How to Use Visualization for Weight Loss.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Elite athletes routinely use visualization to improve their performance. But you don’t have to be an Olympic gold medalist to benefit from this proven, effective mind-power strategy. You, too, can create a confident mind-set and reach your weight loss goals more easily by practicing this powerful technique.

A recent study at McGill University reports that the best way to improve your eating habits is to not only create an action plan but to visualize yourself following through. Participants were asked to consume more fruit for one week. One group simply set the goal to eat more fruit. The other group set the same goal, wrote it down and also visualized carrying out the specific steps needed to eat more fruit. For example, they visualized themselves purchasing fruit and eating it at particular times. While both groups ate more fruit, the group that used visualization ate twice as much. This study supports the positive effects of visualization known for years by sport psychologists and peak performers.

What is Visualization?

We all visualize whether or not we’re aware of it. Anything you’ve wanted and received in your life first began with a picture in your mind. Think of other goals you’ve accomplished. You created the vision first. For example, you first held the image of seeing yourself in a particular job, or driving a certain car.

Visualization is the process of deliberately using your imagination to create a mental model in your mind. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, so when you visualize your subconscious encodes this new picture as if it actually happened. This helps you build confidence, keeps your mind focused on your goal and pre-paves the way for you to intuitively move in the direction of what you want.

A Basic Formula

Follow these simple steps to begin using visualization to reach your weight loss goal:

  1. Sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply for several moments to relax.
  2. Now, picture yourself at your goal weight or a weight you can easily see yourself reaching.
  3. Notice the feelings and sensations associated with this image. For example, see yourself walking along a street feeling confident as you move your body with ease.
  4. After three to five minutes, gently open your eyes. Continue longer if you prefer.

It’s important to be in a quiet space with no distractions so you can calm your mind and relax your body. The more deeply relaxed you feel the greater your ability to internalize the images.

We all imagine in different ways. Some people are more visual, others more kinesthetic. If you’re unable to “see” a clear mental picture, that’s OK. Just get a sense of the experience in whatever way feels natural to you.

Connecting with your feelings as you visualize strengthens its effects. For example, feel that sense of confidence at reaching your goal weight. Commit to a daily practice, perhaps visualizing as you lie in bed in the morning or before falling asleep at night.

Uses of Visualization

Here’s the fun part. Following the basic formula above, use visualization to “mentally rehearse” your desired behaviors.  Here are some suggestions:

Create New Habits: As in the McGill study, visualize yourself eating more fruits and vegetables, or taking daily walks.

Problem Solving: See yourself confidently managing challenging situations. For example, visualize yourself focused on eating your healthy lunch and disinterested when offered sweets in the office lunch room.

Emotional Eating: Visualize yourself successfully using strategies other than food when feeling overwhelmed. For example, imagine calming yourself by breathing deeply and then writing in your journal to release your feelings.

Goal Setting: Visualize wearing smaller sized clothing, releasing the next five or ten pounds or walking one mile on the tread mill.

As you become comfortable with visualization, you’ll be able to use it to not only lose weight, but to improve all areas of your life as well.

Have you practiced visualization to lose weight? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Spring Cleaning: Clear Clutter & Lose Weight.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. For more information about de-cluttering, watch Davey Wavey’s 100 Thing Challenge on YouTube.

Clearing clutter is one of the best kept secrets to help you release weight. If you’re spring cleaning, this season creates a great opportunity to practice this easy strategy. It may seem unrelated, but releasing clutter from your life also helps you release weight from your body. Here’s why:

Your Home as a Mirror

Everything is energy: our bodies, thoughts, emotions and even the physical objects around us. We are attached to our living space, and to our personal belongings, by invisible threads of energy. Everything is connected.

Our homes are like mirrors reflecting back to us the beliefs we hold of ourselves. For example, if your closet is filled with unflattering, outdated clothing, you’re essentially holding onto unflattering, outdated beliefs about yourself as well. As you dispose of this clothing, you’re also discarding the related limiting beliefs that potentially sabotage your weight release efforts.

If the heaviness of your home mirrors the heaviness of your spirit, clear out the excess. Too much stuff and too much weight evoke similar feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control. Excess stuff becomes a protective security blanket in the same way that excess weight provides emotional protection.

An Easy Strategy

Change happens from the inside out as you shift your thoughts and beliefs to create a confident mindset for weight loss. Change also happens from the outside in as you release the heaviness of unnecessary clutter from your life. When you do this, you feel emotionally lighter. This inner lightness inspires you to take better care of your body as well. It’s all connected.

For example, when I explained the power of clutter clearing to my client, Susan, she felt so inspired that she immediately began releasing clutter from her life. After several months of earnest clutter clearing and no other change in her weight loss approach, Susan, who doesn’t weigh herself, wore clothes two sizes smaller. She said, “It’s amazing. I feel lighter and less stressed. I’m just naturally drawn to eating better now. Before doing all this clutter clearing, I didn’t normally eat vegetables so much, and now I’m bringing salads to work. I didn’t think it could be so easy!

To release weight with greater ease, do as Susan does and enjoy the magical results of clutter clearing. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:

Clothing

  • Keep only clothes you enjoy wearing. If you’re hanging onto items you don’t really like, or are worn out, do yourself and your body a favor and let them go.
  • Keep only clothes that fit you well. If smaller sized items inspire you to release weight, by all means keep them.  If you feel defeated when you see them, however, either store them out of sight or give them away.
  • Organize your clothes respectfully in your closets and drawers. After use, put them away neatly.

Kitchen/Dining Areas

  • Keep counter tops and tables clean and clutter free.
  • Honor your food by organizing and clutter clearing your pantry and cabinets.
  • Keep your refrigerator clean and free from old food.
  • Replace chipped tableware. This doesn’t have to strain your budget.  The point is to honor your food and mealtime by serving yourself from eye-pleasing dishes.

Bedroom/Bathroom

  • Replace frayed, old towels with new ones that feel wonderful on your skin.
  • Same goes for sheets.
  • Keep vanity tops clean and clutter free.
  • Get rid of old make-up, medicine and toiletries.

Energy Draining Items

If there are objects that remind you of a difficult time in your life, or reflect the person you no longer are or want to be, release them. This may include photographs that evoke sadness or shame, items with a negative memory attached, or writing journals filled with painful reflections.

For more information about clutter clearing, read these inspiring books, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston, and Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat?, by Peter Walsh.

How does clutter hinder your weight loss success?

5 Thoughts That Stop You From Losing Weight.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

If you’re feeling stuck with your weight loss progress, chances are it has nothing to do with what you’re doing and everything to do with what you’re thinking. Change your thoughts and you will get back on track.

Here are five common limiting thoughts that sabotage weight loss progress and how to change them.

Limiting Thought #1: “I’m afraid I’ll never be able to lose weight.”

This immobilizing thought erodes your confidence and keeps you feeling helpless. Unless you have a physical disorder or are taking medications that inhibit weight loss, remind yourself that there is no reason why you can’t release weight.

Solution:

When this fear-filled thought enters your mind, stop and take a deep breath. Simply notice the thought and observe it with detachment. Say, “Oh, there you are again. That’s ok. I don’t have to give you power. I want to lose weight and I commit to doing what I need to do to succeed.”

Limiting Thought #2:  “Even when I lose weight, I always gain it back. What’s the use?”

Just because something always was, doesn’t mean it always will be. Trust in your power to make permanent change. If it was hard for you to succeed before, chances are your limiting beliefs got in the way. Decide to practice healthy thinking in the same way you practice healthy eating.

Solution:

When thoughts of past self-defeating patterns creep in, tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter what happened before. All that matters is this moment. I’ll take one positive step today to honor myself and my body.” Then, follow through and do one kind thing for your body that reinforces your commitment to taking good care of yourself.

Limiting Thought #3: “I’ve tried everything to lose weight and nothing seems to work”

There are many sound nutrition and exercise approaches. They work. It’s just that we become impatient and give up too soon. Or, it requires a commitment that we’re just not ready to make. It’s sometimes easy to say, “It didn’t work” instead of taking responsibility for how we got in our own way.

Solution:

Once you decide on a sound nutrition and exercise approach that feels right to you, make a decision to stick with it no matter what. Understand that your fear-based mind will try to weaken you with thoughts of “it’s not working”. When that happens, use it as an opportunity to strengthen your strong side. Say to those sabotaging thoughts, “OK, I expected you’d be here. But I’m not listening to you anymore. I’m committed to what I want and I’m getting there.”

Limiting Thought #4:  “I hate my body.”

Do you really “hate” your body or do you “hate” being overweight? Notice the difference. “Hating” your body dishonors everything your body does for you, like allowing you to walk along a beach, hug your child, or enjoy a flower’s fragrance. When you appreciate how your body serves you, you’ll change your attitude about your body, even if you carry excess weight.

Solution:

Soften your tone. Instead of a toxic word like hate, simply say, “I’m unhappy with my weight and I’m changing that.” You can learn to love taking care of your body, even if you don’t love how your body looks right now.

Limiting Thought #5:  “It’s taking too long. Nothing’s changing.”

Impatience sabotages even the best efforts. Remember, it took a long time for you to get where you are and it will take time to get where you want to be.  For your results to be permanent, time is necessary to help you shift your self-concept and “grow into” the person you’re becoming.

Solution:

Create a personal support team so you don’t remain isolated. Consult with a trusted nutritionist, personal trainer, life coach or your medical practitioner for ongoing support and to help you make adjustments to your plan when necessary. Join Calorie Count’s groups to connect with others. With a solid plan in place and personal support for encouragement, the time it takes to lose weight will matter less than the healthy lifestyle changes you’re making to ensure you get there.

Lose Weight: Love the Unlovable You.

Today’s guest post is by my good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do you ever wish that you could love your body completely? Even if it seems difficult, you can learn to do this. Loving what already feels good about your body inspires you. But loving what seems unlovable transforms you.

Love Releases Hate

When you want to lose weight but “hate” yourself and your “fat” body, it’s difficult to focus on having the body you really want. This is because the energy of hate emotionally binds you to your excess weight with a power stronger than steel. The more you hold disrespectful thoughts of your body, the more you stay stuck. Any progress you do make is potentially short-lived.

For example, in any hate-filled relationship, hate actually binds people together. Have you ever known some divorced couples so filled with venom that they continue to harbor resentment and anger for years? They can’t move on because their hatred keeps them emotionally tied to their former partner. But love allows release. Leaving a relationship with love liberates you to let go and create a more loving relationship with someone else.

And so it is with your body. Releasing weight from a body that you love and accept inspires you to focus on the thinner you just waiting to emerge.

Free Yourself

Learning to love your body isn’t just a “nice” idea. It’s vital to your health and happiness. Loving eyes see beyond the superficial. With all its excess weight and loose muscle and belly fat, loving your body completely inspires you to do what your body needs to be healthy and fit. As you embrace your body as the amazing gift it is, despite carrying excess weight, you’re naturally drawn towards nutritious foods and invigorating movement that is good for your body.

A Loving Affirmation

If you’ve never loved your body it may seem impossible to think your feelings will ever change. But feelings do change. Simply having the desire to love your body, and a willingness to change your beliefs, is a first step.

Love inspired thoughts create love directed action. Commit to sending your body daily loving thoughts with this powerful affirmation:

Even though my body carries excess weight, I totally and completely love and accept myself.

To deepen your experience of using this affirmation, connect with your heart energy. Get yourself in a comfortable position in a quiet place. Close your eyes. Place your hand over your heart and feel it beating. Keeping your hand on your heart, repeat the above phrase to yourself or out loud several times.

Saying this affirmation may initially seem strange and the words may not feel true. That’s OK. I invite you to do this anyway because over time it will help you soften your attitude towards your body. When practiced daily and with earnest intent, what seems unlovable becomes loved. And what now seems impossible becomes possible.

Have you learned to love your body? Let us know in the comments below.