See Yourself as Fit Person, No Matter Your Size

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL)

Sometimes the difference in whether you gain or lose is how you see yourself. Sports trainers often use visualization to help athletes meet their goals by simply by having them imagine or see themselves as winners. What if we all stopped looking at ourselves as dieters and looked at ourselves as fit people? Would we still be so depressed about our situations that we would eat that extra helping? Or would we have a little more bounce in our step and park a bit farther away from our destination? Would we train for a 5K? The possibilities are endless if we don’t limit ourselves with a label of “unfit.”

Yes, so maybe we really are not at peak fitness, or anywhere in the vicinity. I personally am disabled and have more than another 100 pounds to goal, although I’ve lost 132 pounds to date. Part of how I lost weight though, was thinking of what I could do. Sure, there are plenty of things I can’t do, but there are also plenty of things I can.

Take a good look at yourself in your mind and consider yourself fit. You are fit. You are fit to do something about your situation. You are no longer a dieter. You are fit to make your own healthy choices and, if you desire, you can make the occasional indulgent one. The ball is in your court. It’s time to pick it up and play.

How do you play ball with enormous goals or disabilities, or reach any goal for that matter? I find that Fast Breaks are honestly the best way for me. A Fast Break is making a simple goal for the week and doing it. Once you get that one to feel natural, add another. Soon you are building a lifestyle. Fast Breaks are baby steps that get you where you want to go without the pain and misery of a full throttle jump.

One main problem I faced and had to overcome was the way I view myself. I saw myself as a hopeless mess, deprived and unlike “normal” people. I was so overweight that “nobody could possibly understand the pain and shame I was in,” I thought. When I saw myself as the deprived dieter, I felt cheated and longed to be “normal” and “eat normally.” Maybe “normal” people ate smaller portions of the food, exercised more, or ate less during other times of the day. They had to be doing something, because most of us are not blessed with a speedy metabolism and are therefore subject to calories in versus calories out as a rule for weight loss or gain.

I had to start looking at myself as normal. Yes, I do have a thyroid problem and other reasons I gain weight easier and lose weight slower. The fact still remains that I had to, for my own sake, admit that although difficult and slow, I can lose weight and it was going to take years. I had to look at myself as “normal,” in other words, capable of losing weight by making my own healthy choices. I had to admit that nearly everyone who is fit isn’t fit by chance alone. They work at it in some way. The bodies I was looking at and envying were not enviable because everyone else on the planet had a magical metabolism except me. More than likely, that person worked for those muscles or to be slender. We are born to be a certain shape or size genetically, but the rest of it is up to us.

Once I started “seeing” myself as a normal healthy eater, it took practice. I had to fake it to make it. I had to pass up seconds, order smaller, eat on smaller plates, drink water, and eat more fruits and veggies among other things. I didn’t do these things all at once; I did them as Spark Breaks. My mantras to myself were “Would a thinner person do this?” and “I’m the girl who orders small.”

Fitness worked the same way. I had to see myself as capable. I believed you had to workout 30 minutes to get any results at all. I was bedridden at 460 when I started this, so you can imagine how hard it was to have a “normal” workout. There it is again, that word “normal.” For me “normal” had to be redefined ad in home physical therapy at first. So if you are looking at yourself thinking how incapable you are of working out, think again. Something is always better than nothing and it prepares you to take the next steps. Studies have proven that small bouts of exercise accumulated through the day add up to improve your fitness level. You are capable of something and you have a fitness level! Whatever it is, all people who are fitness conscious are trying to do something to improve their fitness level, therefore we are again all the same and “normal.”

It really helped me to redefine myself from the inside out. In the past, I used to think that losing weight would give me definition but I’ve discovered it’s the other way around. It’s how you see yourself that matters and gives you the extra power boost you need sometimes.

I’ll leave you with the sayings “Don’t try to find yourself, create yourself.” “It’s never too late to be who you’ve always wanted to be.” They are both favorites of mine.

Do you use visualization to help you achieve your goals?