Cultivating Your Personal Assets
FORMING GOOD HABITS by Dr. Clark Cameron
Habits are programmed, automatic responses to people, things, situations, thoughts, and feelings. So long as your automatic responses continue to be what they have been, your condition will continue and even grow. To get changes in your life and in your body, your habits must change. It's as simple as that.
Over our many years of working with individuals in-depth at the inner-mind level, we have formed a rather comprehensive view of what is going on for most people when they try to lose weight and keep it off. You may not have encountered all of the obstacles suggested here, but you certainly have come up against enough of them to have suffered all the frustration you care to experience.
Perhaps our habits are the ultimate bottom line. They seem so natural and so right. And yet, over time, they can have such devastating results. The process is so normal it can just slip past us without being noticed.
Let's look at a simple example. Let's say that the net result of your consumption and exercise patterns - of your habits - is that you happen to gain a pound a month. And let's say that ever-so-easy-to-do pattern happens to continue itself, the way these things so often do, for five years. What then? Try simple arithmetic: 12 pounds a year for five years equals 60 pounds. And it wasn't even hard to do! You didn't have to set a goal and try to achieve it. It just happened quite naturally and inevitably as a result of a simple and accustomed set of habits.
Since you're listening to me right now, I can safely conclude that your habits haven't been working to take off excess weight and keep it off. On the contrary. Instead of taking weight off, or maintaining a trim body, your habits, all by themselves, have been quite able to make you overweight and keep you that way.
Chances are you haven't had to devote a single iota of energy or thought to achieving that outcome. It happened all by itself. You were on automatic pilot, going where your subconscious programming and reward systems were taking you. If you keep on like that, guess where it will keep on taking you?
Here's another one I know a lot about personally. How easy is it to avoid getting the right amount of the right kind of exercise. Let's face it, our lifestyle in modern civilization isn't designed to generate healthy, fit bodies. I imagine that you've often found it too hard or inconvenient to engage in a regular program of physical exercise, even a less strenuous and enjoyable one. After all, repeated studies have shown that enough consistent exercise helps melt off the excess flab, and keep it off.
It's All In Your Mind
There's also the matter of your beliefs and attitudes - of your mindset. It's likely to have featured self-indulgence rather than self-discipline. Your dedication to self-indulgence may have been moderate or it could have verged on the suicidal. There's an interesting dynamic between our beliefs and our habits. The one generates the other, or supports it, and vice versa.
Your mindset is the sum total of your emotion-backed subconscious programming. It includes all the elements that cause you, usually unconsciously and on automatic pilot, to eat the way you do, and drink the things you drink. These behavioral programs are all incorporated in the basic programming of your biocomputer, as your brain has been called. Your attitudes are a part of the equation, along with your feelings and everything that supports or triggers them.
Your "diets" may have been worse than failures, even counterproductive. For when they failed, you've been likely to throw up your hands and surrender to your unhealthy too-fat self and its cravings. Each diet has led, eventually, to another attempt and another failure. This has not been good for your body or for your psyche.
Your mindset and habits are, of course, no accident. You're a fish swimming in an ocean of consumption stimuli. The society of which you're a part offers massive, unrelenting incitement to its members to develop the kind of habits and mindset that have become part of you. And that society further entices and stimulates you to indulge yourself and your habits and mindset ever more blatantly.
Note the unceasing assault on your senses and cravings by movies and television, radio and magazines, newspapers, and billboards. Note too the availability and enticing promotion of eating and drinking establishments of all kinds, and the seductive care with which supermarkets inflame your gustatory libido. Ever notice what happens when you go shopping at your supermarket near meal time or when you happen to feel hungry? Extremely intelligent men and women who have a great personal stake in how much and what kind of stuff you buy have studied you and your shopping habits to cause you to buy as much high-ticket product as possible.
Twenty-four hours a day you live and move in a swirling sea of sophisticated propaganda and manipulation designed to stimulate you to gross self-indulgence in consuming highly unhealthy, fat-producing products. Here's one of the iron rules of the industry: The more unhealthy and addictive the food or drink is, the more money will be spent promoting its consumption. And the converse is true. The healthier items have traditionally received the least promotion, if any. You and people like you are the target of this unrelenting multi-billion dollar effort.
A Healthy Addiction
If you think about it, you may envy the recovered alcoholic, nicotine or other drug addict. No matter how disastrous his or her habit, at least there is a definite addictive substance to give up, to stop consuming. But you can't stop eating food and drinking liquids. So there's always temptation right under your nose.
This is far and away the most insidious compulsion - an addiction to consuming foodstuff that tastes wonderful but makes you fat and unhealthy and even shortens your life. How about considering another way to go about this that just might be revolutionary: Get yourself addicted to eating and drinking foods and liquids that actually help you attain and maintain a healthy, lean or slim body! A novel idea, huh?
Given these challenges we've just reviewed, and with which you are doubtless only too familiar, how can you hope to break free of these subtle but steely chains that have bound you so long? The answer lies in your inner mind, and its power to create and direct constructive change - you need only learn what to do and how to do it.
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