…it’s important stuff is visualisation! I have had some news today that means I need to stay focused on positivity and moving towards the life I want.
When I feel that I need to really focus on my future, I use visitation techniques – amongst other things, and I was reminded of a blog post I wrote after watching a film last year…I still can’t quite believe it was that long ago that I watched it!
I’m not quite sure how watching Mark Whalberg take a beating and Christian Bale taking drugs spurred me on, but it did! Watching ‘The Fighter’ – which is based on the true story of Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund – was really motivational. It wasn’t just due to the fact that good old ‘Marky Mark from the Funky Bunch’ was stripped to the waist for most of the film, but had far more to do with the fact that both of these guys overcame some pretty big hurdles in order to achieve their goal!
Dicky Eklund was a fighter made famous by knocking down Sugar Ray Leonard, however after this his life spiralled out of control and he found himself hooked on crack cocaine. His younger brother, Micky, adored him and wanted to follow in his boxing footsteps but was continually held back by the family’s desire and focus for Dicky to make a comeback. Despite this, Micky kept on fighting, with Dicky as his coach, yet kept getting poor fights during which he was used as a ‘stepping stone’ by other boxers who moved onto bigger and better fights. To cut a long story short, Dicky ended up in prison and Micky washed his hands of him and became a successful boxer. Dicky got himself clean in prison and, upon release, despite a shaky start, the brothers made up and Micky went on to win a title fight and began fighting for 7-figure sums of money. Pretty impressive stuff!
What I found quite powerful though was the short clip at the end of the film in which the real life brothers were sharing a bit of banter. At first I thought it was Whalberg and Bale, but upon second glance it was clearly not them. I was astounded! How had these actors managed to get their mimicry of these guys so spot on?! You all know by now that I, Weight Loss Bitch, am a curious soul, and so I did a little research!
Apparently Whalberg worked for four years – yes, four bloody years! – to get his body into the same shape as Ward’s. He had him on set at all times to point out any inconsistencies, and he even moved the brothers into his house in order to fully exploit his ability to mimic and understand them. This goes far beyond simple copycat behaviour. This is true visualisation – really putting yourself in the mind and body of another person – living, breathing and behaving as they would. The actors did such a great job that Bale won an Oscar for his performance.
Okay great, so how does this help you and I? Well it got me thinking about the power of visualisation and mimicry. As a lifelong fattie I have never really had the joy of looking at my legs and seeing kneecaps, or looking at my hands and seeing knuckles – they look like boxing mitts actually…rather apt! – or even seeing what my ankles look like. As for feeling a rib or a hipbone…you’ve got to be kidding!…I know they are there, but they are quite shy and just happen to be covered by a big layer of insulation! Although I was overjoyed recently to see a knuckle and feel a hipbone!
So imagining what it is going to be like when I get to target is difficult as I’ve never experienced that before. But, just as Whalberg prepared his body for four years, I am preparing mine – the bit that he did, and that I hadn’t done much of, was the visualisation and copycat behaviour.
Our mind is an incredibly powerful tool. So much so that it actually overrides chemical and hormonal messages from our bodies…eating when we are emotional and not hungry, ignoring our hunger in an attempt to cut our calories drastically…sound familiar? If our mind drives our behaviour then surely we can use this to our advantage. We all know that if we are told often enough that we are fat, or stupid, or dull, then for some reason we start to believe it. Needless to say then, that if we start to tell ourselves that we are healthy, happy, and fun loving, then surely we should start to believe this? Research shows that visualisation and positive affirmations are as powerful at helping to achieve weight loss as the food we put in our mouths.
Positive emotions help to build your belief in your ability to be successful. So whatever your aim – be it to fit into a pair of skinny jeans, or to walk down the aisle in a beautiful dress – you need to start imagining how that will feel NOW! How are you going to feel when you are slim and healthy? What does your new life feel like? Visualise yourself walking down the aisle, or walking around the shops, in that dress or those skinny jeans. How good do you feel? Everyone is looking at you admiringly – imagine what a difference this will make to your mood. What new activities will the slim and healthy you enjoy? Imagine yourself doing them. Take the time each day – perhaps a couple of minutes before you go to sleep at night, and again when you wake up in the morning – to visualise the new you and just how great it feels.
Writing down what you want to achieve, and telling yourself that you CAN do it also helps. Start with an interim target if your end goal feels too far away. I broke my 30st+ weight loss goal down into mini targets of 3st to start with. Doing this means you see the ‘result’ a little quicker which spurs you on. Telling myself I could achieve a 3st loss was far more realistic than telling myself that I needed to lose 30st…and now I’ve achieved seven of my 3st ‘targets’ and I’m feeling really good about it! To be honest though, I now break my goals down into much smaller chunks…the next shiny sticker!
Write yourself a mission statement, ‘I will fit into those skinny jeans by eating healthily and exercising regularly.’ Repeat this daily and believe it! Create your own little mantra; mine is ‘healthy, fitter, happier’ and I repeat this to myself over and over again as I am training! ;-). Start to say ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ instead of ‘I can’t’ and ‘I won’t’…come on my lovely…you CAN, I know you CAN! If you are brave – I’m getting there! – and can stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eye when you repeat this positivity, you will start to believe it and it will begin to transform your behaviour!
On the subject of your behaviour, it is crucial to know what it is that has stopped you from succeeding in the past. What little devilish thoughts and behaviours have put you in elasticated jeggings instead of unforgiving skinny jeans?! I’m going to advocate yet another list I’m afraid, but one that will help you succeed this time! You need to identify what has kept you at arms length from success…too many chocolate bars, too much vino, two tubs of Ben and Jerry’s…and instead make a list of alternatives. I’m not talking about the creation of a new shopping list, but instead a list of behaviours that will get you where you want to be. Things like using your syns for chocolate daily instead of a weekend chocolate binge, or enjoying that vino with a nice meal at the weekends only, or perhaps swapping Ben and Jerry’s for a frozen yogurt…as there is no way that only having a spoon of their creations is achievable! Discover your personally created and developed saboteurs and identify how to deal with them. Refresh and update this list if you need to but above all else, read it regularly and check that you are following your own advice!
Behave like a slim and healthy person does. No, I’m not stupid…this also works! I have asked you before to question whether or not a slim and healthy person would eat the way that you do. Do they fill a plate, full to bursting, with food – regardless of whether or not it’s healthy, or do they serve themselves a sensible portion knowing that they can have more if they feel hungry later on? Do they plough through their meal, stuffing the fork in quicker than a bees wing flaps, or do they eat slowly and mindfully, enjoying each mouthful? Are they couch potatoes or are they fairly active?
Try and identify a person whose habits you admire – and I don’t mean the tiny Asian lady who holds the world title for wolfing down hotdogs! Spending time with people who have a healthy lifestyle makes it easier for you to behave this way. If all of your friends are eating healthy food for example, are you likely to load your plate like Everest with fatty Chinese food? Your subconscious will be affected by those around you, so it makes more sense to try and surround yourself with people who have a similar goal in mind. I’m not saying that you have to ditch your vino swigging pals, but perhaps try and find a couple of new ones at the gym, or from your diet class…or even on good old Twitter, that can help support you.
I was intrigued by this little website that allows you to upload a picture and see what you would look like as you lose weight. Apparently it will let you ‘lose’ up to 5st, but you can then save your lighter picture and keep going if you need to! I’ve not tried it yet myself – after a disastrous photoshopped pic years ago that left me looking like an alien – but it might be fun to give this a go!
Anyway, I am a little tired tonight so am going to call it a day. I have coached today, trained today, ridden a bike today, had an appointment, been to the shops, seen the horses…it’s been busy and I need to refresh my mind – maybe a bit of meditation is in order. I hope that you are not melting in this heat…I am. I moan like a madam when I get too hot – but maybe it’ll melt some fat!
Today’s food looked like this…
Breakfast: Bananas and mixed nuts (2 x HEB).
Lunch: Jacket potato, beans, cottage cheese, and salad.
Dinner: Feta-stuffed mushrooms (2 x HEA), roasted peppers, couscous, and edamame, broad, and green beans.
Snacks: Nakd bars (13 syns).
Exercise: 60 minute PT session – weights-based which was fun…but I am feeling it now!
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx