Meditation and Willpower

Any who keeps an eye on this blog knows it’s been hard for me to lose weight. I climb on the ladder, off the ladder. I’ve struggled to stick to any significant lifestyle changes long-term, which means, I think, that I need to get inside my own head, either to figure out why I struggle or to shore up my sagging willpower.

So I’m about to try a new thing (for me) to try to focus myself more. Meditation. By the way, every time I type meditation, it comes out medication. Is that a Freudian slip? Lol. So, anyhow, I’ve been doing some reading about a couple of meditation (yep, had to correct the typing again!) techniques. One is called Five Good Minutes by Jeffrey Brantley, MD and Wendy Millstine. It’s a morning practice of attention (breathing mindfully), intention (decide on your needs/intent for this meditation), and acting wholeheartedly (embrace that intent completely).

The other one is a 4 part meditation technique I got from mindbodygreen.com where you spend five or so minutes on each of four different meditations.

  • Gratitude – focus on the blessings in your life.
  • Dedication – Pay it forward by focusing on someone you know who is struggling, visualizing good intentions for them.
  • Affirmation – Choose a quality you would like to strengthen in yourself and plug it into    this sentence:  “I am                               .” Like, I  am healthy, or I am filled with willpower. Recite the sentence over and over again.
  • Repetition – Repeat that one chosen quality from the last medication. Just one word.  Over and over again.

These are the two I’m thinking of trying, although the morning one probably won’t be very often. My mornings start out helping Mom. By the time I’m done with that, I’m so focused on my day, I dive right in. But doing the 20 minute one, say just before starting dinner, might be helpful, since it seems to be from about 4pm onward that I lose all willpower.

So here’s my question. Do you meditate? Do you have any particular meditations that are helpful to you? I’m looking for hints and tips to help sustain this practice and keep it going.

Thanks! I hope everyone who celebrates Independence Day July 4th had a safe and happy one, filled with family, friends, and laughter!

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12 responses to “Meditation and Willpower

  1. Wow, I’m hoping you’ll get a lot of input on your questions and I want to hear them. And, I intend to hound you with progress reports. I have heard that to ‘think thin’, visualize yourself at what you want to look like works. Ummm I think I may join you on the this journey because I’ve certainly been on the loose/gain cycle.

    • I almost didn’t put this blog up because I will hate it if I have to come back and say I failed. Lol. And yes, I am trying hard to visualize. My mantra at the moment is to shut down toxic thoughts in my brain. Hopefully…

  2. Sounds good to me Laurie, I’ll give it a try too. I just seem to be at a standstill and need to loose 15 more pounds 😩😩. So the good thing is We are healthy, keep me posted.

  3. I am so with you on the weight merry-go-round. Have been fighting the battle for too many years and nothing seems to work. Do I meditate? I try to at least once a day, usually when I’m in the garden early of a morning, when it’s peaceful. A few years ago I tried the “Think Yourself Thin” technique by Paul McKenna. It worked for a while but then as always something happens and I go off the rails. I’ve recently gone back to it and so far I have lost a few pounds. Don’t know how much as I avoid weighing myself, I find that disheartening. Good luck and keep us informed how it works. 🙂

    • Off the rails. Yep, that’s me on a regular basis. This time, I’m going to try it your way. No stepping on the scale. And thinking thin, er, positive! 🙂

  4. Love your new intention, Laurie, and focusing on the meditation practice around the time you find your resolve weakening seems a good plan.

    I’ve meditated for many years now and find that if I miss it for any reason my day just doesn’t feel right. The focus for me is on breathing. Simple, basic stuff:

    Get comfortable and close your eyes. Inhale for a count of six. Hold for a couple of seconds. Exhale for a count of eight. Pause for a couple of seconds before inhaling again. You can change the count to suit you (nice relaxed breaths with no strain), but see if you can exhale slightly longer than you inhale, which will aid relaxation.

    Like I said, simple. But it works for me. Other times I’ll do a similar pattern with the breathing, but might focus on an intention. For instance, if I’m feeling tired I might imagine breathing in vitality, visualising energy pouring into my system as I inhale, then as I exhale imagine that energy permeating my whole body, increasing my vitality levels. It helps to imagine the energy as a colour, white or golden or any colour that signifies health to you. For losing weight, you could imagine drawing in that energy and vitality as you inhale, and then exhaling and imagining the excess weight gently melting away. Finally, take some deep breaths and visualise yourself exactly how you want to look or feel.

    It’s a good idea to start small and build up. You could begin with five minutes and gradually increase the time you spend in meditation as you feel comfortable. When I started, I remember thinking how long twenty minutes was and quickly lost focus. It’s one of the reasons I think people give up meditating. Now, those twenty minutes fly by 🙂

    Good luck!

    • Thank you so much, Tricia! This is great information. I almost emailed you privately to ask, since I know you have a yoga book out and I thought you might meditate regularly. Do you meditate in the mornings or in the afternoons/evenings?

  5. I’m glad it helped, Laurie. Mornings tend to be a short meditation for me, five minutes or so, and it’s usually to set a positive mood/intention for the day. Then I do another longer one around 5pm/6pm if I’m at home. If not, then later in the evening, sometimes even before going to bed. Late night meditation can really help improve quality of sleep, but it’s not always a good idea if you’re too tired. I’d say experiment and see what works best for you.

  6. Laurie I’m sorry not to reply sooner but better late than not! I hope your plan is working well. I’ve read the other comments, especially Trish’s as she is such a support to me. I too medtate but not regularly, I find that daily, short times occur when I let myself stop, breathe slowly and focus on a plant, music or such. It works for me. Sometimes I do a deeper, long session especially during tough times. Trust those moments, they do make a difference as well as refreshing me.

    • No worries at all, Jane. I’ve managed to medidate about every other day. I’m liking this 4-point focus I’m doing, a combination of focus on me and on someone who could use some good vibes heading their way. Kind of feels like I’m paying it forward that way, which is always good for the psyche. I’m still working on a good breathing regimen along with it, but it will all fall into place one of these days. Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Catch Up Blog… | Over The Backyard Fence

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