Weight Loss & Fitness: Think Like a Thin Person (cont.)
"Acting as if you have a skill or a feeling eventually contributes to it coming true," she says. "Public speakers are taught to address their audience as if they feel totally confident and have no stage fright whatsoever. Most speakers discover that after doing this even a few times, it becomes true."
In the same way, Spangle says, you don't have to wait until "someday" to have self-esteem. You can build your confidence and self-image by acting as if you already feel good about yourself (even if you don't). When you get dressed each day, look in the mirror and say, "I look great!" Then walk and talk as if you do.
"It doesn't matter if you're wearing a baggy dress and worn shoes," says Spangle. "Pretend! Imagine how you would talk to others, do your work projects, and raise your children if you truly felt great about yourself. Then live out of that internal picture, acting as if those things were true."
That doesn't mean you should pretend yourself right out of your need to develop more healthy habits, she adds.
"Taking this approach doesn't mean you can put your head in the sand or ignore the realities of life," Spangle says. "It just helps you develop a new attitude about what's already there. At the same time, it also gives you hope that things can get better. After a month or so of living as if you are confident and strong about yourself, you will be amazed at how well you match this image."
Change Your Thinking
Another key to thinking and living like a thin person is to change your negative thought patterns.
"If you're struggling with your weight, it's important to examine your thinking" says Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, program director of Green Mountain at Fox Run, a woman's retreat for healthy living in Ludlow, Vt.
Remember the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, says Hudnall. "The first feeds the second; the second, the third," she says. "If our thinking is awry, so go our emotions, and our behaviors reflect how we're feeling."
Be alert to these common thinking errors, says Hudnall: