40-Somethings - Visualization at the bottom of weight loss ?




Hermit Girl
08-28-2008, 09:59 AM
Okay, so I've moved my ticker to a weight I last felt reasonably comfortable being, and that was not in the obese category of charts. I have only to lose 26 pounds to get there, instead of 45 or 50, and so this shouldn't be all that horrible or agonizing. I could do this relatively quickly if I put my mind to it. I am not going to calculate how many months or calories needed, or join a program, I'm merely going to Plug In to my common sense and stop eating the foods , and in amounts, that I know very well put the weight on.

Another thing is that I must learn to be comfortable with an empty stomach , something which I haven't allowed myself to feel for years it seems. I know that FillingTheStomachSyndrome is as more psychological than it is physical, and so, I know that in theory I can control this. It's all about perceived discomfort, perhaps even more emotional/psychological than even physical pain. Maybe an empty stomach can be looked at as something more positive than merely an irksome discomfort, but more like a CleansingPurging for the body. Drinking water is encouraged, so I suppose the visualization of the water going into my system and literally washing the fat away. [ A nice place to go in my mind when I drink the water, might be an alpine stream, and I am just lying in it and the water is trickling all around me, washing the fat off of my clean body. ] I suppose what I'm talking about is almost like a conscious hypnosis.

In fact, when I think about it, when I lost 23 pounds two summers ago, I did lots of visualization particularly when I was hiking. I visualized my effort in charging up hill like a furnace blasting and hundreds of little faeries were following me, 'petting my fat' and it became like butter on their fingers, which they flicked into the fire. I was visualizing the fat burning, and being loved by these adorable little affectionate imagined "moral supporters" I called faeries. Hey, I lost 23 pounds. Not sure what happened, I guess that got old, the routine lost it's excitement, not sure why I stopped and well, gaining it all back over the next year is a very common story. I'm more intrigued with the mind set it takes to actually lose the weight, than worried about the mindset it takes to put it back on. I am putting a lot of bets on the visualization.

Visualization I think is the key to most people's success in weightloss, whether they realize it or not. Typically we *focus* on emotionally rich images in our minds to motivate us to exercise and stay on a diet. It's when our emotions and images become worn out , possibly tired and flimsy, we seem to lose motivation. Then what I'm suggesting, is that we might do better with a regular 'refresher' of our emotionally charged images /perceptions , "visualizations" if you will, to be included as part of a weight loss process. What do you think?

I'd love to chat about the techniques of visualization, and whoever might be curious or interested, please join in !


yoyonomoreinvegas
08-28-2008, 10:19 AM
Love the image of faeries flicking fat into the fire :)

Real quick before I go on with visualization, I don't think you have to "get used to an empty stomach". Maybe more like getting used to a not overfull stomach. And teach yourself to recognize whether what you think is an empty stomach is really just a thirsty stomach. ;)

Now, the visualizing part. I'd love to be able to do more of it but I have a tough time because what I see in the mirror isn't entirely accurate so I can't quite picture what I'm going to look like when I'm a "finished product". I have started leaning more toward visualizing a feeling (if that makes any sense). I have a pair of jeans I haven't been able to get my big butt into for more years than I care to count but I've set them as my ultimate goal (what the scale says the day I get into them doesn't really matter - that's when I'll move on to maintenance). So I do spend a lot of time imagining what it's going to feel like to step into them, pull them up, and zip them (without laying on the bed :D ). I guess there is a little visualization in there but rather than a view in the mirror, it's from my real perspective as in seeing my feet stepping in and seeing my fingers pulling up the zipper.

I've wanted to try and visualize the fat melting away but I don't seem to have the imagination to really focus on it. I'm looking forward to seeing the answers you get to see if I can learn some techniques.

I agree that it's an important part of the process but I also think we have to be a little bit careful (as with all goals) not to set ourselves up for frustration - like me visualizing myself looking like a 20 year old nymphette - ain't gonna happen (I didn't look like a nymphette when I was 20, sure shouldn't expect to at 50 something :lol:)

luvja
08-28-2008, 10:25 AM
Visualizing myself slim is the only thing keeping me going!


jtammy
08-28-2008, 10:43 AM
Visualization was a huge part of losing weight for me, particularly the first 50 - 75 lbs when I couldn't see a big difference. Like Luvja, it really kept me going. I can't speak highly enough of the whole process. Mainly, I visualized myself looking "normal" and being able to do things that slim folks can do without a lot of effort. I've never been slim, so there was no way I could visualize looking a certain way, I had nothing to draw from. I used it to visualize being able to buy smaller clothes and to be more active physically.

The last year or so, I had lost track of the importance visualization played for me, but last week, I pulled out an audiotape called "Creative Visualization" and I'm using it to try to get refocused to get the last 20 lbs off.

Love the fairy idea, and I would love to participate in a visualization thread!

Quixotica
08-28-2008, 12:28 PM
I think visualization is one of the important tools in the weightloss tool kit!
When I was a kid we called it "daydreaming". I imagine a cute little red dress that I will be wearing with my slim new body in it, or me running on a beach in Hawaii without the jiggles in a nicely cut swimsuit, or the long hikes and backpacking trips that I can take when I am more fit. I research beaches, look at swimsuits, and generally motivate myself by imagining myself different, while celebrating my efforts as I go along.

My stumbling block is that I have learned that overeating releases seretonin, which is a feel good drug for those who are stressed or who suffer from PTSD. As a young adult I learned to overeat to calm myself. When I overeat I can actually feel the surge of seretonin; you get an incredible sensation of well-being, it feels like waking up from a deep sleep and taking a deep stretch, do you know that feeling? That is my worst stumbling block and it is something I have really thought about this time around. I have got to catch myself before I start on an overeating cycle when the stress mounts. I have got to have a plan for what to do and how to relieve stress without overeating. I think exercise is a good one or going and doing something so I am not at home with the refrigerator if I feel like I will be out of control. I am sure there is a term for what I am talking about, but I have only recently become aware of the stress, anxiety, over-eating cycle. I really looked at what made my diets fail in the past and generally, that is it. The other thing that gets me is conflict with my husband. If we go through a bad patch, I will go on an overeating cycle. I have learned to be more clear and open about my feelings with him and so it is not such a problem, but I can fall easily into the pattern if I don't watch it.

I am telling you this because your response sounded like my thoughts.

I had cancer 15 years ago and used visualization to heal myself after all of the modern medicine industries were through with me. Even though I am overweight, I am very healthy and have been since then. I healed really quickly and felt better than I had in a long time. I think some of it is the ritual of the visualization; it is like a personal spiritual experience that nurtures a part of us that is atrophied in our culture/society. Connecting with a spiritual self filled a hole that made me feel whole.

Sheri

luvja
08-28-2008, 12:31 PM
Same, I have never been slim, it scares me to know I have no idea what I'm going to look like. But, It won't stop me... I picture myself looking GOOD. :D

suenami
08-29-2008, 06:41 AM
Hey, whatever works! I have found everyone's ideas to be helpful, even if I do something else. It helps to know that others are figuring out "how" to do this too!

-Susan

Beth61
08-29-2008, 07:39 AM
Great ideas - enjoy reading all the posts and tips!

hopefuldreamer
08-29-2008, 08:28 AM
Visualization of any sort is a way to involve your subconscious in the process of change. I've not used any sort of active visualization for the weight, but I love your faerie idea! I might do that myself.

I do have a self-hypnosis cd for weight loss and listen to it several times a week. I figure it can't hurt and might help. Half the time I end up falling asleep when it's on. They say it still helps even if you're asleep. The suggestions sink into your head. It's too early to say if it really works or not, and I don't think I could ever say conclusively that it did, but it certainly does no harm. About a third of it is basic relaxation anyway, which is a good thing. Relaxation is something I need! :yoga:

I had a massage yesterday, and it felt fabulous. I scheduled another for Oct. Part of my self-care agenda...to care for myself in ways that do not involve snacking on crap.

hopefuldreamer, who did eat a handful of chips yesterday while cooking dinner and felt horribly guilty afterwards...

Hermit Girl
08-29-2008, 09:13 AM
...Love the fairy idea, and I would love to participate in a visualization thread!How about this thread? :carrot:

There's a great documentary/drama film , called "What the Bleep Do We Know ?" Anybody see it ? It is a wonderful scientific approach to perception, and gave me the impression that I really can control my thoughts ~ given of course, I am reasonably in touch with my subconcsious , which I think I am, and the rest is a matter of discipline, I am guessing. I suppose the saboteur in our heads that says "You can't do this" is as much a figment of our imagination, because track records shouldn't matter, they're past tense. All we have, and I mean ALL... is now, and forward.

Rev Darkwing
09-21-2008, 08:52 AM
I think visualization is important and the comment on how it is one way to program the subconscious has a point. That's why, after years of "diets" I am working with a self hypnosis weight loss program.

I've been overweight for 20 years and recently gained another 10 pounds so I decided to give it another go. problem is, I just knew going back over old territory probably wasn't going to work. Last diet was the Atkins diet.

So far, so good. Losing weight, feeling good about things, staying motivated and not having to rely on my will power. I notice changes in my attitude toward food and seem to be making better decisions and those decisions are what I "want" rather than what I know I "should do."

I really have come to the conclusion that the subconscious is the key. I read an article where it said that we are culturally conditioned to eat when we aren't hungry. Boy, that hit home.

beth4365
10-12-2008, 06:27 PM
I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for posting it, Hermit Girl.

To be honest, I'm not sure I can visualize what I'll look like a normal weight, since I've never experienced it.

I do like this idea though, and feel it is worth more thought and some investigating.

chunckymonkey
10-15-2008, 09:38 PM
When I feel I can no longer move (30 min at the gym - I work from 5:30 am to 4 pm and let me tell ya I'm exhausted) I imagine my son working out next to me. I can hear him say "You Can Do It MOM, I Believe In YOU" and I accomplish what I never thought I could. I have decided that I will lose 75 lbs by October 2009. At that time, I will fly to Germany and watch him look for me at the airport-Oh yeah, I'm gonna go to a big expensive salon and get the works! Right now, I settle for pedicures-LOL!

Visualization is great and I too will be using the Faeries tomorrow!

Great Thread:broc:

thinkerbell
10-29-2008, 09:49 AM
Great post.....thanks for this inspiration!

I did a vision board for my weight loss wish....it really motivates me and was so much fun to do!

And simple too.....I am in an Artists Way group and creating a collage was one of the tasks.

Take 10 magazines and 20 minutes....rip out images from the magazines that speak to you. Then, have fun and make a collage....remember, not perfection, but creativity and fun! (an obsolete definition of perfection is to be content, satisified....I like this definition because perfectionism often stops me from moving forward!)

My collage begins with a picture of Cinderella's castle and a Wish!

Then it is divided into four sections....

1.. one for the foods that I want to eat and love...salmon, whole grains, veggies

2. for exercises that I want to do and love....kayaking, hiking, dancing, jumping roe, yoga

3. water, water everywhere

4. Meditaion and stress busters which includes my most favorite weight loss affirmations taken from louise haye's How To heal Your Life book.

In the center is me at my ideal weight......it is powerful to look at and it really inspires me to "stick to it"....as this is my challenge.....persistence and discipline.

Well, please know that the above are just ideas.....a collage is an expression of what speaks to you and will motivate you.....we all have different motivators.

But it is a fun to do!

Thanks for this thread!

Thinker-bell

boomer in paradise
10-29-2008, 10:48 AM
Quixotica!

I am not a member of this forum (too old), but I would like to respond to Quixotica regarding the "rush" from overeating. I have recently discovered this as well, and agree that it is a huge realization. If I may use the analogy of addiction, it does feel like a lovely fall into oblivion. For me it is useful to investigate how I am feeling before I overeat. Usually it is a sort of empty, cold, unprotected place, and a sense that nothing else will do the trick.

Of course, the more you do it, the more it becomes a way of life, the harder it is to see an alternative.

The good news is, once you get into a better place with your habits, you begin to see another way. Sometimes you can just do nothing and the feeling will pass through you. Well, this is what I am trying to learn. I hope it makes sense, even if a little OT and coming from a lurker.

Jen415
10-29-2008, 03:13 PM
I'm a firm believer in visualization too.....but like Beth, it's hard for me too because I have never been thin. So...I just visualize the numbers going down on the scale and my clothes falling off of me instead.

thinkerbell
10-29-2008, 07:59 PM
Dear Jen,

I am an annoying pollyanna and want to share a thought with you...please take or leave as you wish.

I believe that within our cells, our DNA is programmed to be at an ideal body weight......a weight that all our cells, all our organs, all our muscles, all our body systems function at their optimum....no matter what, our cells never forget. That's why they respond lovingingly to a healthy diet and exercize!

I also believe that when we all were babies, there was a perfect balance between our intake of food and our output.....although we might not been "thin", we were our ideal and natural body weight.....and our bodies never forget that.

Today with photo shop, we can create images of our bodies at a healthy weight....or we can just slap a picture of our heads on some healthy body we find in a magazine.

Concieve, Believe, Achieve.....that's the power of visualization!

When I went on my WW wedding diet, over 22 years ago, I was inspired by a fun house mirror.....as I saw myself thin in the mirror. There are many fun and creative ways to get the picture!

Like I said, I can be annoying....take what you like!

Best Wishes,
Thinkerbell

CountingDown
10-29-2008, 08:57 PM
Another "way over 40" crashing the thread, but I wanted to say that I really do enjoy reading it :)

I also agree that visualization was a very important part of my journey. Rather than visualize my body at a certain size or weight, I visualized experiences, without really concentrating on what I would look like. In fact, my visualizations were usually "through my eyes looking out" - so I didn't really see what I looked like.

Some of my favorites were really motivating:

~ seeing myself shopping in the "regular" clothing section of a store
~ hiking with my kids without embarrassment - and even keeping up with them
~ eating healthy foods and really enjoying them
~ exercising and basking in the sense of accomplishment
~ shopping for different types of clothing - shorts, sleeveless tops, summer dresses - COLORS and PRINTS!!!
~ being able to tie my shoes easily
~ walking with a spring in my step - instead of dragging my sorry self along
~ cross country skiing again
~ passing up unhealthy foods at parties, work, etc. and not feeling deprived or disappointed
~ entering the next milestone in Fitday
~ walking into a room and not looking around to see if I was the biggest person there - seeing myself being confident and happy in social situations
~ achieving the next fitness milestone (more weight, reps, longer walks, etc.)
~ donating all of my "fat" clothes to charity
~ trying on clothes and having them too loose - instead of too tight
~ and - I'm being honest here - visualizing how people I hadn't seen in a long time would react to my new svelte self - particularly people that haven't always treated me well

Jen415
10-30-2008, 09:49 AM
Thinkerbell: You are not annoying in the least. In fact, you and I think alot along the same lines....(check your PMs for more). Thanks for the practical tips--AND for reminding me that my body knows exactly what to do!

And to the PartyCrasher (aka CountingDown! LOL), I like your ideas!

thinkerbell
10-30-2008, 12:06 PM
Dear Jen,

Thanks for the PM! I tried to PM back but I don't have enough posts yet! :(

When I do, I'll send you the PM I wrote! (hopefully later on today).


Feeling good!
Thinkerbell

Jen415
10-30-2008, 04:03 PM
Thinkerbell, I sent you my e-mail addy!