The Skinny Mirror

A few days after moving into our new home, I noticed the mirror in the hallway made me look as if I had lost twenty pounds. While I have dropped twenty five pounds this year, I knew I couldn’t possibly be as thin as I looked in the mirror. However, I liked the image that was reflected back at me and for the first time in years, I felt good about my physical appearance.

A family member had lived in the home prior to our moving in. Last week she stopped by for a visit. As we passed through the hallway, she said “Have you noticed the skinny mirror yet?” She went on to tell how all of her friends loved to come over and look in the skinny mirror because it was a great boost to their self-esteem. After all, who doesn’t want to look twenty pounds lighter?

I’ll admit itâÂ?¦each time I pass by the mirror I take a look. I can’t help it. While I’ve lost 25 pounds, the mirror makes me look like I’ve lost 45 and I love that! This mirror has become my friend instead of my enemy.

I began to wonder if the mirror was THE secret dieting tip that no one has told us about.

Since I’ve been struggling to get the last ten pounds off, I decided to try an experiment. Once I saw myself in the skinny mirror, in my mind, those ten pounds had been erased – along with ten more! I could now easily visualize what I would look like when I reached my weight goal.

Previously, whenever I looked in a mirror, I said things like “You are so fat” or “That outfit just emphasizes your hips” or “You shouldn’t even wear that around the house – yuck!” I was always sending negative messages to myself. Little did I know, my body was simply responding to what I was telling it.

Before I began my experiment, I weighed myself. For two consecutive weeks I stood in front of the skinny mirror and made positive statements like “You look so healthy!” and “Way to go – great job on reaching your weight goal!” and my favorite – “The weight is melting off of me now!”

On day fifteen, I stepped back on the scales and had lost a whopping five pounds! I didn’t alter my lifestyle in any way other than to compliment myself while looking in the skinny mirror. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Visualize Yourself Thin

Could losing weight really be as simple as visualizing yourself thin? This question led me on a fascinating research journey. What I discovered was mind-blowing!

Dr. Gerald Epstein, author of “Healing Visualizations,” [1] recommends visualizing yourself standing in front of a mirror and seeing a thinner you. He suggests that you feel your clothes hanging more loosely and to perform this visualization before each meal.

Debbie Johnson, author of “Think Yourself Thin,” [2] created a visualization technique that can help you lose weight without diet or exercise. She states that when you consciously control your thoughts, you can change your self-image and your body. So how does one go about controlling their thoughts?

Most of us are told that if we cut down on carbs, calories and fats, we will lose weight. We then create a diet plan that eliminates all the foods we love. Right from the start, we have set-up a negative mindset and feel deprived.

We become so focused on what we can’t have that we become obsessed with it. We begin to see chocolate cake in cloud formations. While talking to friends, their faces begin to morph into double-chocolate ice cream cones. Everywhere we look, we see the foods we think we aren’t supposed to have. Before long, we lose all control and find ourselves pigging out on everything we’ve told ourselves we can’t have.

Very often our mental image is in conflict with what we really want. We spend a great deal of time filling our mind with doubts and negative thinking. We say things like “No matter how hard I try, I can’t get this weight off” or “I gain weight just looking at chocolate cake” or worse yet, “I am a big fat cow.” This is self-sabotage and will only cause your mind to give you exactly what you don’t want.

We become what we think or say.

In the book, “As a Man Thinketh” [3] by James Allen, he states that “the body is the servant of the mind.” If your body isn’t serving you the way you would like, it’s time to regain control over your thoughts.

The first step in controlling your thoughts is to become aware of them. When you start having negative thoughts about yourself, stop and replace them with positive thoughts. For instance, if you are thinking “I am so fat!”, stop and remember a time when you didn’t feel this way. Even if you think you have always been fat, there has been a time in your life that you didn’t feel this way. After all, you weren’t born thinking you were fat.

Next, enlist your feelings. Focus on how you would feel if you were your ideal weight. If you have never felt good about yourself or your weight, think about someone you admire. How would it make you feel to have the body you desire? What type of clothes would you wear? How would your friends react to the new you? Allow yourself to really experience these emotions.

Studies show that most people who have difficulty controlling their weight, also suffer from low self-esteem. They constantly send negative messages to their self and reinforce the very thing they dislike most. Experts recommend the following three-step process for turning self-defeating talk into self-empowering talk:

  1. When you feel you have detoured away from your goals, reflect on the thoughts you were having before, during, and after you ate the food that caused you to feel guilt.
  2. Ask yourself if the thoughts you had were rational, true, or helpful.
  3. Create new positive thoughts such as “I now eat foods that nourish my body” or “I easily adhere to a healthy lifestyle” or “I am now reaching my ideal weight goal.”

Meditation is another useful tool in the visualization process. Mediation allows us to consciously direct where we focus our thoughts. If you have never meditated before, invest in a weight loss meditation tape or CD. There are numerous websites on the topic of weight loss meditation; many of which offer free audio introductions.[4]

What kind of image do you want?

When visualizing the image of you, it’s important to realize that having a stick-thin body is not the goal. You want to strive for having a healthy body and should visualize what is healthy and attractive according to your standards – not someone else’s.

Learn to accept the beauty of your unique form. Realize that those lumps and bumps can be assets, not liabilities. The most important thing is to be healthy and confident, not skinny as a rail.

The key to the treasure chest lies in your belief about yourself. If you focus your attention on the goal and consistently practice visualizing your perfect body, you will eventually become what you think.

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