Visualize Weight Loss Success
By Diane Petrella, MSW, CPCC
Do you know there’s an easy strategy to assist you in achieving your weight loss goals?
It’s the power of visualization.
That’s right – visualize yourself losing weight and becoming fit. Rehearse in your mind choices and behaviors that you want to create in reality. These pictures become the mental blueprint guiding you towards your goal.
We all do this whether or not we’re aware of it. Think of other goals you’ve accomplished. You created the vision first. For example, seeing yourself driving that sporty car, imagining yourself in a particular job. Anything you’ve wanted and received in your life first began with a picture in your mind.
Elite athletes, business sales consultants and performance artists routinely practice visualization techniques. For example, golfers mentally rehearse their shot in great detail, dancers imagine the joy of the applause at the completion of a smooth performance and the savvy sales woman pictures herself closing the deal. These successful achievers learned how to apply this proven technique to assist them in reaching their goals.
How does this apply to you? Positive images set the mental stage for positive results. When you visualize yourself making healthy choices at a restaurant, when you see yourself confidently walking on the treadmill, and when you imagine yourself joyfully buying clothes two sizes smaller you are training your mind to assist you in making those choices in reality.
How you see yourself is the greatest predictor of your weight loss success. For example, if you are determined to lose fifty pounds yet hold onto the mental picture of yourself as a “fat” person you will continue to make choices based on that “fat” image of yourself rather than choices based on seeing yourself as fit and healthy. As you visualize yourself reaching your goal weight you more naturally make healthy choices based on this new image.
Visualize yourself succeeding. If you feel stuck, most likely you’re holding old negative pictures of past failures and self-defeating experiences. Change that picture and replace it with the new successful you! For instance, my client, Sarah felt stuck and demoralized when she reached a plateau in her exercise and weight loss plan. Instead of berating herself as she had in the past she created a new self-image. For five minutes every day she imagined herself with a smile on her face walking in a park feeling happy, confident, loving her body and moving with ease and grace. This commitment to daily visualization helped her regain momentum and set her back on track.
Here’s a visualization exercise to do every day. This simple technique is easy and fun.
- Sit in a quiet place and take several deep breaths to relax.
- Now close your eyes and picture yourself having reached your weight loss goal.
- Notice and experience the feelings associated with your goal rather than the specific outcome of numbers on a scale. For example, visualize yourself confidently walking along the beach in your bathing suit, feel the exhilaration of exercising your body, or imagine yourself experiencing peace of mind while eating at a restaurant with friends.
- Do this for five minutes daily.
Consistent positive visualization feeds your mind images of success. This strengthens your motivation, improves your confidence and keeps you focused on your goal.
What pictures do you hold of yourself today?
What new image would you like to create?