Continuing Education

Weight Loss and Installing a New Way of Thinking

 Your Body, Your Mind—The Right Weight Loss Attitude instructor Scott Bohart has a unique approach to weight management. He believes the most successful means to curbing weight gain begins with the mental picture we keep of ourselves. Bohart’s approach is centered on ImageNeuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a mental discipline he discovered years ago while teaching English in Japan—a pursuit that became an intercontinental calling with an entire world of applications.

It started with a seminar entitled, "Better Teaching through Mind Power."  “As an Aikido student for many years, I was interested in techniques to improve my mind and signed up,” says Bohart. “The seminar really changed my perspective on a number of things that were holding me back and I decided that I wanted to learn more about NLP.” Bohart’s exploration of NLP took him to UC Santa Cruz where he eventually earned his NLP Master Practitioner Certification.

While in Japan, Bohart sought opportunities to help others achieve their goals. “Though the Japanese have many of the same problems and dreams that Americans have, I found that they really needed help building confidence and motivation to speak English,” he says. “For them, speaking English has become a bit of a national obsession. Many Japanese abhor making mistakes, looking bad or not being understood.  In order to not make a mistake, look bad or be misunderstood, many English learners don't try or just give up.  Of course, it's impossible to advance if this happens.  My program was designed to help them let go of their fears around proper communication so they could relax and enjoy learning the language.”

Later, Bohart made a close inspection of the types of support Americans needed to achieve their goals and quickly targeted weight loss and body image issues. This was familiar terrain for Bohart as he struggled with his own weight as a young person. “When I was a kid, I was fat,” he recalls. “Everyone used to call me ‘fatty’ and one kid made fun of me if I didn’t eat all of the food on my plate—as if fat people don’t have preferences! Eventually I resolved to do Imagethings to get thin.  Luckily, I was young and didn’t have the negative self-talk that would have stopped me from doing sports and losing weight.  After joining the swim team and going every day, I lost a lot of weight and achieved a body I could be happy with.”

Bohart recognizes that his childhood weight loss was boosted by the fact he was still growing. “It still took discipline and perseverance to go to practice every day at 6:30AM.  As an adult it may seem harder, but I still make exercise a part of my lifestyle.  Likewise, because of doing the work I did when I was learning NLP, I find that I don’t have the uncontrollable cravings for food that I used to.”

It’s no surprise the world is full of experts touting their own weight loss regimen, but for any process of this nature to succeed the student must install a new internal dialogue when it comes to how they talk to themselves. “Unless people have the sense that they can do it without feeling bad, frustrated or without sabotaging their plan, they will have trouble,” says Bohart. “They may try to lose weight, but their internal dialogues about it stop them from being able to follow through and stick to their new diet and/or fitness plans.”

“The processes I use involves various exercises for students to ‘install’ new ways of thinking about their bodies and weight loss,” says Bohart. “Though they are encouraged to practice the exercises we do in class, the goal is to have the new thoughts installed into their subconscious by doing the exercises once or twice. Once this happens, they naturally act in ways that move them toward their goal of a body they can be happy with.”

It all begs the question, why are motivation and confidence issues so prominent in our culture? “If we think that we can't do or achieve something, then it will be like walking into a strong wind to do it,” says Bohart. “If, however, we think that something will be fun and/or Imageeasy, then, even if it is difficult to do, we will easily be able to act.  In my opinion, one of the main reasons people have trouble with feeling the desire to do things is the negative self-talk they create related to the goals they want to achieve. My exercises help reduce that self-talk so students will be able to try new ways of thinking and doing—thus working toward their goals.”

Bohart says Your Body, Your Mind—The Right Weight Loss Attitude is a learning process wherein successfully adjusting one’s perspective on weight, body and fitness will ultimately become second nature. “We will be able to naturally do the things necessary to lose weight, get fit and feel good about our bodies,” he says. “Change your mind, change your body. For me it's as simple as that."

Learn more about Your Body, Your Mind—The Right Weight Loss Attitude.

Photo credit #1: Weight Loss Clinic_cc_2.0
Photo credit #2: Fitness Together Lynnfield_cc_2.0
Photo credit #3: Rakshithgs Acharya_cc_2.0