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Think Yourself Thin

What we think, we become. ~Buddha

The most important thing you can do if you want to lose weight has nothing to do with food or exercise, but it will absolutely help you make better food choices and motivate you to move more.  The most important thing you can do if you want to lose weight is to stop thinking of yourself as an overweight person.  If you lose weight while believing you are an overweight individual, you’re just going to think, I’m a fat person who has lost a few pounds.  How permanent does that feel to you?  If someone who recently quit smoking thinks only in terms of how long it’s been since her last cigarette, she still thinks of herself as a smoker who has not smoked in a while.  It’s equally as true, and far more empowering, to think of herself as a non-smoker.

In the case of carrying around extra weight, I say it’s far more empowering to think of yourself as a healthy individual who makes healthy choices on a regular basis.  This doesn’t mean that you deny you have extra pounds to lose if, in fact, you are carrying excess weight, but there is no upside to identifying with your weight.  By thinking that you are someone with a weight issue, you will find ways to keep yourself above your natural weight (and possibly gain more)—not consciously, of course, but if you identify with being an overweight individual you are unable to imagine your body maintaining its natural weight.  You really do have to believe it if you want to see it.

Before I dropped 2 dress sizes down to my current size (over 3 years ago), I decided that I wanted be a confident person. I didn’t exactly know how to become one, so I did the fake-it-til-you-make-it thing and started paying attention to other people who I thought were confident and copied the crap out of them. I stood tall, put my shoulders back (this improved how I felt about myself instantly), walked with purpose and copped some swagger.  I pictured myself being confident and it worked phenomenally well.  Not only did I start buying into the idea that I was hot stuff, but other people were buying into it as well.  People were suddenly drawn to me: men flirted with me, women were friendly and chatty with me and my kids were happier and more relaxed around me.  Again, this is right before I dropped over 10lbs.  What’s fabulous about this is I had no intention of dropping any weight at all . . .I thought and felt that I was amazing just as I was! Nothing changed except my perception of myself.  It followed that my physical self came into alignment with the mental image I had of myself.  I was not consciously trying to get rid of weight, it literally let go of me.  I didn’t even realize how much weight I had lost until friends started making comments . . .and I started swimming in my jeans.  What’s fascinating about this turn of events, is that once I started getting compliments and approval for my new body, I erroneously started thinking I had to hold on to it in order to feel special and loved.  It was a total mind trick, because, in truth, I felt amazing before I looked amazing, it was not the other way around.

This isn’t to say I don’t make healthy food choices and move my body, I absolutely do.  My motivation comes from nurturing and celebrating myself for who I am, and not from judging and punishing myself for who I am not.   I’ve operated from that horrible judgmental and punishing place before, and let me tell you, it blows.  It is extremely difficult to see where you are drop-dead gorgeous if all you focus on is what you don’t like about yourself.  That is exactly why you must focus on your drop-dead gorgeous parts. The good news is that focusing on the parts you aren’t in love with is just a bad habit–you created one habit, you can create a newer better one.

Get in the habit of appreciating what you like. Find a physical feature or two that you truly feel good about and then play them up.  If you have an amazing smile, work it: smile at your friends, family and total strangers—you’ll feel good acknowledging and using one of your assets and others will appreciate being on the receiving end, I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a smile?  Do you have pretty feet? get a pedi and some cute open-toed sandals (Spring is just around the corner. . .).  Got gorgeous hair?  Treat yourself to a blow-out and flaunt your do.  You have amazing features, find them and share them.  Once you start finding one or two things you can appreciate about yourself, you’ll start discovering other things, too.  You’ll also find that those parts you didn’t like aren’t so bad after all. Before long, you’ll be blowing kisses at yourself in the full-length mirror.  When you start showing your body love, your body will respond in kind and will start revealing its natural weight to you.

You are a healthy individual, capable of making healthy choices regularly.  No matter where you are on your weight loss journey or what your state of health is, you can find examples in your life where this statement is more true than not.  Try that on.  If you like it, keep it and notice when evidence supporting your new belief presents itself.  Acknowledge it and watch the evidence proliferate and ultimately manifest as the body you truly want.  By then you’ll be feeling so fierce, you’ll just think of your weight loss as an added bonus.

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