Dieters, rejoice! Start by forgetting that you were ever trying to lose weight and remembering that you are a lean, mean healthy machine.
Okay, stop right there. Leave those tedious thoughts behind and listen up, because having your dream body may be more about what you think than what you put in your mouth or how many hours you spend at the gym.
Yes, that’s right. An important key to losing weight may be in your head not your abs.
We’ve long known that the mind is a powerful tool. Thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs rule our bodies. They determine what we do, how we act, where we go, who our friends are, what we say and what we eat. Our thoughts can motivate us to act or scare us into not acting. And that’s just on the surface. Behind the scenes, our minds can affect us on a cellular level too without us even noticing.
The Mind is a Powerful Tool for Weight Management
Think about all the people that you know who are happy and successful –– be it with their bodies, careers or relationships. Now think about how things always seem to go miraculously well for them. They land that dream job. They eat that ice cream sundae and don’t gain a pound. They’re always madly in love with their significant other, or are at least happy.
If you take it a step further, you’ll probably see that all of those people have a positive attitude. They believe things will go well for them, and they live their lives accordingly. Doubt, worry and self–pity never enter the equation
Olympic gold–medalist Michael Phelps is a great example. In an interview during the Olympics, he was asked if he always thought he could achieve the feat of winning so many gold medals. And he said that yes, he always believed he could do it, even though he knew the odds weren’t necessarily in his favor. He believed. He had a great attitude. And he lived, trained and competed accordingly. And look at the outcome.
So how can your mind affect your success factor and your body size?
The idea is that you get what you think, feel and believe.
Positive Thoughts = Positive Results. You think you’re going to get the job, and you get it. You know you’re going to fall in love and you do. You believe that you have a great body and look at you. You see it and somehow what you’re focused on becomes a reality
Negative Thoughts = Negative Results. Unfortunately, if you’re focused on the negative, that seems to be what you attract as well. If you look in the mirror and think negative things about yourself, you are not likely to achieve your ideal body if you starve yourself. If you keep telling yourself you have to diet and lose weight, you find yourself continuously dieting and "losing" weight but never achieve your goal.
One theory is that you’re telling your body you have to lose weight and diet, so your cells go into survival mode. They think the big starvation is coming and so they start storing fat, slowing down their metabolism rate and even burning muscle instead of fat. Your cells are powerful little fighters and they’re going to get what they need.
So, how can you change your thinking and beliefs to achieve your ideal body?
Practice and visualization are a good place to start. Visualization techniques have proven highly effective for athletes for decades. Athletes are taught not only to practice technique but to exercise their minds as well by visualizing the outcomes they desire –– both on a broad and small scale. They imagine winning the game as well as visualize specific actions such as making the goal.
So, just as athletes use proven visualization techniques, we can use similar tricks to focus our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs on our ideal body. Here a few options to try.
- Come up with a mantra.
Start by picking a phrase or sentence that says your ideal in a nutshell. I am thin. I’m a thin and fabulous. I weigh (140) pounds. I am strong, fit and have washboard abs. I bench (weight) and run five miles on a regular basis.
- Say it.
Say your mantra over and over throughout the day. Don’t question it. Just do it. Let it make you proud.
- Write it.
Get up every morning and write your mantra on a small piece of paper. Take the paper and throw it in a special "thin" box in your room. When you suddenly find yourself thinner and healthier, open the box and see how many papers it took.
- Type it.
If you prefer your computer, open a file and type your mantra once a day. Or send yourself an email with your mantra as the subject line.
- Sing it
Put on your favorite song and sing along with your thin mantra as the lyrics. Or just listen to your song and picture yourself in your ideal body doing something you love. Let the tune energize your thoughts.
- See it.
Visualize. If you were once thinner, take out a picture, stick it on your fridge, and every time you see it say "you look great." Another visualization trick is to imagine your fat cells in a hot air balloon floating away while you enjoy how your lean body feels.
- Act it
Close your eyes and play out a scene where you walk onto a beach or into a party or even just around your house in your thin body. Imagine what it feels like and just breathe. Just keep feeling how good it feels. Just for a minute.
- Believe it and be the thin person that you are.
Get up in the morning, greet yourself as Mr. Lean or Miss Thin, and live your day accordingly. Get enough rest. Drink lots of water. Exercise to burn off all that extra energy you have. Socialize and play. Be romantic. Learn. Work. Buy clothes that you feel great in. In other words, do what the ideal you would do!
Imagine and achieve your ideal body!