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Saturday, December 01, 2012

We all utilize visualization in our lives and most of the time; often we are not cognizant that it is even happening. I often reflect on what the future might bring, not having an end point in mind. This is casual visualization and is often good for the soul but seldom gives insight as to what goals need to be put in place to insure that we end up at the finish line.
I have been a proponent of what I refer to as directed visuals. When I coached little league baseball I noticed that for the most part, the boys were seeing in their minds eye, the baseball soaring over the fence for a home run. Unfortunately they were focusing on the wrong thing. In their mind eye, they were “looking up” to see the ball careened over the fence before they even hit the ball. Big problem in golf as well, especially considering my golf game.
It came to me one day that if they would focus on the swing and contact with the ball, they would hopefully see positive results. I asked them to mentally visualize the actual contact of the bat on the ball and strive to make that a reality. I asked them to do this over and over. In other words, KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN and do it every time at bat until it becomes automatic.
I was pleasantly surprised how effective this was even for 10 year old boys. Can you just imagine the smile on a young man’s face when he has just broken out of a batting slump or finally getting that first hit and then telling me in a boisterous voice – HEY COACH, IT WORKED! I smiled too, of course. We later progressed to visualizing HOW to hit the ball to hit the ball where you wanted it to go. This proved to be a rather daunting task for young men to absorb but by golly, they never quit trying and that is all anyone can ask. A well placed single has won many a game.
The same is true for us endeavoring to win this bloody weight war. Focus on the small steps in the journey. Visualize your plate with your planned portions. Do this before your meal and before EVERY meal until it becomes automatic. Pretty soon you will be hitting those game winning singles every day.
Visualize the scale dropping a pound. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but the BIG success takes a lot of small successes to happen along the way. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to think about how you might look and/or feel when we are at your goal weight. This is “feel good” stuff and it is important to each of us. Anyone who is doing the daily SparkCoach program reads a lot about visualization. Techniques may vary, but the results are consistent. Incidentally, I signed up for SparkCoach with reluctance but I am now very glad I did. I learn something every day.
How about visualizing what new clothes you will buy at your current weight? Don’t think about the clothes you will buy at your goal weight (unless you are already there) as your choices in attire will be controlled at least a little bit by the season of the year and a great deal by how you are feeling about yourself.
Personally, before I shop for our food, I draw a mental picture of what I plan to buy. It doesn’t rule out a shopping list but rather, enforces it. Every task, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, can be fun!
Remember, we can all get to our own personal finish line, ONE PALM TREE AT A TIME.
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBBIENORTHERN1 12/7/2012 10:30AM

  Having a picture in my mind of my buying new pretty smaller clothes is so exhilerating for me.

Then I see myself running, running, running and running some more down the streets of chicago in the neighborhood that I live without falling on my knees which inspires me to keep on moving and being active.

Having pictures of me doing and being healthier and smaller and more zestier and more energetic really helps me much.

What an awesome blog and I thank you.

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CMLIVERGOOD 12/2/2012 11:26PM

    thank you so much for reminding us to visualize us at our goal! Whether it is a short term or long term goal...taking one day at a time thinking of success will take me a long way to feeling healthy.

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CURTIOSITY 12/1/2012 7:56PM

    Swell blog! Thank you, kind Sir. I do believe I will follow your recommendation re the Spark Coach. I have learned a lot from the quizzes, trivia and articles, but I 'spect there is room in the old noggin for a bit more. % )

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ALEXSGIRL1 12/1/2012 7:38PM

    love this great blog and ideas and those 10 year olds will never forget you you can count on that

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1CRAZYDOG 12/1/2012 1:44PM

  Definitely!!! And the truth of the matter in THIS particular journey is -- are we EVER @ the end of the journey? NO . . . so we need to continually visualize what our next move is, even when we get to maintenance. Our goals will, obviously be different than when we were in weight loss mode, but none-the-less, need to constantly evolve so we progress.

Hope your wife is doing well! Hugs to you both and prayers.

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VONBLACKBIRD 12/1/2012 12:38PM

    You are so right..thanks for the reminder.

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LOSINIT52 12/1/2012 12:09PM

    Visualization really helps me to keep my head in the game and stay positive one day at a time. I too am enjoying SparkCoach .

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VEGANMEGAN4LIFE 12/1/2012 11:41AM

    Thanks Coach!!!

I think you are absolutely correct.

For some reason, I have only regained the desire for health now. I could insert so many negative thoughts [here], [here]...and [here], but now is a time for action.

I feel this call to action deep in my bones, and although I have attempted weight-loss many times before, your tool of Visualization has only come into my use recently.

I believe in the power of prayer, but Visualization is going a bit farther. One can focus on how exactly it will feel to run faster, buy a cute bikini, receive upstanding ovations from coworkers. While visualizing these things, I can feel my emotions bouncing and I feel more alive.

It serves as the great motivator. emoticon

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