In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we use a term called ‘Modeling’ for imitating the actions of someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve.
It works well in therapy; if someone wants to be more confident as a public speaker for example, we can use a light trance to get them to recall in detail all the characteristics of their favourite speaker. Then we can get them to imagine stepping Inside that person and feel how they stand or move, hear their voice from the inside, including their own internal voice, and see the group and feel how it feels to be confident in this situation. This process can illicit great results and is also used with some sports psychologists who get young hopefuls to model their idols in exactly the same way to learn or perfect a skill.
Think about all the people you know who have the kind of eating habits you would like.
Whenever you come into contact with them pay special attention to exactly how they behave around food, what they eat, what they leave, and even things like how quickly or more likely slowly (slimmer people generally eat more slowly than their fat friends) they eat.
The more you notice the more you will begin to notice your own habits and how they differ.
After a few days or weeks of watching other people and doing your research into how other people make different choices, take it one step further and do this visualisation exercise:
- Pick one person specifically that you admire, if there’s not one, then create one in your imagination. Make sure you know exactly how they behave around food and what choices they make.
- Get yourself in a comfortable position and turn off all phones or distractions and close your eyes. To elicit an Alpha brain wave state, begin to relax your body. Perhaps start at the top of your head and imagine a smooth golden liquid flowing down the back of your head and into your spine, and as it flows down it branches off through all the nerves sending a message of relaxation to all muscles. Move gradually at your own pace down your arms, all around your rib cage and down into your stomach, hips, thighs, knees and eventually toes. Pay special attention to your breathing and notice the speed of each breath and how easy it is to breathe without thinking. Notice also that the piece of furniture you are in is totally supporting your weight, so that you can take the weight off your muscles, and your mind.
- As you relax physically bring an image of this person into your minds-eye as if you were a fly on the wall watching them. Put them in a situation where you can see they are making great, happy, light food choices and they are avoiding sad, heavy foods. Run a movie in your minds-eye and when you have finished a place or time, fast forward to another one. Watch until you can predict what they are going to choose to eat/leave before they even do it. Spend as long as you like on this part of the exercise.
- Now rewind the movie and freeze frame on the first shot. Next, imagine you can float inside this person and see through their eyes, feel through their body, and hear what they hear. As if you are an invisible guest inside their awareness. Now run the entire movie again from this perspective. Even feel them smile when they smile. Feel how comfortable and natural these food choices are from this perspective.
- Run this movie at least twice and then “save” it so that you can watch it, or recall excerpts of it whenever you want to, even if you do this without thinking. When you can see the movie as a past event, then you are encoding the new maps into your left hemisphere where strategies are created and stored.