Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Power of the Anchor

Last week at our weekly Weight Watchers meeting, we talked about anchors.  Not the heavy, iron kind.  An anchor is a reminder that helps you stay grounded and focused on your goals.  This object could be real or in your imagination.  As long as you can turn to it in your time of need.

Included in our weekly bulletin was a series of questions to help guide a member through selecting and using their anchor.  I decided to take the opportunity to make a blog post where I responded to these questions.  Here we go..... (my responses are underlined)

What's you trouble spot?  Think of a situation where you typically struggle to avoid overeating.  It could be dining out with friends, the weekly lunch meeting at work, or when you're stress or upset.

My trouble spot is when I am at work and things are very hectic, but I have not planned ahead and packed good options for the day.

How do you want to feel in that situation?  Confident?  In control of your choices?  Determined to succeed?

I want to feel calm and not stressed.  When I'm stressed or short on time, I simply grab something quickly.  If I'm calm and collected, I can think of ways to make better choices.

Now conjure up a past time when you had those positive feelings and you totally nailed it.  for instance you might have felt determination as you did your first 5K race.  Immerse yourself in that time: See what you saw, hear what you heard, and feel what you felt.

How I felt: I'm thinking back to my first year on weight watchers, specifically in the meetings that I attended.  I did very well during this time and lost almost 60 pounds.  I felt extremely confident and that I could face all the challenges ahead of me.  I saw the new possibilities available to me and heard the success stories of other members.

Now pick your anchor.  Anything that reminds you of that feeling - a gesture, word, or object - will work.  Perhaps the 5K medal you were awarded at the end of the race?

My anchor is my 33rd Degree Masonic ring.  This object reminds me of my hard work and brings me confidence.  It reminds me of new possibilities and of the successful brothers that I know.  It helps me to remember that I can overcome the challenges before me.

Make the positive connection: Look at your anchor (or think of it if it's not a physical thing) and call up those good feelings.  Keep doing it, and over time it'll become second nature.

How is this working for me:  Very well so far.  I always wear my ring, so it's always on me.  When I face a challenge that I need to face, I rub my ring between my fingers.  I have used it to fend off the wicked candy bowl that coworkers leave in the beak room and to fight the urge to pillage the snack cabinet in the office.

Finally, practice using it as defense!  Imagine the challenging situation, then wield your anchor - and focus on the feeling that helps you make good-for-you choices.  Rehearse often so anchoring is automatic and helpful.

Tips from members and my leader:  Make the anchor something visual that you can always turn to when you need it.  One member recommended her weight-loss chart on your WW phone app.

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