Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Anchors


Without a doubt, my favorite Weight Watchers "tool for living" is anchoring. I said in my last post in this weight loss series that I'd talk more about the tools for living, and of all of them this is the one I relied on most, and still do.


Of course, as a Christian, my ultimate "anchor" is Jesus Christ. Whether in weight loss or anything I do in my life. In addition, the WW program taught me about using milestones in my life as anchors.

The WW program says the following about what they call "anchoring"...

When sticking to the plan is tough, that's when you need Anchoring, a process for creating cues and triggers to remind yourself of your weight goal and the inner resources you have to achieve it. You use Anchoring every day. When you hear a song that makes you smile because you associate it with a certain memory, that's an anchor to that memory. Anchoring can help you achieve your "Winning Outcome" by reminding you of a particular inner resource you may need to connect to when you're having a hard time. "

Me here again:

People choose different anchors for various reasons of what things are meaningful to them. My two anchors were/are my fingernails and my wedding ring. I know this sounds odd, perhaps. Allow me to explain my reasoning. Until I became engaged to Larry I bit my fingernails terribly. It's something I did since I was a very young child. I would bite them profusely and seemed powerless to stop. I bit not only the nails off but all the skin around them, in a horrible nervous habit. It was so gross! I tried everything you can imagine to stop. Finally Larry told me he wanted to propose to me but he wasn't going to put an engagement ring on my finger if I kept biting my nails. He said, "I'll propose to you - I'll marry you - but not with a ring. I'll buy you a diamond engagement watch or something, but not a ring, until you quit biting your nails." This was before the days of the nail business being as it is today. Back in 1985 we couldn't just go down to a local nail shop and have fake nails put on in 30 minutes time. I had to stop biting my nails and grow them out the old fashioned way.

I loved Larry and I really wanted to get engaged and so I overcame my nail biting as hard as it was. Let me assure you, it really WAS hard. I have not bitten my nails in almost 22 years now however still to this day when I get stressed it is still sometimes a temptation. Would you believe even now after having acrylic on my nails and getting them professionally done there are still days I find myself putting a finger to my mouth to bite a nail when I'm frustrated and I have to remind myself that I don't do that anymore, and quickly stop. Larry promised me we'd get engaged as soon as I grew my nails out. Sure enough when I had grown them out, he proposed to me, with the ring! I have always been really proud of myself for accomplishing that because only I knew how hard it was to really do it.

With anchoring, the thing is to remember - you've accomplished things in the past - you can do it again! When I am tempted to give up, veer off, forget trying anymore, talk myself into quitting, I simply tap the end of my fingernails or touch my ring and say to myself, "No, I'm not giving up. I've overcome in the past. I can do it again."

The Weight Watchers Program gives the following instructions regarding creating and using an anchor:

Create your anchor with these steps:

1. Identify the inner resource you need to respond the way you want.
2. Remember a time when you had that inner resource. Think about the circumstances that surrounded you. See what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt at that time.
3. Choose an anchor that will bring you back to that time in an instant — a mental picture, a word, a gesture or an object.
4. Then, remember again that time when you had that strong inner resource. When the feeling you had then is strong within you, connect it to your Anchor.
5. Use your Anchor by itself. Did it work? Are you in touch with your resource? If not, keep repeating
Step 4 until your Anchor grounds you when times are rough.

Me here again:

Did I resent my husband for making me grow out my nails if he was to propose? No. It was a change I needed in my life. My hands are my favorite feature - and my husband's too! I take pride now in keeping my hands looking nice especially since I'm always greeting people, hugging people, joining hands with them in prayer, laying a hand on them in prayer, etc. Not to mention I speak a lot at places and people see them right away (such as in the photo above at a recent conference). I love my hands and they are used to serve the Lord, my husband, my family, my church. I'm so glad they are also an "anchor" to remind me I can win my weight loss battle. You can win yours too. Create/select your anchor and go for it.

2 comments:

Tara Sloan said...

This has been an incredible tool for me as well. It is amazing at how well it helps you refocus and get back on track!

Pastor L said...

My anchor right now is a pair of jeans that used to fit, but now is way too big...whenever I am feeling like I'm not losing and "what's the use?" I put them on.

(Although this is only going to work for so long...once they're completely falling off me, I'm going to have to find a new anchor...LOL!!)