Obesity has become a major issue in the United States, and is especially alarming among school age children. While we may not all be classified as obese, losing weight or at least maintaining our desired weight has become a national obsession.

If you have found that diet and exercise alone have not been enough to achieve your goals, you may be interested in discovering a few new techniques that will allow you to uncover and overcome self-sabotaging blocks, and give you handy tools to support your efforts.

Here are seven tips for achieving your weight loss goals:

1 - Know what is important to you

Values are that which you love, cherish, or wish to gain or keep in your life. A proper, rationally-designated value system is vital in creating a life that is successful in all areas. By thoughtfully listing in order all the people, things, and activities that are important to you, and understanding the hierarchy of the positions, you will know better how to behave, respond to others, make choices, determine your purpose and your goals, and so forth.

This, in turn, will support your decisions about exercise, food, and other lifestyle choices. When you truly understand that your long term weight loss goals are more important than eating sweets, your decision to refuse the temptations will become so much easier and natural.

2 – Rethink Your Motivations

The following technique quickly and easily addresses self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors, and facilitates the decision making process.

Secondary Gains

Also known as "the pay off", Secondary Gains is a strategy that assists us in determining what motivates our behaviors and symptoms, even when they are self-destructive. Combining Secondary Gains with Parts Therapy (described below) is a swift and elegant approach to working with self-sabotage, blocks, illness, addictions, pain, and nearly every decision or quandary in life.

Anytime you sense that something is not right in your life, this technique will allow you to quickly gain access to the roots of these blocks. It is important to approach this exercise with honesty and be open to previously unknown information.

Honestly answer these four questions:

In what way is the extra weight a benefit to you?

In what way is the extra weight a detriment to your life?

In what way would losing the weight be a benefit to your life?

In what way would losing the weight be a detriment to your life?

By answering these questions, many people have determined their subconscious motivations for holding onto unwanted weight have included protection, softens the hurt, prevents promiscuous behavior, keeps people away, rebellion, refusal to be limited in food choices, etc. Comparing these answers to their values, however, demonstrates that there may be other ways of achieving their goals.

3 – Committing to the Goal

The personality adopts behaviors, beliefs, and perspectives that it perceives is helping you to maintain your life. Some of these behaviors, beliefs, and perspectives work in the moment, but do not serve the whole person over time.

As we have revealed through Secondary Gains, all too frequently we are working against ourselves. What personality traits or habits have you adopted that prevent you from having the life, and body, you truly desire?

The human psyche is made up of many parts. They typically have formed or strengthened as a means of survival. Even self-sabotaging behaviors served a useful purpose at one time. However, like computers, over time we need to update the software. Parts Therapy is a tool that you can use throughout your life to make decisions, sort out confusion, and reduce the power of an outdated, self-defeating part. Your life path requires commitment. Commitment requires a decision.

We all experience inner turmoil and conflict, self-sabotaging behaviors, blocks, and indecision from time to time. As with Secondary Gains, this technique can be applied any time, allowing you to resolve such conflict quickly and easily. How bad do your circumstances have to be before you are willing to commit to a new strategy?

To set up the technique, follow the steps below:

* Determine the distinct polarity of the issue, eliciting two parts – a part of you that causes you to do something, and the part that wants you to quit
* Direct the parts to each migrate to one of your hands, completely separating.
* Imagine fully identifying with only one of the parts.
* Allow that part to verbalize its position in the matter, without interference from the other part. Allow it to speak, uninterrupted until finished.
* Now imagine shifting over to the other part, asking it to verbalize its position, just as above.
* Alternate between hands, until they have reached an agreement to cooperate with each other.
* Clearly verbalize that agreement.
* Determine whether any other part of you objects to the agreement.

Have the two hands come together in their agreement, integrating so they operate within you in a unified manner, with one goal and one direction.

Now imagine this unified energy integrating with your body, your heart, your mind, and your spirit. Then take a moment to experience the sensations and responses elicited.

4 - Empower Yourself

The Empowerment Symbol is a powerful means for quickly reconnecting with desired states of emotion or perception. It is classified as an "anchoring" technique, as quickly moving you from feelings of deficiency, and anchoring you in more desirable states of courage, confidence, and so forth.

The concept of the Empowerment Symbol developed when it was naturally produced during a session in my office. The client had conjured a strong positive emotional response that was appropriate to anchor as a gift and future resource. This has since become a useful and versatile contribution to the practice of hypnotherapy.

Eliciting the Empowerment Symbol

* Determine the trait that you desire to access, such as discipline or courage.
* Remember a previous time when you have experienced that feeling.
* Enhance that feeling, using as many modalities as possible – visual, auditory, kinesthetic, emotions, memories, imagination, etc.
* Ask your subconscious mind to produce for you a symbol, a metaphorical object, which represents this feeling. Such an object may be a sun, moon, stone, star, waterfall, bird or globe.
* Examine and describe the object – its size, weight, color, texture, and so forth.

Remember to practice visualizing the symbol whenever you desire to experience the power of those traits it represents. You may also create new and different Empowerment Symbols for each trait, or to be used in different circumstances.

5 – Be the Person You Want to Be

The Role Model is another anchoring technique that allows you to obtain traits that you admire in others, or traits that you imagine you will have when you accomplish the goals of your weight loss program.

Eliciting a Role Model

* Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Imagine a version of you who has already acquired your stated goals. Allow your imagination to create a very vivid representation of the this new, improved you.
* When you are ready, take a breath, count 3, 2, 1, and imagine stepping into that new you. Notice the energy, attitudes, and perspectives you experience.
* Then step back into your beginning perspective. Notice how that feels and what is different or the same. Step back in, again noticing any changes. Continue to step in and out until you can easily maintain the desired traits and claim them as your own.

Remember that our true nature is healthy and self-empowered. Once you have experienced the sensations of being in the new you, you can realize that the desired state is readily at hand. You do not have to fake it to be that new person. Rather, you simply have to align with the brightness of your true shining Self.

6 – Manifest Your Desired Future

We are all successful magicians. Where we are right now in our lives represents the full sum of all our energy, decisions, choices, focus, drive, and passion. Each choice you have made was based on the best resources you had at the time, given the knowledge and circumstances at hand. You have manifested your life to be exactly what it is.

You know how to manifest – and yet there are ways to focus and increase that power and set yourself on course to get what you want even more than what you have now.

Imagine what you could do if you set your sites higher. What would life be like if your power to manifest was based on your new understanding of your values? What would change in your life if you were to focus your thoughts and energy on your true highest dreams and desires, with nothing tugging at you to waver or slow down?

Choose an object to represent your weight loss goals. This object may be a stone or a piece of jewelry or even a version of your empowerment symbol. In your imagination, allow your object to be endowed with all the attributes that represent your full intention. These may include strength, courage, determination, will power, self-love, images of your new body shape, and so forth. Carry this object with you, and touch it, hold it, look at it, frequently throughout each day.

7 – Check with Your Medical Practitioner

Having determined your values, removed obstacles to your goals, empowered yourself, and begun to manifest your intentions, the pathway is fully open to your weight loss success! Choosing a meal and exercise plan that suits your health profile will be vital to the program.

Studies have shown there are links between weight retention and stress, thyroid and adrenal function, and many other factors that need proper consideration. A lot of time and struggle may be averted by getting solid professional assistance from a qualified nutritionist, bio-feedback specialist, allergist, or other medical professional. A simple, yet personalized, adjustment to your medication, supplements, or food choices, could make a significant difference in the ease of shedding those unwanted pounds.

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