In The Real Reason (part 1) we discussed why people lose 10, 15, and more pounds and then put the weight right back on. We made the case for its NOT being because they lack the will power, self control, or time, but because they are sabotaged by their own self-image. Now we're going to look at a solution, but first --
Your self-image is how you see yourself. It is your subconsciously-maintained concept of yourself created from your convictions and the resulting habitual thoughts on the subject of who, what and how you are. Each time a particular topic comes up, your mind has a "tape loop" of thoughts that are associated with that subject. And so it is with one's image of oneself.
More specifically, when the issue of losing weight comes up, your mind jumps into action, spitting out the same old, same old. Do these sound familiar?
- I always put the weight right back on, so why try?
- I'll never lose this weight, I have ...
- It's not worth it to give up my favorite foods to lose a few pounds
- I hate to exercise, I don't have time to exercise and prepare low-cal fare
Whatever the thoughts are -- these are the beliefs about yourself that you've built up as these thoughts have been recycled through the years. Your self-image in the example above is that you are one who always puts the weight back on,; one who is too busy or hates to exercise; one who's not willing to change his/her eating habits; one who is doomed to stay heavy. Of course, you have your own set of self-limiting and self-destructive thoughts and beliefs -- your own self-image with which to deal.
Taking action without aligning your self-image with your desires seldom works. Change your self image, your self-sabotaging view of yourself, and rev up your desires (your whys) FIRST and then, any actions you take will be supported, will be much easier, and will be much, much more likely to be a lifelong success story.
Make a list of what you would "like to be like" and why. For example: I'm going to lose the weight to be a better role model for my children; to have more energy to enjoy activities with my family and friends at night, after working all day; and to be around to enjoy the weddings, graduations, ... of my children, grands, and great-grands. Attach this list to your steering wheel, bathroom mirror, and the... where you'll see it often and read and contemplate the items on the list every time you get into the car or in front of the mirror. Do this for two weeks or a month before you start that exercise or weight-loss program. Then, review it before each workout, meal, snack to remind yourself of who you are becoming and to strengthen your new, more empowering self-image. Keep adding to the list! Take time WHILE you're exercising, eating, ... to visualize the you YOU ARE BECOMING! Oh-- and this is very important, too -- take time to appreciate what you do like about yourself and your life.
Before you know it you'll have a new spring in your step and be enjoying the heartfelt compliments of friends and family. Now, what's the first thing you're going to put on your list -- and then ...?
Ed Mayhew, speaker and author of Fitter After 50 and Fitter For Life