Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One Thing that Paul McKenna Doesn't Tell You

I have to continue on the theme of not losing any more weight.

The British version of Paul McKenna's TV show, "I Can Make You Thin", is a four-week series. At the end of the series, the number of pounds that the studio audience lost over that period is projected on the screen and it's fairly impressive. The vast majority of participants do lose weight and everyone is really thrilled and excited.

Well, I was thrilled and excited to have lost about 7 pounds during my first month. In fact, to use a charming British expression, I was "chuffed" beyond belief. And, as we say, on this side of the pond, "I was pumped!" This was it, the answer to my weight loss prayers.

Unfortunately--and I know you were all waiting for that nasty word--after a month, my weight loss has appeared to stop, nada, go no further. It's come to an end.

And that's the one thing Paul McKenna doesn't tell you: his wonderful method--and despite it all, I do think that it has much to recommend it--only works for about a month for many people. And I really don't think I'm the only person who's noticing this.

At this point, I've been mckenna-ing for almost nine weeks. I do believe that I eat (somewhat) less than I did before; that my already very modest intake of sweets has actually decreased even further; that I eat (somewhat) more slowly, though I know that this is something that I must continue to work on; and that I am truly more in tune with the "tummy full" signal my body sends out. My water intake has improved dramatically and consistently. Exercise remains an issue, for the reasons I have outlined in earlier posts, but even there, I would say that there's a slight increase.

I was listening to the CD every day, but do so less often now, mainly, because I have enormous trouble visualizing change. When I think of once again fitting into my old, grungy black jeans from the Gap, the only image that comes to mind is how I have to suck in my breath to close the snap and then squeeze my stomach down to zip up the zipper.

Now for the requisite laugh: I just left the computer, went to the bedroom, got the jeans out of my drawer and put them on, doing it just the way I described above! I am now sitting and typing as I wear these jeans. The good news is that I'm still breathing!

So let's get back to this visualization thing. I just can't get the hang of it. I seem to have more success visualizing how I will spend the million dollars I win at the lottery (even though I only buy a ticket a couple of times a year!) than visualizing getting into my grungy black jeans. Help!

Actually, I do manage to visualize this incredible act of sartorial fearlessness by imaging that my body has become teensy tiny. But then it's not my body. It's this weird, cartoon image. What I want to see is my body, just slimmer.

Repeat: HELP!! Does anyone have any suggestions??

I have been quite scrupulous about only weighing myself every two weeks, but have managed to get around this by measuring myself more frequently. I think I lost about an inch off my thighs in the first month, but again, nothing else.

For the past week, I have felt slightly bloated and I know it's due to my period, which should have arrived a few days ago but is taking its own sweet time. The joys of peri-menopause. Well, at least my teeth seem to be doing fairly well (I had a cleaning today).

And so, dear friends, my message to end this post, will be similar to what I've been saying for the past 5 weeks or so: I'll just keep going, maintaining and refining my new eating habits, and trying to visualize more successfully. There doesn't seem to be a more attractive alternative.

One last thought: I would love to meet Paul McKenna, but that is one visualization I seriously doubt I can manage!

1 comment:

  1. Hello NewMe, I don't know what to tell you, but perhaps my experience may help you. I have been trying to do "Intuitive Eating" now for 6 years (I'm stubborn and refuse to give up). Paul McKenna's 4 rules are wonderfully clear, but I started with a different program initially. Over those 6 years, I have lost a total of 30 lbs (around 15 kilo), all very slowly. I'm now just within the "normal" weight range for my height.

    I tried his NLP methods initially without much success. It seems that I had a lot of "issues" about food and my body that his methods were unable to overcome. I found his exercises to be painful rather than pleasant, which destroyed my motivation to continue them. I couldn't follow his rules 100%, especially rule #3 (and especially chewing very slowly).

    What I ended up having to do was to revamp my inner life completely. I found that I needed to switch from a mostly negative, fearful, angry person to a person who is filled with love, self-love, gratitude, etc. A HUGE change!!!

    It's still in progress, but I'm already a completely different person. What works best for me is The Work by Byron Katie (all of her material is available free from her website). Other people may need to find a different program that works for them, I wouldn't know.

    Now that I'm not so angry and guilt-ridden all of the time, I've recently revisited NLP and (ack!) affirmations, and now they are enjoyable to do. I also enjoyed making a "vision board", since it helped me to find positive things to think about.

    The extra weight is a wonderful motivator. If I stall on making positive changes, my weight loss stalls. But every time I make progress towards releasing anger/resentment/fear/guilt, it's easier to follow the 4 rules and I lose a few pounds. Nowadays I'm even grateful for the extra weight... without it, I would have remained stuck in a very unpleasant, negative mental space.