Sunday, December 09, 2012
Dwight Phillips is a 2004 Olympic Champion long jumper. In an interview he talked about visualizing his perfect jump prior to each attempt. Doing so allowed him to focus on that jump and see himself performing it perfectly.
I believe this is an excellent idea for EVERY obese person to do.
No, not do the long jump, although that could be fun. I think it would be fun, actually.
I'm talking about visualization.
You see, visualizing what you are going to do in the future - whether that is 10 seconds from now or 10 months from now - is a good thing. There's a reason that athletes do this. Because it focuses them on their goals.
As an obese individual YOU probably have a number of things which you've believe you can't do.
Things you avoid doing.
Things you've just decided you'll never do.
Because you're obese.
And obese people don't do those things.
I've done this too.
My whole life.
And these things that obese people cannot do -
obese people like me -
these things can become a reminder of how I am different.
Evidence that I'm "weak".
That I'm a "failure".
That I am less.
Unable to participate fully in the activities that others do.
Unable to wear the clothes that other do.
Unable to sometimes FIND clothes that fit.
Unable to comfortably sit in that seat, ride that ride, try out that Segway.
Sad reminders of how I'm "always going to be obese" and how I'm "meant to be obese" and how I am defined by my obesity.
I think MANY obese people feel defined by their obesity.
Do YOU think your obesity defines you? Have YOU felt that way?
I know I have.
I want to encourage you to do something that you might never have done before.
I want you to do some visualizing.
It doesn't matter if you are 20 pounds overweight, 80 pounds overweight , or 250 pounds overweight.
This is something that ALL OF US CAN DO.
And SHOULD DO.
I want you to visualize... umm.. let's say 13 things the future you will do at your healthy weight.
A Baker's Dozen of Future Activities, if you will.
I'll give you my list, in no particular order.
1. Go scuba diving
2. Swim with my kids in the pool
3. Kayak in a sea kayak
4. Hike the entire Virginia leg of the Appalachian Trail
5. Go windsurfing
6. Wear a dry suit and go white water rafting in Montana
7. Go river kayaking in West Virginia
8. Ride in a bicycling "century" ride.
9. Climb one of those indoor climbing walls
10. Hang glide off of Jockey's Ridge in North Carolina
11. Go caving - not the kind where you walk along a path, I'm talking squeezing through holes and crawling
12. Try water skiing at our friends' lake house
13. Snow ski in Pennsylvania
Most of these things involve some sort of outdoor activity. I've got lots of others too but you get the idea. These are all things I've either never done or have done but hated doing them because I was sure everyone was looking at me and thinking "wow, that guy is a fat pig. How'd he get like that?" I think about the time I had to wear a dry suit. It was AWFUL. I looked and felt terrible and hideous.
But I KNOW that I'm going to get to a healthy weight. And when I do, I'm going to do ALL of these things. And visualizing what that will be like is a powerful motivation for me personally. It gives me something to work toward that is tangible and concrete that doesn't involve some number on a scale.
I think it is helpful to see yourself where you want to be. Now maybe for you that isn't crawling around in a cave with a headlamp on - that's OK because that's MY thing not yours. Maybe something on your list is "wear a little black dress" or "go swimming at the beach" or "buy clothes at a regular store not at the 'Big and Tall' shop" - whatever it is, I think you should do this. Visualize what it is that you'll do when you are at your healthy weight. Visualize how you'll do things you've never done. Things you've always wanted to do.
And know this - you are NOT defined by your obesity. Your obesity is just your current situation. And YOU can change that.
You are strong. Very strong. Much stronger than you may think.
You are capable. Very capable. Capable of amazing things. Capable of saving your life and being a positive role model for others struggling with obesity.
And you matter. You have worth and you have value. Don't forget that. Ever.
Make it a great day!