Imagine having more sunshine and giggles in your life, more energy, more happiness, better health, being way more calm, focused, tranquil and mellow… Well here’s some good news – all of these things are available to you because you don’t have to go looking, you already have them. In fact all you have to do is close your eyes… just allow them to close… So says my mind bending mate, Don Macpherson, encouragingly in my ears this morning. So I do. “It’s amazing what happens when you close your eyes”, he tells me. “Immediately your body starts to switch off and relax as you shut out external interference. Now you are free from the limitations from your visual system. You can go inside yourself to a place where there are no limitations of any kind. This is a place where you can create you’re your own future”. I do that too. The music starts and the show begins… benefit of visualisation_2 For the next 10 minutes my world changes while my thoughts can be controlled and later turned into positive actions. What a great way to wake up, full of hope and promise, regardless of what shadows might be lurking! Then Don says goodbye and I slip my earphones off, programmed and ready for a sunny day. These are the benefits of visualisation and they are very real. Power of positive thinking Visualisation, audio hypnotherapies and the like were something that I was lucky enough to stumble upon in my mid 20’s when, I wanted it all – well everything on my list. It was a hedonistic time of filling up every piece of my life to feel fulfilled, wiser, brighter, broader, dynamic, faster, fitter, colourful and charismatic. And I have to say it really felt like it worked. The help it gave me through my racing and fitness competitions was invaluable: I was no longer the floundering, stumbling at the first hurdle nervous wreck, but a sure footed, sure minded winner! These days the goals are more modest and rather more altruistic. And rather like for some when they feel a cold is coming they’ll up their vitamin C dose, when morale or motivation slides, it is on with the earphones and up with the volume of one mind bending series or another… But this need not be all about gaining increased confidence, clearing your head, attaining great sporting or physical feats. It can also be about something that affects all of us on a critical and daily level. Visualisation and eating  It is absolutely true – there are very real benefits of visualisation in eating. Along with many others who feel the need to tune up their eating habits, I always keep an eye and ear open to any sensible advice that may make a modicum of difference. Paul McKenna comes up with a different method to dieting Surrounded by a large audience of large Americans, he applies his rules to the eager listeners: “Eat when you’re hungry” he commands. Yes I agree with that, it’ll keep the metabolism churning… “Eat what you want, not what you think your should!” He booms. Really? Given your audience Paul, do you think that’s fair? By now I’m anxious to see where he is taking us. “Throw out foods that don’t inspire you” Oh dear, that might just be my entire larder right now… “Go and buy your five favourite foods!” What? It’s not just me twitching nervously now, even his large audience are finding the space to fidget in their seats. “Eat consciously” You mean not when I’m sleep walking? Please explain! So he does and this is the bit that hinges it all together.

Eating consciously means doing only that. Not when you’re watching telly, driving, reading or writing for that matter (how much proscuitto ham and rice cakes have I munched through writing fitness artiucles over the years?!) Anything that is distracting, shouldn’t accompany your eating.

So it should go like this: Eat, place the cutlery down, chew, chew about 20 times and you’ll be amazed how it does not only slow down the race to finish, while you’re watching your partner queue up the next fork full and load that down, maybe you’ll count somebody else at the take taking five forks to your every one, but this is not a race!

Taking your time allows the body to assimilate and respond. For example, at the very least, it needs to be able to tell you ’that’s enough now thanks!’ A more conscious approach to your eating means greater general awareness, appreciation and it also removes the emotional connection to food, not to mention permits much better indigestion and absorption. Connect with WatchFit Expert Joey Bull

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