As a small child, not wanting to go to school for fear of rejection from others, my dad gave me some solid advice. He said,
“Smile and act confident and friends will come to you.”
My daddy inspired me to let confidence reside in my spirit before it truly existed because I was walking forth in complete TRUST in God! How that principle served me in my life! Preparing for a home birth while pregnant with Mia, he reminded me once again of this principle which lead me forth in self-efficacy!
Weight loss was no different. I truly believe that PRAYER (gratefulness and asking God for exactly what you want), complete TRUST and being able to ENVISION the end result was the secret sauce behind the incredible weight loss success he has gifted me.
I realized that one thing that held me back from success in the past was that I could not visualize what it was that I truly wanted. So how could I even ask God?! He gives so generously when we ask and trust (lemmie just tell ya, friends)!
Make the choice
This was when I made the choice of how I wanted to LOOK and FEEL at my optimal weight. Once I was able to envision (in living color) what my goal was, my prayers and gratitude became so much more vibrant and clear. These are my personal techniques that have helped me lose and maintain my 90 pound weight loss.
Setting up my subconscious mind for success and trusting God were the key ingredients to success with my weight loss journey. Let’s get this straight…I had a clear plan of action as to how I would ACHIEVE my weight loss but my consistency and self-efficacy was a direct result of conceptualizing and trusting.
God loves the voice of his children. How he longs to hear us ASK with thanksgiving in our hearts. As a mother I understand. When my daughter asks joyfully for something that will make her happy it DELIGHTS me to give it to her!
How it works
With Christ at the center I dreamt, imagined or “visualized” what I was working for. My mental picture became so vivid that it became a pleasurable place escape to whenever I felt defeated. Trust me when I say, the road to losing weight is PAVED in moments of defeat. If you never feel like giving up then your dreams are too small.
To my delight, this practice of conceptualizing or visualization worked stunningly well. It seemed that as soon as I started practicing visualization for weight loss, a subtle shift happened inside of me. I just wasn’t as hungry. I started to crave healthier foods, and I started to become more active. I had more energy and less appetite. Helpers and solutions naturally just gravitated to me. Fit friends came out of the wood work to walk beside me on my path. It settled me in a place of trust in God.
Meditation time for me is more about being in a state of gratefulness. To me, this approach to fitness is the most sensible and sustainable way to lose weight because God is at the center, healing your subconscious (self-doubting) mind, soothing your spirit, and changing your body.
Disclaimer: I want to insure that I am CLEAR about my intention with the words that I chose to describe this process of “healing and believing”. The word visualization is often depicted by the media as something very separate from God. When you read the word visualization please understand what it is I am trying to depict. I view “visualization” as something that is done in direct and intimate communion with God. I am trusting HIS power over the power of the universe which HE created.
My heart is seeking to think on the truth of the promises he has for the life of his kids. I use the world visualize because the word dream or imagine water down the idea of this practice because it is completely different. What I am trying to explain is a “deep relaxed, focused, picturing of specific outcomes and detailed goals”. For the purpose of sharing this tool with you we can call it conceptualizing. Really what this consists of is the re-programing your mind to succeed in its subconscious state. The more you do this, the more you will believe in your ability to succeed in your waking hours. The more you believe, the more you combat the feelings of self-doubt which are the destroyers of our dreams and of our JOY!
Here are some of ways that conceptualizing has completely revamped my body and renewed my mind
1. I saw my ideal form before I achieved it.
I targeted my weight problem through by creating a vivid image of my body at its optimal weight. I saw the number on the scale every day. If it said 205 I trusted and pictured “129”. I imagined myself thin and fit, with defined stomach muscles and tight skin. Anyone who saw me at that time would have thought I was insane, but I could see it and believed that God would give me the ability me to achieve this. This ideal body seemed like an impossible, crazy goal to set for myself. I didn’t care how unrealistic this image seemed. After 2 evenings of picturing this image, I began to trust that God had this healthy form in mind for me and anyone else who asked for it. I wanted to make sure that I had a clear vision of where I was headed. Eventually I became the exact image that I visualized. When I look in the mirror I see something healthy, fit energetic and something I can be grateful for.
As it turns out, picturing clear, vivid images is the perfect way to communicate to your brain. Research has found that when your mind enters the state of deep relaxation brought on by “imagining or day dreaming” it becomes primed for suggestion, responding in MEASURABLE hormonal changes. The result for me (and dozens that I have worked with) is lasting weight loss! Please note, this act of conceptualizing is powerful but only when paired with a weight loss program that work for you. You can’t just believe then go eat twinkies all day . *wink
2. I used visualization to help reduce stress.
One thing obesity studies have clearly established is that stress can drive weight gain. When we’re under constant pressure, the body releases stress hormones that spur hunger, slow down metabolism, and encourage our body to convert calories into fat. What I later discovered was that visualization, meditation, and other mind-body practices are proven tools for reducing stress.
Even though my daily life was still filled with challenges I began to view stress as a catalyst for ACTION. Stress was not a curse. I trained my mind to see stress as my body being primed and motivated to respond to my daily challenges. Once the energy produced by stress was used to my advantage I was THEN able to return to calmness and a place of trust. As a result, the stress hormones that were causing hunger and fat storage in my body started to dissipate.
3. I faced, accepted and moved forward from emotions that bound me.
When I reached my heaviest weight, I was carrying with me emotional battles that I used food to temporarily quell. It is so common to use weight as an emotional protective barrier. In the past, when emotional issues (in relation to weight loss) are addressed with my patients 1/3 drudged up memories of being abused as a child. This was particularly accurate in cases of individuals who had more than 50-60 pounds to lose.
Many people unconsciously use weight as a barrier when they feel threatened. Visualization and rest in The Lord can create a safe place that fosters deep healing and forgiveness. This technique of the mind is powerful with any emotional issue that leads to over eating. The key is going into it with a heart that is willing to change (forgive, love forward, heal, chose renewal) since you are powerless to change circumstance. This creates a place of safety in the mind, when the mind was once the most terrifying place on earth. Now you no longer need excess weight to insulate from the world. Once the mind is “safe” and trusting God, excess weight begins to melt away very quickly.
When I visualize emotions my prayer is that God will reveal these dark places of unrest and unforgiveness in my heart and help me “put off all malice”. Psalm 139 is my anthem in these moments:
“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar…
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
4. I use the techniques to get REAL with myself about junk food cravings.
When I visualized chocolate cake, for example, I’d “think on things that are true” about the way it made look and feel. I’d focus on how it trapped me in a cycle that was shortening my life and limiting my ability to reach my full weight loss potential. This was 9 years ago and I still have no desire for chocolate cake. Fast food was another difficult transition which I have been released from for 11 years. I felt as though thinking “truth” released me from many of the habits and food comforts that plagued me.
5. Conceptualizing has helped me break unhealthy patterns and set new ones
This is how change really began to morph me. I visualized myself taking walks in the evening instead of eating (my most difficult time of the day).
When you choose healing and address the emotional issues that were causing your body to hold onto weight the shift in you begins. You can CHOOSE a renewed mind and convince your body to WANT to be healthy and fit, naturally and sustainably, from the inside out.
You are so much stronger than you think; when you add faith… well… then you just become LIMITLESS!
If you are ready to exceed your past weight loss limitations but aren’t sure where to start. Just know, the answers will materialize at the right time for you the way that they did for me. If you would like me to guide you into weight loss you may fill out this challenger application to be considered for an upcoming weight loss challenges. YES YOU CAN!
I love you guys!
Verses that focused my mind throughout my journey:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, (What is true is that I can be more effective for Ministry if I am healthy) whatever is honorable, (I choose to honor God with the “temple” he provided for me) whatever is just, whatever is pure, (I choose to eat from nature whenever possible and drink fresh water to nourish myself) whatever is lovely, (I will thank him daily for the blessing that he has in my life through this journey) whatever is commendable, (I will work hard and do amazing things in his power to point others back to him) if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (These are the things I would visualize, meditate on, ponder as I focused on what it will be like when I achieve my weight loss goal. He ultimately allowed me to surpass my goals in his power to show me his unmatched compassion for me. This is my prayer for you
Proverbs 17:22 ESV
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.( I will keep a joy attitude about my workout and nutritional transformation.)
Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ( When I lose hope or feel discouraged I will turn fear to trust and bask in gratefulness,)
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (I WILL* do)
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.