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10 Oct
2011

How a Personal Video Recorder (PVR), or a Sky Box, Can Help you Lose Weight

So why is losing weight so difficult?

I was sitting in front of the tv last night doing what I rarely do and watching a film ‘live’. I usually record films before watching so I can fast forward through the adverts. And I was actually recording this one to watch later anyway, but it was Sunday and although I usually end up working when there’s nothing on tv I’d not been giving myself much time off lately so I thought I’d sit and enjoy Eddie Murphy’s Trading Places.

I’d eaten 4 hours earlier – a satisfying & filling meal, with some delicious home-made apple pie and a little soya-based ice ‘cream’ (my body no longer allows me to enjoy dairy products) for dessert – so hunger wasn’t an issue, but there was a nagging in my mind to go and eat some more.

I’m sure you know the sort of thing; those thoughts that keep hinting that there’s something nice in the kitchen. Usually that ‘nice thing’ is full of fat or sugar. This is exactly what I was experiencing and it was hard to resist.

I explored the problem to see if I could find out what was going on. Part of the problem was those interminable commercial breaks every few minutes. They break up the flow of the story and make it much more difficult to be entertained and engrossed. This piecemeal presentation of snippets of story is, I believe, a significant factor in the explosion of overweight and obesity problems.

I do have a solution to this problem that I consistently recommend to my clients – not because I imagine it’s a good idea but because I use it myself. I tell them to keep a book handy, or a crossword puzzle, or a Sudoku puzzle, or a piece of knitting or embroidery – something that it’s easy to pick up and put down when the commercial break ends. More and more I tend to find myself using IMDB on my iPad to check out the goofs in the film I’m watching so I can keep an eye out for them or just reading a little about the history of the movie and seeing if I can correctly identify some of the faces that seem familiar.

I can do that from my armchair, but sometimes I even get up and go sit at my desktop for five minutes checking if my friends have been up to something on facebook, or just checking something out that’s occurred to me while watching the movie.

Last night though, none of this seemed to be working. When I looked at what was going on I found that the book I was reading wasn’t fully engaging me. I’d noticed a new Wayne Dyer (Stop The Excuses: How To Change Lifelong Thoughts) last time I visited the library, so I picked it up. Now when I first started on my self-development journey I was a huge fan of Wayne Dyer and bought many of his books. Then I bought Getting In The Gap. That was about meditation, something I’ve been doing for a long time and it just didn’t work for me. I picked up copies of his new books after that but he seemed to be going off in a direction that was of no benefit to me.

But, it wasn’t going to cost me anything, so I picked it up, took it downstairs and checked it out. It certainly isn’t grabbing me the way his books used to, and a significant part of his guidance is to use affirmations. I’ve done affirmations and, in my opinion, they are a waste of time. But these are so long-winded that you’d need to write them down, carry them round with you, and read them when you needed them. But there’s other stuff that is interesting me and I fully expect to get some value from Wayne Dyer’s words. They just aren’t grabbing me like they used to. I think I’ve moved on past the point in development where he is aiming his teaching.

But despite all that, I still wanted to eat something and my thoughts were encouraging me in the direction of toasted tea cakes. And you know what it’s like when you get that picture in your mind – in my case it was four halves of lightly toasted tea-cakes dripping with melted yellow fat (my dairy-free margarine). I was even imagining the way the warmed fat would drip down my fingers and the aroma of those lightly spiced buns.

You can see what’s happening. My thoughts are somehow not in tune with my greater desires and needs to follow my own advice that I give to people to help them to lose weight. There’s clearly some sort of rebellion going on here. I think we all have that rebel as part of our make-up. That part of us that wants to do just what it wants to do and enjoy instant gratification regardless of the consequences. In the same way that smokers enjoy the pleasure of a cigarette now and ignore the disease that will probably visit them in the future.

And in a way this is a real problem for me with what I teach. I encourage people to focus on the present moment. I tell them the future is only imagined. The past is a memory that has only the power that you give to it. Live NOW, because Now is the only moment when you are ever alive.

So I’ve got a bit of a problem here.

But I’ve also got an apple tree in the garden with about 80lbs of apples hanging from it. This is a dessert apple called Jupiter, which cooks very nicely too. My apple pie was made from a few of them.

Now, apples have a wonderfully high fibre content and contain a carbohydrate called pectin which is really good at satisfying hunger. They are free of sodium and even have some Vitamin C. An average-sized apple contains only about 60 calories.

So I recognised a couple of things. I wasn’t really in the mood to engage with some of my distraction techniques, but there was no way I was going to eat any more wheat-based products today. I wanted something sweet. You can see where this is going. Apples were the solution. I selected two, one medium, one small, peeled cored and cut into segments (This is not because there’s anything wrong with just biting into the apple) but it used up some of the ‘unsettled’ energy that was creating the ‘eat’ thoughts in the first place. A task is always a good thing to engage in as a distraction and it filled the commercial break space.

I enjoyed the apple slowly while watching the next segment of the movie and felt satisfied.

Yes I did consume some unnecessary calories, but so what. The apples were about 100 calories, but the tea cakes would have rated at least 400. I didn’t give myself a hard time about it. I didn’t beat up on myself because I gave in when I should be following my own example. You see the key to what I teach about weight loss is gentleness with self. You have to be gentle with you always. It is the harshness that leads to habitual over-eating.

Every day is a new day.

In part you see what I did is freeing. Because it left no guilt or bad-feelings, or any sense that I failed or did something wrong – which is what you tend to get when you follow a diet. These ill-feelings create a low mood state which tends to cause more over-eating and more ill-feelings. It’s a self destructive cycle.

But what I did is more than that. I used my knowledge and experience to look at what was really going on and then find a solution that was satisfying but did not violate my greater intention to be what I teach.

Look for solutions that require no calorie intake first of all; if that doesn’t work then look for solutions that satisfy, but require minimal calorie intake.

So my present moment Now experience became one of recognising that I have a challenge right now that needs a solution and that solution needs to honour my long-term commitment and intention.

Oh! …and the title of this post. Clearly the whole problem started because I didn’t wait and watch the recorded version. Obviously if I’d been fast forwarding the commercials and concentrating on catching the re-start of the movie, then I’d have had no time to think about food.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my thoughts and can take some valuable insights from them. If you haven’t seen my videos and you’d like to explore more of my ideas about how to lose weight easily without dieting then have a look at the first of my free weight loss videos and be sure to leave me your email address so I can send you the details of how to access the other free videos.

1 Comment

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So, what do you think?