve your goals.

This is a pile of rancid horse droppings!

You know from your own experience this belief has infected most of the programs out there. I’m sure you’ve even been let down by a product that gave you similar promises.

You also know how wrong it is, and yet it’s difficult to resist because it’s never stated directly. It’s difficult to resists because it appeals to our laziness.

But most damaging of all, it allows us to shift responsibility of our failures from yourselves, to the program; “I didn’t get my goal, it’s the diet (or program, or pill, or machine) not me…” which means we’re right back where we started, yet more upset, disappointed and frustrated.

So to help everyone be able to identify this vile and cancerous belief, take more control of their lives, and make informed choices, I’ve put together a few questions to ask.

Ask these questions seriously from every product or service (including mine). Doing so will likely save you time, effort and much frustration.

  1. Does the program or product show me the goal and do they hold my hand every step of the way?
  2. Does the program or product show me where I am now and most importantly HOW to get to where I want to be?
  3. Does the program or product set a good and realistic expectations and timeframes?
  4. Does the program or product set out at the start what’s possible and how to get there?
  5. Does the program or product help me build internal motivation about the changes I want in my life?
  6. Does the program or product participate in the process of my changes and adapt to me, rather than a one size fits all?
  7. Is the program or product after lasting results, not temporary fixes or short term success?
  8. Does the program or product offer me insights into my own life, and through those insights help me make the needed changes to my body, mind and behaviour?

If you’ve been part of the Butterfly Transformation Program you won’t need this service. For the rest of you, if you need constant nagging to get motivated, you might want to check it out.

It’s funny, nagging is one of the worst methods of motivation. It didn’t work on us when our parents used it; “go clean your room”. Doesn’t work too well when we use it on ourselves; “stop thinking about that cake”. Doesn’t work on our boss; “can I have a raise yet?”

Still, their heart is in the right place.

Do you find yourself flipping from one diet to the next, hoping this one will be the one?
Do you are on a diet, and get close to, or even achieve your goal weight, only to fall back?

Then you might be on the Yo-yo diet. One of the most disheartening things you can experience when trying to lose weight. It feels like you are taking one step forward, two steps back.

Luckily, there are specific things that you can do to stop your Yo-yo diet.

Set your goals properly.
Focus on what you want.
Keep checking your goals to make sure you’re staying on track.
Be able to stop cravings.
Remove the other limits to your health.
Learn the habits to nurture.
Discover the habits to remove or change.
Be grateful for who you are right now.
Discover the small, scared, young child inside you and help them grow into the person you most want to be.
Encourage the actions you most want.
Wonder how the changes you make now, will improve the lives of the people around you.
… And much more.