Exploring Your Vision and Deep Value 

This is arguably the most important chapter of the entire course and process. Ideally you will be able to partner with your clinician to discuss this but the nice part of this exercise is it really just needs one person – you! Quite often we may think we have a goal and our motivation to achieve it will seem obvious.  When it comes to arriving at an obesity clinic the goal is often “to lose weight.” In fact there is often a number already there in your mind.

So the question remains: what is motivating you to achieve that weight?

An answer may come to mind. It could be something profound but it could also seem quite superficial. “Well, I want to fit into my clothes again” or “I don’t know, I just want to lose weight.” A mental exercise here is to continue to gently ask “why” and continue to ask the next reason “why” until it would be silly to ask any further. I’ll give an example: 

Client: I want to lose weight to be able to get into all those clothes in my closet.

Clinician: It sounds important to you that you may be able to fit into those clothes. What would you do or feel if you could get back in those clothes again?

Client: Well, to be honest, I think I might go out more. I’ve really kinda withdrawn socially since I gained weight.

Clinician: That’s really important to acknowledge. So its a bit about fitting into the clothes but it is also about connecting with others. Who would you want to connect with?

Client: I’ve got a great group of girl friends and I know they don’t care what size I am, but I just have it in my head that they do. Or I don’t want to feel judged. But I really miss them.

Clinician: So its this sort of thing that on one level your goal is to lose weight. But on this other level, it is to connect again with your friends.

In this case, the client and clinician can see that there is a connection between weight loss and social connection. It is feasible that the social connection can occur independent of any weight loss which is important to note!  Now, if weight loss continues to be a meaningful goal (and this can be explored more of course) then this vision of the client hanging out with their girlfriends could serve as a “compass” for change. This is a vision of themselves enjoying all the things and qualities they want to enjoy. This image or compass can then be used to help navigate big decisions as well as moment to moment life experiences in terms of behaviour change. The vision, or compass, allows one to do difficult things because those tasks now have meaning and purpose. 

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