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Permanent Weight Loss - 4 of 9

Give Your Limiting Beliefs a WHACK

  These pages included in the free E-book:
Changing Beliefs Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss

Do Your Beliefs Help or Hinder You in your Weight Loss Efforts?

Do your beliefs help to create good things in your life or cause you pain? Are there any beliefs you'd like to change? To give your limiting beliefs a WHACK you must:

  1. Want to change
  2. Know How (have a plan)
  3. Take Action on your plan
  4. Give your plan a Chance
  5. Check regularly to Know whether what you are doing is working, and make adjustments as necessary

It isn't necessary to know why you believe what you do, or where your beliefs originated. You do not need years of psychotherapy to discover why you can't stop eating, you don't have to dig up the past to find someone to blame. The beauty of NLP and EFT techniques is you can resolve your old issues, and change your limiting beliefs without knowing all the who's and whys. All the stuff that gets in the way of making positive changes in our lives is swept away.

Core Beliefs & How Beliefs are Acquired

Core beliefs, those beliefs which define who we are and what we believe about the world around us are generally based on past experiences and other evidence such as what we are told or see. Caregivers hold a powerful sway over young impressionable minds, but core beliefs that were formed with faulty information can be changed. Just because you've always believed something doesn't mean it must always be true for you.

When you were young you were probably told not to cross the street; that it was dangerous or you could be killed, so you wouldn't run out into the street and get hit by a car. When you were a little older, you were taught you must look both ways before crossing. This is an easy example of how beliefs change as we grow and learn. Obviously you can cross the street, with some ways being more safe than others, i.e. looking both ways versus dashing out without looking. The first belief, that it was simply forbidden and you could be killed, gave way later to, "Look both ways," and now your belief is that it is safest to look both ways. The earlier belief was simply disregarded when it was no longer useful.

The same holds true for beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us.

Where Beliefs are Acquired

1) People

Early beliefs come from our caregivers, parents, relatives, teachers, friends, and even strangers. Most of these beliefs come from external sources but it is possible to obtain limiting beliefs through your own efforts. Being told you're not good enough, that you'll never amount to anything, are the types of limiting beliefs people obtain through other people, and over time come to believe as true.

2) Environment

Where you live and how you are brought up also impacts your early belief structures. If you grew up in a middle income home, you would begin life with a very different set of beliefs than someone who grew up with poverty and lack. Consider the mindset of having daily wants go unfulfilled, such as not enough to eat, and contrast that with easily having your daily needs met. The person who grows up without enough food may have issues later in life about getting enough or being satisfied.

Beliefs are also acquired via the media, such as television shows and the movies. Very young children are not equipped to distinguish between entertainment and reality, so to ensure their sense of safety, it is best to leave the violent movies for later when they can better make that distinction. Even today's news programs are not appropriate for very young children with views of disasters and the horrors of war.

3) Single Trial Learning

One trait we share with animals is single trial learning. You can spook an animal once for fun and from now on that animal is afraid in similar situation. People sometimes react similarly by developing phobic responses from single events. A bad experience as a child where someone frightened you badly with a snake, perhaps pretending they would leave you locked in a box with a snake, or some other trauma (kids love to traumatize each other), which left you with a lifelong fear of snakes. Being afraid of something and developing a full blown phobia to something are also two different responses.

Phobic responses are simply remembered body reactions (physiological) which are easily re-experienced at the phobic's own request. Think about the feared item or activity, and wham, full blown phobic reaction. This is a learned response. You can also change a phobic response fairly easily if you are motivated to do so.

Another is just starting to step into the street when a car suddenly speeds past, nearly striking you. Had you been one instant sooner, you'd have been hit and maybe killed. Almost losing your life is obviously traumatic, and later, when you start to step off another curb, it is likely that experience will come to mind. You now may believe it's not as safe to cross the road as you believed before. You might also notice your heart is racing and your face has gone white.

If you've ever experienced a car accident, you may have learned to fear certain roadways, or driving conditions. Again, this can easily be remedied with the Fast Phobia Trauma Relief process, in one or two sessions.

4) Learned Helplessness

Circus fleas are taught to not jump out of a jar by simply by putting them in a jar with a lid. They will hop up and hit the top of the jar numerous times until they finally start jumping just a little below the level of the lid. At this point the lid can be removed and they will then never jump out, because they learned how high they can jump without hitting a barrier. A lower level animals will never again test that boundary. (Dogs and cats would never fall for this trick, but they're way smarter than fleas).

Exuberant children are told repeatedly to sit down and shut up in school. Eventually their natural happiness and joy is damped down, until that playfulness sometimes ceases to exist or be shown in public. Most kids are told to keep their eyes on their paper during a test, even though looking up is how most people can access their short-term memories. For a simple test, think of how many doors are in your house? Write down your answer.

Did your eyes dart up while you attempted to recall the memory of the layout of your house? Some people will look down, but most people will notice their eyes move one way or another when they attempt to recall something. You've just experienced your natural way of accessing your brain's storehouse of memories. Yet, children are told to stop daydreaming when they attempt this natural way of accessing the answers, and later are sometimes labeled as having learning disabilities because they can't conform to their teacher's rules.

Six Types of Beliefs

A part of the OneMoreBite Weight Loss approach is discovering and changing those beliefs which limit you, hold you back, or cause you pain, while creating new beliefs that empower you to make better choices and make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals.

Following are some of the many different types of beliefs and what they may mean in your efforts to change.

Factual Beliefs

You know what you ate for breakfast, therefore it is quite easy to say, "I believe I had cereal for breakfast." This is a belief based on factual evidence, i.e. you recall the experience. You can probably see in your mind's eye the food, and perhaps even see yourself eating it. You may also be able to remember how it felt, sitting in the chair, swallowing, etc. These are all examples of evidence which help to establish your belief that it did happen.

There are also beliefs we have about what we believe to be true regarding future events. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow morning. This is also based on factual evidence. The sun always rises.

Experiential Beliefs

Beliefs based on past experience are called experiential beliefs. This type of belief may give you some trouble when you are making changes. It is easy to get stuck believing you cannot change, even though that is just another belief, "I've always been this way," "you can't teach an old dog new tricks," and others.

Beliefs based on past experiences may have once been true but are not necessarily true now.

1. "I can't stop eating in the evening."

"Why not?"

"Because I always eat while I'm watching TV."

2. "If there is a chocolate cake in the kitchen, I know I'll stuff myself."

"How do you know that you'll stuff yourself ?"

" Because I always eat too much chocolate cake. I can't help it."

"Why can't you help it?"

"Because I just can't -- I don't know why, that's just the way I am."

Can you see why holding onto these erroneous beliefs is not helpful in your efforts to make a change? These beliefs only remain true for you if you choose to make them true.

If I say I cannot control myself around M&M's, then most likely I will follow-through on that belief when given the opportunity. The so called "evidence," i.e. my past experiences, does not necessarily make these situations true now or in the future, except to the extent that I continue to support their being true. I have a choice about what to believe, and the choice I make most often is to continue in the unwanted behavior.

I could just as easily change my beliefs to support new outcomes, such as health and fitness. Now I could say I really enjoy chocolate cake and sometimes, but not always, I'll have more than one piece. Sometimes I might be too full to have any, and will take a piece home for later (that is an option, you know).

Beliefs About Capabilities

What you can and cannot do is based on your beliefs. If you really want to lose weight but don't believe you will succeed, will you likely succeed? No, probably not. You'll more likely create obstacles, which reinforce your belief, than follow through with an action you already decided you aren't capable of. If you don't believe you'll succeed, you certainly won't. This also serves as proof to yourself that the belief is true and reinforces the belief for you, if you let it.

If you've already decided you can't, it's reasonable to follow through on that belief and not do what is necessary. When you subsequently fail you'll say, "See? I knew I couldn't do it," and you'll be right. Doesn't it feel great to be right? Think of the possibilities if you believe you can achieve the changes you want.

Our beliefs about what we are capable of come largely from external sources such as teachers, parents, and your peers. You may have tried before and someone laughed at your efforts. You may have been told you were stupid, that you'd never amount to anything, that you wouldn't succeed. Whatever you were told, it wasn't true for you because no one else can make that decision. Only you can decide what you will or won't achieve. You can choose to change any beliefs about capabilities that are holding you back from achieving whatever you want.

Many movie stars, professional singers and athletes, tell stories of how they were told they'd never succeed. They didn't believe it and went on to greatness.

Beliefs About Your Identity

Who you are on the deepest level.

  • I'm not the kind of person who...
  • I can't do that, I never ...
  • I have a good sense of humor
  • Everyone in my family is fat, so I'll always be fat, it's in my genes
  • I can't stop eating
  • I'm a chocoholic

What you believe about yourself and words you use to describe yourself are your identity level beliefs. If at an identity level you believe you'll always be overweight, it will be difficult to achieve any other result. Changing this type of identity level belief is easier than you may think and is absolutely necessary before any effective change can take place.

You can become overly invested in your identity beliefs to the point where they can be difficult to overcome. If you are a self described chocoholic, and everyone you know believes this about you, it will take a great effort to change that belief in yourself and in others. You may say, "No thanks, I don't want any chocolate, I'm not hungry," and the person offering it will be shocked or even act offended, "Why don't you want my chocolate, you like everyone else's chocolate!" If everyone has been told you love chocolate, and you proudly wear an "I'm a Chocoholic" T-shirt, then they won't believe you if you say you don't want any. They'll think you just want them to talk you into it, and will badger you relentlessly because they think you really do want it, you're just protesting to make it look good. After all, you can't resist chocolate, right?

People often label themselves as:

Smokers / Nonsmokers
Drinkers / Nondrinkers
Meat Eaters / Vegetarians
Morning Person / Night Owl
Procrastinator / Can Do Person
Shy / Outgoing

Beliefs About Cause and Effect

Cause and effect beliefs are usually formed from past experiences, often times by our parents or caregivers in our youngest years. If you ever heard things like, "Don't cross your eyes or they'll stay that way," or "Be good or Santa won't bring you any presents," "If you don't clean your room you won't get any dessert," those are examples of cause and effect beliefs. If this happens, it will cause that to occur.

  • You made me flunk my test because you wouldn't take me to the
  • She's angry because he didn't call.
  • You should eat all your food or else your mother will be angry
  • I can't eat like a normal person or I'll gain weight.

Cause and effect beliefs can carry over into "he made me do it" types of justifications so beware. If you sometimes overeat in response to rude comments from others, or people who think they can tell you what to eat or not eat, this is a cause and effect belief at work. You may say to yourself, "He made me do it." "I wasn't going to eat the pie but he made me so mad, I'll show him." Sure you showed him all right.

If you believe someone else's words or actions caused any behavior in you, this is a cause and effect belief and can be changed. You are in control of your own actions. You can learn to take back your own power and be in charge of your own life.

Beliefs About Meaning

"If I'm overweight it means ..."

  • If no one asks me to the prom, it means I'm not lovable.
  • If no one notices my new haircut, it means they hate it.
  • If my husband falls asleep on the sofa, it means he doesn't care about me.
  • If my boss yells at me, it means he thinks I'm a terrible worker.

Beliefs about meaning, if this happens, it means that, are based on generalizations. If you heard fat people are lazy from your parents, now you may believe that, "If she is fat, she must be lazy." Obviously this is untrue. You can't generalize any behavior onto any group of people. Sometimes it may be true but many times it is not true.

If you find yourself making If/Then statements, stop and think about it. Are you sure? Is there any proof that this is true? What is your evidence?

Beliefs about Events

What I believe about an event, is not necessarily what you believe about that same event. Our beliefs are created and based on our lifetime learning's, experiences, and beliefs we developed about prior events. Consider this example:

Two people attend a party. One has a great time and one has a lousy time, yet it was the same party. The only difference were the beliefs they each brought with them. The first looked forward to going and was planning to have a good time. "Great party! Best time I ever had," she said.

The second didn't want to go -- it was her husband's work friends, she knew she'd have no one to talk to and decided she would have a lousy time. She dreaded going. "Worst time I ever had," she said.

How do two people attend the same event but come away with such a different experience? Easily, especially when you consider how our preconceived beliefs (long standing, firmly held beliefs) control much of how we experience our world.

Limiting Beliefs

Here are some limiting beliefs about dieting and weight loss:

  1. I can't lose weight because everyone in my family is fat.
  2. I'll always be fat, I might as well accept it.
  3. I can't resist fried foods.
  4. If I start eating, I can't stop.

These beliefs are limiting because they hold you back. Once your dieting or weight loss efforts start to pay off, or you notice progress, self sabotage takes over. Why? Because it's easier and more familiar.

Making a change seems difficult because it is natural to fall back into well worn patterns of behavior. The longer you've told yourself these lies, the more well worn your path may be, but that isn't going to stop you now.

Let's get started now and give your limiting beliefs a W.H.A.C.K starting with discovering whether you really Want to make a change.

<< Pg. 3 - Weight Loss Boot camp Pg. 5 - Want to Change >>   

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Kathryn Martyn Smith, M.NLP EFT Weight Loss Coach
Using NLP & EFT to
End the Struggle With Weight Loss

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