Harness the Emotional Feedback of Visualization for Effective Weight Loss Motivation

A lot of people like to make fun of new age gurus and pop psychologists who talk about visualization. Sure, a lot of these new age shows end to be quite boring and in many cases cheesy and sickening in their commercialism. However, many of them do speak the truth. There is power to visualization. How powerful is visualization? Let us put it this way, you are already visualizing. In fact, when you are reading this, if you are honest enough with yourself, there are certain picture that come to mind. Guess what, those pictures are not emotionally neutral. Worst of all, those emotions that those pictures trigger can lead to action, can lead to conclusions. That is how powerful visualization is. The key to effective and sustainable weight loss is to use the emotional feedback of emotional weight loss visualization to your advantage. Keep reading below to find out how to do that.

Images Are Everywhere

Just by living your life you pick up all sorts of signals from the outside world. These outside signals trigger mental pictures. They have to. This is how the human brain processes the external world. We have this built-in narratives, we have this built-in story telling device that plugs in and rearranges all these data points to create a narrative. That is how the human mind works. Of course, there are many different stories. One story we call our identity, another story we call our life story, another story we call our political ideologies, so on and so forth, but that is all they are, they are stories. There is a big difference between facts and truth. Your body is a fact detection device, it picks up facts. However, you are also a truth manufacturing facility. You take all these facts, you plug them together and you create a personal truth. Facts are not disputed. Red is always going to be red, or an orange is always going to be orange. The problem is when truths collide, and it all boils down to the mental images that come to our mind and the emotional triggers. There are many issues there, and when it comes to weight loss, we need to focus on the fact that images are everywhere. Be aware of this.

The Meaning Of These Images Are Mentally Constructed

As mentioned above, your sense of meaning, your sense of personhood, all boils down to story telling. Your mind is a very powerful story teller. It takes facts and assembles them together to fit a story. If it does not fit a story, it creates an anti-story, so that the bigger story makes a lot more sense. That is how powerful your mind is. Your mind is working overtime all the time. You would start meeting your weight loss goals when you realize that the meaning of your mental images are mentally constructed. There is no such thing as picking up a fact and then it only has one truth. It does not work that way. You have to read-in meaning to it.

Reread Emotions Into Meanings

Just as your mind is always constructing stories, you also add emotions to the mix. Once your mind assembles facts into a story, your emotions then kick-in. The simple story that your mind has put together is not just a simple story anymore, it has an emotional component, it has an emotional meaning. The good news is that, you read emotions into meanings. This is a choice. This is learned behavior. This is not compelled, this is not mandatory or instinctive, it does not have to happen as this way. Why? Because there are many different emotions you can read in. If you need proof, you can look at your past memories. There are memories that you have now that used to make you laugh, but now probably other kinds of emotions come into play. Similarly, if you were angry at a person before and when the mental image of that person comes to mind you get angry, but now, you might probably even laugh, because you have changed, you matured. Where is the maturity? Where is the change? Simple. The change is when you started reading different emotions into these mental pictures. The good news is you can use this process to work to your advantage. You can use visualization to lose weight.

We Develop Automatic Physical Responses

Once we read emotional meaning into these mental images that our mind is constantly building, there are physical responses. A physical response can be as simple as you blurting out something. For example, if an image of an ex-girl friend who broke your hear and really destroyed you in the past, a lot of pain, anger, guilt, shame come to mind, and the first thing that you probably want to say are some very unkind words. Maybe you would say I got hurt, somebody ripped out my heart, somebody treated me badly, somebody killed my heart. There is a physical reaction. You have to understand, emotional signals are not floating out there somewhere, they are real because they have a physical response, they have a physical consequence. You ever notice that unhappy people tend to develop illnesses because they bottle-in all that negative emotions. When we read emotions into these visual images that come to our mind, there is a physical response that kicks-in, either we talk about stuff or we actually do stuff. These have very negative consequences if you are trying to lose weight. Why? Somebody might have told you something very depressing, and to feel calm, reassured and comforted, you go straight to the fridge, whip out that big box of chocolates and start plowing in. This is comfort eating. Many Americans suffer from this. This is a key example of what automatic physical response is to emotions that we read-in to mental images. You see the sequence here? Te key to effective and sustainable weight loss is to break the sequence and take control over the sequence. The sequence will always exist, that is how the human mind is configured. However, you can take control of what elements are at play in this sequence.

Take Control Of The Emotional Feedback Mechanism By Choosing The Right Vision

By focusing on the right mental image, you trigger different emotions. When you trigger different emotions, you trigger different physical patterns. It really is that simple. So, instead of you hearing the word fat and then a mental picture of shows of you nasty and gross, and incapable of nothing more than just eating, and there is something fundamentally wrong with you, and you do not deserve to live. When somebody says fat, focus instead on a more reaffirming picture. A more reaffirming picture would be, if somebody calls you fat, you see yourself as this slim person that overcame the odds and went from a very obese person to somebody who is physically fit. In other words, you can choose to either be a victim or a victor. The good news here is the word choose. It is a choice. There is nobody pointing a gun at your head and forcing you to be miserable. There is nobody physically shoving Twinkies down your throat. Nobody is forcing you to look at a mental picture and conclude a certain way. You might think that this is “reality”, but the truth is, we all chose our reality. In many cases, we invent our own reality. Why? If you are able to fix that chain of events, starting with a mental picture, you can start doing different physical things. When you start doing different physical things, you change your physical reality. That is the bottom line.

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  1. This is an interesting topic, using visualization to lose weight. Of course I’m aware of comfort eating and there are times that I’m sure that is why I eat more than I should. I think the idea of taking control and focusing on a more reaffirming picture can be a very effective way to lose weight. I hope you post more on this topic.

  2. I liked how this article makes us realize that anyone can change their health by simply overcoming mental obstacles that bring negative attitude toward how we feel immediately but then we have the choice to visualize a positive outcome. It teaches a person that he or she should just not talk about some problem but that they should actually ” do” something about it. I find this article to be true for the reason that most people become too emotional when someone else’s criticism gets to them instead of using it as motivation.

  3. What a well detailed article addressing what weight loss enthusiasts can do to push themselves further to attain their goal. One of the first steps is to defeat the mentality that you can’t do it because you’re fat or that it’s too hard or simply think and talk about it instead of putting in the action. There is almost nothing you can’t do once you adopt a mind of success. Once you don’t allow negativity about your weight to bring you down and you act like a focused and determined fit person, you’ll feel better about yourself and what you’re doing. You’re feel better about going after that desired goal of yours and get it! The reward is yours!

  4. I like this post, and I agree that we invent our own reality, because it is up to us how we response to all of whats happening to our daily life. If we choose to focus to be fit and healthy we all can, even without mental picture, determination, motivation and discipline.

  5. Like others have said, this post makes a lot of great points. In fact, I can relate so much to this because I’ve just recently started trying to get into shape. At the moment I’m just walking everyday and doing a few stretches, but it’s a start.

    And along with my daily workout, I’ve been trying to cling to more positive images of a future me – a healthier, physically fit, me – to motivate me into action. It does seem to be working, as long as I can keep my more negative images/thoughts at bay (I’m too fat and lazy to do this, I’ll never get in shape, this is too hard, etc).

  6. This is an interesting idea. When I was in better shape, and more importantly an athlete, I often used visualization in competitions. For some reason, as an adult, now that I’m not competing, I haven’t made use of this kind of tool to help me progress in weight loss or frankly any other thing. It was always advantageous as an athlete…time to put in practice to lose weight.

  7. I love it. Visualization is such an underutilized tool, and really has helped in in weight loss. Just got to put money where my mouth is.

  8. I know that there is emotional gain from exercise. I usually go on my elliptical when i am stressed and get off feeling revived and able to sleep peacefully that night. I find that it helps me to take things into perspective and i talk out my problems when i am pedaling away, sometimes i am cursing in a monologue just to get things off my mind.

  9. I had no idea how important visualization was till I started weight training. It wasn’t so much that I sat and thought about how I wanted to look, I only knew I wanted to loose weight. At first I would be so down because the scale didn’t move and people would say give it time it will come. Then i actually hit a point where I was gaining weight and a freaked out! A trainer told me that happens when fat converts to muscle, don’t focus on the number focus on how you look THAT’S VISUALIZATION and you know what? I saw it, i saw my legs shrink and then I was motivated to keep with it.

  10. I can totally attest to this that seeing what little visual progress has been made can be such a huge damper on working out. I could look every day, every week, and every month and still se hardly anything working. Staying positive is key, don’t get down on the physical appearance, remember what good things you are doing to your body by working out! You’re staying healthy.

  11. What you think is what you will become. Visualizing something can keep the image of what you want in your mind. Every thing within has to come out, so I believe this will work. Every thing we do is a result of are thoughts,that is the origin of our creative powers. Your body will react to what your mind conceives and eventually manifest. If you visualize getting into shape constantly it will most likely happen. This may be the best advice for weight loss to start with.

  12. Visualization is an underestimated tool for weight loss. When I got pregnant, I gained more weight than I expected. But somehow I just shrugged it off thinking that when I give birth I will be back to my old weight. Boy was I wrong! Fast forward a year later and I am still above my previous weight.

    Without proper motivation and visualization, I would not have lost the extra weight of pregnancy. Now, I think of my future self and I become energized to exercise. I bring my son along with me and we brisk walk for 30 minutes to an hour each day. I want to be better than my old body! Healthier and stronger!

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