How would you like to know there is something that could not only significantly improve your chance of reaching your weight goal, and better than that, ensure that your ability to maintain it would be greater than ever before? I’m looking for people interested in trying a better way to change destructive behaviors that negatively affect their body weight to participate in a free trial.
A tool based on Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP) has been used successfully in the past. It’s called Mental Rehearsing and it’s a way to change behavior through positive reinforcement. Mental rehearsing is a way of identifying the behaviors you want to use to lose weight. Then, through mental imaging, you see yourself doing these things until it becomes second nature. It’s a useful tool, but has its limitations.
Some people simply can’t get a mental image of themselves. Their minds just don’t work that way. Another problem is a mental movie is limited to your thoughts. The obvious advantage of a video is being able to not just imagine the desired actions but to see your actual image enhanced by hearing yourself as you demonstrate the behaviors.
Now, with video self-modeling more people could lose weight and keep it off. If you think this is an aversion strategy, you’re wrong. There are no hidden cameras monitoring your behavior to catch you doing something wrong. That’s not even close.
Video self-modeling is about watching yourself star in your own, personal movie. As the hero of the movie, you are doing – modeling – all the behaviors that support successful weight loss and maintenance.
You are the star, but the use of costars is important to model correct responses under pressure. Family members, co-workers and friends may all play a role in the movie to help the star make choice that support their goals when subjected to a little or a lot of pressure to do otherwise. Any negative actions are removed with editing.
I described the self-modeling video as a movie, but it’s more than that because the soundtrack includes applause. When the star makes a good choice, applause and sometimes even cheering are added to help reinforce the positive behaviors.
Melissa Root, owner of Root Success Solutions, LLC at Connecticut College’s Blaustein’s Humanities Center, in New London, CT, says, “it’s really positive to see yourself doing well. It’s not intrusive… It doesn’t take a lot of time.”
She is talking about video self-modeling when applied to verbal aggression, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and transitions.”
Root says the concept isn’t new and that she learned about years ago as a grad student at University of Connecticut in Storrs. She says what’s different now, however, is the technology. It’s easier to implement the programs thanks to the quality of smart phone video and editing apps.
Root just published a book in July, “Picture Perfect: Video Self-Modeling for Behavior Change,” which she co-authored with Melissa Bray. Weight management isn’t one of the behaviors specified but Root agrees that doesn’t mean video self-monitoring wouldn’t work for that.
Picture Perfect: Video Self-Modeling for Behavior Change contains step-by-step directions for:
- Selecting goal behaviors
- Developing a progress monitoring system
- Planning the video
- Creating the video
- Data collection and interpretation
Behaviors that stand in the way of weight loss include emotional eating, succumbing to outside pressure to overeat, difficulty controlling certain foods, and overcoming an inclination towards inactivity. Videos starring you reacting positively to any or all of these situations could effectively change your reaction when you encounter them in real life.
Dieters would create video self-model movies showcasing their preferred dining out strategies, supermarket shopping, meal preparation, and stress management actions. There are multiple, indeed, endless ways this could support successful and lasting weight control.
Video self-modeling has been used for roughly 50 years to help overcome a myriad of destructive behaviors although it hasn’t been specifically applied to weight management.
Melissa Root agrees that it absolutely could be used to change actions that undermine reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and is eager to use the technique for that purpose.
I’m looking for several volunteers who would be interested in being test subjects. If you have trouble eating certain foods in moderation, have emotional eating issues, or find it hard to be accountable for food and exercise please contact me to discuss participation in a video self-modeling test. Please contact me if you’d like more information.