Hardly a day goes by that I don´t hear some kind of advice about weight loss, new research results, new diets, new exercises. It is difficult to discern what works. How come, so many people are still struggling with that topic, despite the abundance of offers to help lose weight. What comes to mind is "What you focus on expands"...
When we focus on being relaxed and happy, we end up being relaxed and happy with the help of the many clues and hints we come along every day. That´s how it works. That said, if we focus on losing weight, it works in a different way. The subconscious mind works in images. There is no NO in images. An image is, or it isn´t. Try this: "Don´t think of a pink elephant!" Impossible. It is right there, big and pink. What does that mean for weight loss:
I can give my own example. Unfortunately, I struggled with my weight until my mid twenties, always unhappy with my body, always on a diet of some sorts. I did not ever achieve my goal, however. One day, my health check-up showed I had elevated cholesterol and sugar levels. I was shocked. After all, I was pretty much only eating diet foods, with hick-ups in between, plus, I was young!
This changed my motivation completely. Losing weight was not on my agenda anymore. My new goal was to restore my health. That image of a pristine state of health was very powerful to me. It started to guide my choices, I started exercising and nourishing my body as opposed to starving it. Most of all, I started be-friending it, loving it and being grateful for it. My cholesterol and sugar levels have now been fine for many years, and the pounds came off within the first year as a nice side effect.
It even took me a while to realize that I had achieved my long standing goal from the past, because it was not my main image anymore. And that image had been weight troubles. Our subconsciousness is our trusted servant and works around the clock - even when we are asleep. I found it to be very effective to be mindful of powerful images of our goals. Struggling with weight was not getting me anywhere, but "seeing", envisioning a healthy body was. I would even imagine the numbers of my next check-up back within the normal range. I looked for behavior that supported my image of a healthy body, without ever experiencing a feeling of struggle.
With a little practice, this habit of defining our goals in powerful images is easy to do and even fun. In my work with clients as a coach, I help them achieve their goals. We determine those powerful images, which are very individual to each of us. One thing I have learned about behavior change is that it will not happen, if it is accompanied by uncomfortable feelings. Just imagine how struggling with weight feels, as opposed to returning to a vibrant, healthy body.
I find it wasted time to go for goals that have this unpleasant vibe around them. Life is so precious, and time does go by whether we want it or not. My credo is to live every day the best while creating an even more amazing tomorrow. How neat is that! Enjoying what we are doing, taking the responsibility, loving making decisions for our own goals, our heart´s desires. I have also found that our heart goes for what is best for us and not what brings a good taste into our mouth for a moment at our health´s expense. Trusting that has been very powerful for me as well as my clients.