Tuesday, 11 June 2013 02:00

Self-Image and Losing Weight

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Self-Image and Losing Weight



Before you begin reading this article, I want you to do something for me. Find a quiet place and try and discover your thoughts you have towards your body-image?


How am I supposed to do this I hear you say?


A possible way of doing this is to take 3 deep breathes, calm your thoughts for a moment and say this line: “I am going to lose weight and achieve my ideal body figure in 6 weeks”. Put the article down and say it again, but this time analyse your bodies reactions. Pay particular attention to your thoughts and the way your body responds no matter how vague and fleeting your response may seem to you.


Do you believe and feel that you could achieve your ideal body figure in 6 weeks? Do you know what your ideal body figure would be? Or did you respond negatively to this line believing that it could never be achieved?


Poissant and Godefrey (1994, p61) reveal that we always establish our goals according to our self-image. If you feel that you could never achieve your ideal body weight, then it would be safe to assume that your self-image is limiting and restricting what you are truly capable of achieving.


If you don’t know what your ideal body figure is or should be, ‘hold the phone’ and continue reading, as this thought process could also be limiting your goals and capabilities. Let me provide an example that may shed some light in this. Lets say hypothetically, that you agree to a weight loss goal of 10 pounds (approx 4 kg) in 6 weeks. This seems reasonable don’t you think? No doubt you would feel a sense of accomplishment once you have achieved this. But before you make a commitment to this number, ask yourself this: “Why did I choose this number? Why didn’t I choose a different number like 15 pounds or even 30 pounds?


If you responded to 15 or 30 pounds with: “It is not achievable or realistic!” be mindful that you may be limiting your true potential. Anthony Robbins (1998) notes:


What is thought impossible today, is thought possible tomorrow’


Poissant and Godefrey agree (1994, p61) stating that the reason a person chooses a number (e.g. 10 pounds) is not because of its achievability or realism but because a persons self-image is programmed to only meet that goal of 10 pounds in 6 weeks.


Confused! Let me explain


Firstly it is important to realise that a figure like 10, 15, and 20 is irrelevant as it carries no real significance; no one can accurately assess how much weight you are going to lose in 6 weeks. Thousands of people each year achieve remarkable body transformations. Just open a copy of any of Bill Phillips “Muscle Media” magazines to see first hand the transformation that can occur with the right self-image, training and incentives. Health professionals can provide guidelines and opinions based on their knowledge and experience, but no one can accurately assess what is and what is not achievable for you. Do you believe that Bill Phillips would have known in his wildest dreams that people could generate such commitment and motivation towards their body by following his 3 month challenge? You may feel that someone who has expertise may know better, but just remember that they don’t follow you around 24 hours a day and carry your mental programming space; it is you who decides the final outcome.


It is important to understand that as soon as you ‘set a number’ on what you perceive to be achievable and realistic for you, you set a wall around your self-image. You have effectively created a program at a subconscious level which guides and directs your thinking. For example, have you ever been asked to participate in a fun run or charity event? When asked by your friend, did you have the initial thought that you wouldn’t be able to participate because you wouldn’t be able to run the distance (i.e.4 miles or 10 km). With some convincing however, you then decide to participate and surprise yourself by running most of the way and finishing the fun run.


The question you now need to contemplate is: Are you happy with the self-image you have created for yourself?


If you answer is no, then follow the steps below to broaden or change your self-image.


The toughest test to invoke change requires acknowledgement that a change may need to occur. Doing the activity outlined in the first paragraph should have provided some insight into your self-image, and whether your self-image thoughts are impacting on your true potential. If you haven’t completed the activity in paragraph one, then complete it now before you progress any further.


If you have acknowledged that a change needs to occur then you now need to expand your self-image. Louise Hay (1991) notes that a person’s self-image can be altered in 30 days with the right reinforcement and repetition through affirmation statements. Affirmations as described by Hay (1991, pp33-34) are thoughts or words spoken consciously or out loud. By this she means, that every time you think a thought, or every time you speak a word, you are saying an affirmation. The key as outline by Hay (1991) is to make these affirmations work for you, instead of against you.


It is important to understand that your current self-image has been reinforced through repetition up until now. If you feel that 30 days will be challenging, remember that you have already been using affirmations for your whole life. Start with 3 days and build on each day until you reach 30 days. Small incremental goals go along way to successfully achieving a new self-image.


If you found that you doubted yourself when you were saying “I am going to lose weight and achieve my ideal body figure in 6 weeks” than make a commitment now that you will introduce positive uplifting affirmations into your thought process.


Remember every time you think a thought, or every time you speak a word, you are saying an affirmation!


Below are a handful of affirmations you could choose to say to yourself regularly over the next 30 days:


Through commitment and perseverance I am achieving my ideal body figure


Everyday in everyway I am moving closer to my ideal body figure


As I work towards my ideal body image, I am open and free from judgement and limiting thought processes


It is easy for me to reach and surpass my current goal of losing weight


When creating your own affirmations, don’t impose limitations on yourself. The potential that resides within you is extraordinary. People, who look fantastic and seem to have the ideal figure, are no different to you. The mental limitations that they have set themselves are the only distinguishing factor. Harness your thoughts and stick with it and you too can create change for the better.




Hay, L. (1991) The Power is Within You: Specialist Publications. Australia


Poissant, C.A. and Godefrey, C. (1989) How to Think Like a Millionaire: Omnia Books LTD. Glascow


Phillip, B. Muscle Media Magazine


Robbins, A. (1998) Unlimited Power – Nightingale Tapes: USA. Zygmo.

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