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How Self Talk Can Help or Hinder Weight Loss
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Use EFT to Change Self Talk for Weight Loss

Take this short quiz:

  1. Do you beat yourself up for overeating?
  2. Do you ever try to talk yourself out of eating what you want, because it is fattening or bad for you?
  3. Do you ever tell yourself you'll never eat (pick any food) again?
  4. Do you often tell yourself how you're hopeless and you'll never lose weight?

If you answered yes to even one of the above, you may have a problem with your own self talk. These are all emotional reasons to eat based on feelings or beliefs, rather than hunger. Real hunger is a biological need for nourishment. Emotional hunger is everything else and that is why the majority of our weight loss issues are really emotional issues.

Self Talk is What You Say in Your Head When You Are "Thinking"

There may be some exceptions but nearly everyone thinks in words, i.e. you speak to yourself (usually silently) in order to process information and make decisions. Looking out a window you think, "It's raining, I better get my umbrella," and you just spoke to yourself about what you needed and why.

Sometimes we get stuck in patterns of negative self talk based on the way we spoken to as children for instance, but just because you repeatedly say things to yourself, does not make them true. You can break this self depreciating pattern and help yourself in your weight loss efforts.

If you accidentially spill something and hear yourself saying, "How could you be so clumsy, you idiot," then ask yourself, whose voice is that? Where did that voice come from? You may even speak to yourself in the same "voice" of the parent or care giver who originally said those things to you as a small child. Here is an exercise to help put a stop to that practice right now.

Use EFT to Break the Negative Self Talk Habit

One of the best uses for EFT is to break patterns of behavior that seem unbreakable. Most people start out saying they don't believe they can change; that they can't help the way they are, "I've always been this way," and that belief itself is what keeps them stuck. They believe what they are saying because they have always believed it to be true. "If it was true then, it must be true now," they'll say, but I say that is bunk.

Since your mom said you were lazy, stupid, fat, and would never amount to anything, she must be right because just look at you now. You are overweight and haven't really accomplished anything, have you? You haven't raised a family and worked at a career and built a life. No matter where you are in your life, you have accomplished plenty and mom was wrong. Her words were probably meant to get you to obey when you were 5 or 6-years old, not to scar you for life. Nothing said to you as a child has any relevance in your life as an adult.

You have the power to create a life the way you want. You can simply talk back to the voices and say, "No!" No more of this talk. It's wrong, it should not have been said then and it certainly should not be said to yourself now. All of those things you may have been told as a child were not true then (you were just a child) and are certainly not true now, but just saying these words doesn't make the pain dissolve. Instead use EFT to address these beliefs and help yourself to really understand they are not true, were never true and simply do not have to continue to haunt you.

If you need instructions go here to learn basic EFT, then return and complete the exercise.

Don't Over Analyze, Just Use EFT and See What Happens

EFT may be different than anything you've done in the past, so simply do the exercise the way it is outlined. The negative words you use are exactly the words you'll use in this exercise. If you keep telling yourself you are stupid, then for this exercise you'll be saying, "Even though I'm so stupid, I deeply and completely accept myself." It may seem strange but don't over analyze it. Just try it and see what happens.

If you continually tell yourself how clumsy you are, then the EFT statement you'd use would be, "Even though I'm so clumsy, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Examples of EFT for Self Talk

"Even though I'm stupid, I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though I'm clumsy, and I'll never amount to anything, I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though mother always told me I was an idiot and I believed her, I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though I hated being told I was lazy when I knew it wasn't true, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Do one round of EFT on any statement you choose, first determining your beginning SUD level (level of intensity on the issue from 1 to 10), so that when you complete the round you can again rate the intensity and have evidence whether you are getting a result from the EFT. It's easy, it's fast and you'll generally know very soon whether it's worth the effort.

Remember, say the full statement, "Even though I ________, I deeply and completely accept myself," three times while you tap the PR point (Psychological reversal point: Karate point on the hand, or sore spot on the chest), and then shorten the phrase to a reminder word or two such as, "stupid." This lets you keep the thought of your issue in mind as you do the tapping and makes the process easier.

Why is EFT Phrased in a Negative Way?

Because saying, "I'm so stupid" causes your brain to run the same path it usually runs when you think or say those words, and that's how EFT can directly knock that pathway off balance. It's like derailing a train. You can't derail the train if it's not coming down those tracks, and you can't address the "I'm so stupid" issue by thinking about fluffy kittens.

Address the issue head-on with the EFT. It might be uncomfortable, which is why EFT is great! It's ultra fast, you don't have to talk about your upsetting events, you don't have to relive them, or try to understand them, you only need think of them enough to have that thought present when you do the EFT tapping.

EFT is not the same as nor the opposite of positive affirmations. It is simply different. You can do your positive affirmations all you like later.

Don't get stuck on what to say or worrying whether you are saying the right thing. There is no "right way" or right thing to say. While you are continuing to think about your issue your brain is processing in the usual fashion, via the neuro-pathway that's been established. That neuro-pathway is what EFT is addressing. It is effectively short-circuiting that path, and erasing it so the next time you think of the same issue, it's simply not as intense any longer.

Everytime you do a round, first rate the issue on a scale of 1 to 10 as to how intensely you believe it to be true, and then again when you are done, re-rate the issue. If you continue to do another round of EFT until you reach a level of 1 or zero on a scale from 1 to 10, you likely will not feel that initial level of intensity on that issue ever again, and even if you do, so what? Do more EFT. It's easy, it's fast, and once you learn the process you can easily do it one your own.

For a really good test try using EFT on fears. Many people fear spiders for instance, and doing a few rounds of EFT on your fear of spiders or insects is a great way to see how it can dissolve that fear and change your feelings even on beliefs you've had since you were a small child.

After practicing with EFT on your self talk, the next time you knock something over and start to say, "Why am I so clumsy," you may catch yourself and realize you're not clumsy, it was just an accident, and your self-talk will reflect that as well, "Oh, rats, look at that," you might say. That's far different that saying, "You are so stupid."

Calling yourself clumsy may seem like it no longer fits and no longer correctly describes you at all. You simply won't believe it any more, certainly not with the same intensity you once did.

How Does EFT for Self Talk Help with Weight Loss?

And how does this help with weight loss? It helps because you stop tearing yourself down, you stop believing every negative thing about yourself and you start to feel as if you can accomplish what you want. All of these negative messages are what we eat to escape from. They are the things we try to cover up in a blanket of food, they are the emotions we eat to avoid having to feel.

Once you stop telling yourself negative things on a regular basis you'll find you do have power over yourself and your environment, and you'll start to be motivated toward making positive changes.

What About Positive Affirmations?

Use EFT on your beliefs and behaviors you want to change, then when you start to feel less trapped by your past, you can start to feed yourself positive messages in the form of affirmations. EFT is most useful when you feel yourself getting upset, for instance. No positive affirmation is going to help when you feel a rage building, yet EFT can help dissolve the rage into a useful strategy for dealing with the situation.

Let's say you are in traffic and you're running late. You're starting to get upset. Does being upset help in any way? No, but it's not uncommon to feel it building, and then, once you get home you may be inclined to scream at every little thing. Do you take out your rage on those at home? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to simply dissolve the rage all by yourself before you get home? Reduce your stress and you'll also find weight loss becomes easier.

To reduce a building rage you simply start tapping, "Even though I'm getting so mad I could kill somebody, I deeply and completely accept myself." You can do all points while driving except the karate chop point (since that requires both hands), but be sure to keep your full attention on the road at all times.

Later, you can use positive affirmations to your heart's content. Saying nice things to yourself comes naturally when you dissolve the negative feelings first with EFT.

Let EFT become your secret weapon and you can start to effortlessly lose all the weight you want. Everything you do, think or say is interconnected to how you choose to feed yourself and your weight gain or weight loss. Very little in the true weight loss effort is about the food, but it is about what you are feeling and what you eat to avoid feeling. Break self defeating patterns with EFT and you'll slowly build the strength to tackle the bigger issues too.

If you have issues with food and eating, learn to remove those obstacles to weight loss success in the privacy of your own home.

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Kathryn Martyn Smith, M.NLP EFT Weight Loss Coach
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