Before the whole world and its aunt became hysterical about all things fit and healthy, it was definitely a calmer place. This overdrive on health, fitness, and eating right made the world terrified of the weighing machine, carbs, and the horror of being fat. A while back, Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of almost everything, revealed to an admiring audience a picture of six fat (am I allowed to say that anymore? Or should I use a more politically correct term?) women naked and robust with the caption saying love your rolls or something to that effect, followed by, of course, the whole world and its aunt who promptly jumped onto this bandwagon and smeared the planet with the message love your ample body or something similar…
It worked like everything new does, but after a while, the men and women were still unhappy with their bodies and the collective restlessness kept growing. The nutritionists and diet creators of course sneered and jumped right back into the health fray again with a zillion new diets and an opinion, most of which never worked.
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But, that having been said, let’s face it; in any universe, parallel or ours, being slim and shapely definitely steals a huge quantum march over looking… ahem… plump?
Alas! If it were only that simple!
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Anybody who has weight and body issues will testify how arduous it is to lose weight and how easy it is to give in, and how despairing it is when, after a humongous effort, your weight has not budged, or you still can’t say no to that big bar of chocolate.
So, here’s the thing ladies and gentlemen. This piece called think yourself thin, is not about a new diet or a new exercise regime at all. It deals with, amongst other things, sending positive slimming, reaffirming messages to your brain, to help you achieve the body you have always wanted. And yes, it works!
The brain has long been understood to be the most powerful organ in the human body. It has the ability to absorb messages from the external environment and act upon it. We have all heard and seen the effects of the adage – as you think, so shall you be – it is true indeed. In this article, an attempt is made to harness this powerful power available to every one of us to help you achieve the body you crave. Of course, right eating and exercise is to be done simultaneously too!
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1. Do you really WANT to become thin? This is the big one as this is where it begins, in my opinion. Take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror. Are you comfortable with your body shape, even if it is far from ideal? Are you able to accomplish most of what you want with this body? Are you, in your opinion, comfortable with how you look with what you wear? Are you healthy enough for your age and weight? Or are you just being a victim to the glossy magazines which have impossible-to-achieve bodies splashed in them? Or do you feel guilty about being the only plump one in your clique? If you have answered in the affirmative to most of the questions above, then maybe this article might not be for you. The reason I am asking these questions is, do initiate a regime only if you feel right about doing it, and for all the right reasons ONLY. If your heart is not in it, the brain does not recognize what exactly it is that you are trying to achieve. Instead, what will end up happening is that you will put pressure on yourself, and after a while, there will be a burn out and you will simply abandon it! The key to sending positive affirmations is, like everything else, to stay passionate and consistent.
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2. Your brain, as mentioned earlier, is very cognizant to the messages you send it on a regular basis. Since our brain has an area for storing memory, it stores these consistent messages and acts upon it. Do you make habitual statements like –“This is it. I am never going to reduce any more,” “I smell food and I put on weight,” “everybody in my family is fat, ha ha ha. It is genetic with me!” or “ I will never ever be slim” – these shaded words, if used regularly, is what gets stored in your brain, and therefore you, the carrier of the brain, act upon it. So, if you want to think yourself thin, start here. Some of the affirmations or messages you might like to substitute are – “I stay slim,” “My genetics do not rule me,” “I am healthy and eat sensibly,” “I am very shapely and fit for my age.” Try it, it works.
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3. Who is really exercising? I have noticed through the years, people walking, exercising or dieting for years and staying exactly the same! In spite of following a strict regime of walking and eating right, at best, there is only a marginal difference that I can see. I am convinced as a mental hygienist that somewhere the messages being sent to the brain, like I have mentioned in my earlier point above, are to blame. So, who is really exercising? Is it a FAT person trying to reduce weight or a fit you trying to stay fitter? The point I am making is, internally, if you believe that you are a FAT person trying to reduce, the brain picks up FAT! And that’s where you will stay till you REFRAME the paradigm and say I am a slim/fit person exercising to stay fitter.
4. Do take care of your emotions. This is another big one! Our bodies are phenomenal biological devices of non-verbal communication amongst other things. I cannot stress enough on being aware of the emotional aspects of staying slim. Our bodies communicate everything, I mean everything. It also stores emotions within it, if unaddressed. So no matter how much you exercise and eat right, if the underlying emotional layer which has been suppressed remains unresolved, your body will hold on to it as a shield, insulation or fat. The unresolved emotions also act like a block to your efforts. Anger, fear, sadness, and guilt for instance, get stored in our bodies in and around the middle region – fear houses itself in the stomach area and anger in the rear region, poor self-esteem in the upper thighs and buttocks. So, if you observe a portion of your body which refuses to budge and if you have ruled out a medical reason for the status quo, then maybe a visit to a therapist might work for you. Go get professional help and resolve suppressed emotions to get to a slimmer you.
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5. …and the age old shtick, loving yourself enough. This essentially means that the message you are sending your brain is – I love the body I have been given, I love exercising to maintain this beautiful body, my body is my temple and I worship it, I so love my body that I will not dump it with junk. These are powerful messages that the brain picks up and of course it acts accordingly. It changes the way you think about eating and adds a new dimension to your relationship with food, working out and staying healthy. Putting passion and meaning into these affirmations will definitely add more energy into them.
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6. No matter what people say about you. Sadly, we cannot control what people say and do! Body shaming is an epidemic which destroys self-esteem if you start believing things people say about your body. In some parts of the world, strict laws are passed against body shaming with penalty, and perhaps even jail time. The point here being, no matter what you hear about your body, it is important to continue sending positive messages to your brain. Also, I would like to quote Eleanor Roosevelt here, who said nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License