Mind your Way to Successful Weight Management

Years ago I taught aerobics and strength training classes in a very up-scale club. In fact, I had several  professional hockey players during their off-season attend my strength training program. I love hockey, so it was a honor to help these guys build upper body strength and help them improve performance on the ice. 
As a relatively new instructor, it was especially important to do well and of course I always want to do my best. Before each class and again on the way to class, I would go over in my mind and actually see myself conducting my class as I wanted it to be. I would rehearse in my mind several times and when I stepped up on the platform I knew exactly how the class would go and the class would be great. This is a highly effective technique you can use to accomplish goals, as a strategy to manage eating behavior during holidays and other special occasions or simply to get from dinner to bedtime without snacking all evening.

Here is an article from Will Craig from Coach Training Alliance that supports my beliefs in the power of mental rehearsal:

“Is it possible to become successful just by thinking about it?

Research has proven that the mind cannot tell the difference between a real occurrence and one that has been well-imagined. The moment you experience an event vividly in your imagination, it is recorded as experience.

Mental Rehearsal
Picture this… Liu Chi Kung, a world-class pianist in the late 1950s, was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in China . After seven years without a piano he immediately resumed his concert tour. His fans said he played better than ever and wondered how this was possible. Kung said, “I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, note by note, in my mind.”

Mental rehearsal, or the process of visualization, can give you a competitive edge. Olympic athletes have used it in training for years and it works not only in sports but for every goal you set.

Thinking Your Way to Success
The next time you make a presentation, book an important appointment, or attempt a challenge outside your comfort zone, gain the edge. Practice mental rehearsal beforehand. You can think your way to success. You don't need any special tools, it doesn't cost anything, and you can begin right now. Picture that!”

You can use this same technique to manage specific eating behaviors that you have noted on your eating behavior journal (EBJ). For example, you noted on your EBJ after the last business networking event you attended, you spent more time at the buffet table than actually meeting new people, listening  and talking. The next time you have an event scheduled, rehearse in your mind how you want to handle the event, the food, the alcohol, etc. See the outcome too, and how you will feel after. Set some goals and then practice in your mind's-eye going to the event and achieving the goals you set beforehand. Make sure you record what happens, your thoughts feelings and actions before, during and after the event. Reinforce the positive and if there is anything you feel you would like to change for the next time, make note of it, brainstorm and write a plan for the next event. This is how you build success on top of success.

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