Declaring Independence from Fat
Have you built an image of yourself, as you currently are (or perhaps recently were) that looks like a person struggling with their weight, or ‘trying’ to lose fat without much success? Chances are that your weight is deeply linked to how you see yourself, and who you believe you are. There’s a very good reason to change this idea, and it doesn’t have to be hard to do so. Today, I’m on a crusade to help you declare independence from your fat.
Do you sometimes find yourself imagining a more slender and toned you, only to have that image quickly be overtaken with ideas about how you’ve failed to lose weight, or how challenging it is to live the life you do? Or perhaps the phone rings, the dog barks, the boss calls, and it’s gone. But for a moment, you had an image, and most likely, you liked it. Today, we are going to place that image front and center, we are going to focus on it. Don’t worry, it’s not hard, or time consuming, and there’s nothing to lose by trying it.
Whether you’ve heard about mental imagery, or creative visualization before, doesn’t matter for this exercise, because it’s an easy one. But don’t think it’s not without it’s effects. This exercise can have a hugely positive impact on you, right now.
Firstly, if you haven’t had one of these moments, I want you to just quickly think about a version of you that you would prefer. Healthier, fitter, stronger, leaner. It’s natural to be able to hold this idea for only a few seconds, so if it disappears, don’t worry.
For those who have already had this image before, I want you to reconnect with it, and hold it in mind, for long enough that it’s familiar again.
It might feel a little awkward, or unfamiliar, because we all carry our self image in our minds, and this isn’t the one that you’re likely to be carrying and seeing most of the time.
But the truth is, that having extra weight on your body, carrying extra fat that you don’t need, is actually more like driving around in a beaten up old car, than it is like having a mean personality, or a broken arm.
Today, you will see that you are not your weight, but more importantly, you are actually totally independent from that extra fat, even if you carry it around with you all day long.
With the image you have created in your mind, I want you to look at it again. This time, I want you to also access your current self image. This might come along with all kinds of feelings, but just think visually here, don’t be concerned with feelings that come along for the ride.
Now, its like a spot the difference game. ‘See’ from one to the other, and see the areas of your body that might look different.
Next, think about that person that you see, and all the hopes, dreams and aspirations they have, and the friends they love, and the family they enjoy. Think about what they enjoy watching on TV, what kinds of movies they watch, whether they like vacations, or relaxing at home, whether they enjoy lots of company, or some alone time, and think what they’re interested in reading about, whether its magazines, books, blogs or newspapers. I want you to really dig deep into this person that you are looking at, and find out what makes them tick. Is their drive for love of their children? Does it come from loving to achieve? Is there a special goal or point they want to reach?
Now take a moment to think that all over.
I’ll bet you found some differences in the pictures. But, did you find any differences in the things you like? In your hopes and dreams? Putting aside any shorter term goals of weight loss, or body change, I’ll bet that the really important things, and the little things about your personality that make you who you are, were all pretty much the same.
What does this tell you?
That in actual fact, the fat on your body has very little to do with you at all. You are an independent person, who currently, might be lugging around some extra pounds with you, that you no longer need to carry around because they are inconvenient, or because they are threatening your (short term or long term) health. But, that doesn’t change the person that you are. This is just like trading in your old 20 year old sedan and get into a more recent SUV, or retiring a pair of shoes in favor of something new. These are attributes of you, like your hairstyle, but they are not a part of you, like your eye color. Just because clothes and shoes come on and off, and because we sit in our cars, and then leave them, doesn’t mean that fat is a part of who we are, just because it goes everywhere with us.
So, take a moment, to see yourself, as you are today, perhaps carrying some extra weight you’d rather not be, and realize that it is just another attribute, like your shoes or your hat. But perhaps this one is there without your choosing. Changing this attribute may take longer than some other things (like shopping for new shoes), but don’t be fooled into thinking your weight has anything to do with who you are. See yourself, and declare yourself as an independent person, separate from this fat you are carrying around.
A funny thing can happen when you do this. You might get a sense that there’s a change in the air.
There’s a good reason for this. For all the time you carry around a mental image of yourself, as an overweight person, you will naturally live your life to fit that image. Though you may be trying to change your habits, something in your mind is still finding a way to maintain that mental idea, that brain-image of what you’re like. Changing this to a newer, updated version of you, where your great attributes are focussed on, and seen as independent of your fat, means that you start concentrating more and more on you as a person, and that taking on healthier habits will give you the great results you are looking for, over time.
So, take a stand today! Step aside from your fat, and see yourself as independent from it. You may be carrying it around with you, but you don’t need to count it as an ally or a necessary part of you.
For me, I see independence from fat as doing one very important thing – it makes me unconcerned about losing it. Before, I think part of me felt like I would be losing ‘part of me’ if that fat disappeared. Just like anything else I see as part of me in my mental self image, like my toes, or my leg, or my sense of humor, I would worry if something was going to make any of the above disappear, so I would work against it. The same goes for fat loss- until you see yourself as being perfectly well-off and feeling great, without that excess weight, it’s likely you won’t be comfortable changing what you look like in a big way.
The change comes from within, and is reflected on the outside. I know you can make the change in your mind, and once it’s made, everything else is downhill from there.
Let me know if you’ve made the change, or if you’ve felt a strange difference when you think about this, by leaving a comment below!
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