I used to be thin. I really did. But that was a long time ago, when I was about 24-years-old, and I had made the decision to finally be thin. But I did it-20 pounds at a time. I simply dieted and lost 20 pounds one year, did not gain any of it back, then dieting and lost another 20 pounds the next year. Oh, it was a little easier back then. I was much younger, and everyone knows that young people have faster metabolisms. I smoked, and everyone knows that smoking speeds up your metabolism. I was a waitress, and everyone knows that a lot of walking speeds up your metabolism and keeps you thin.
But do you really want to know how I lost that weight?
I thought myself thin.
Do you want to know how I gained all that weight-and much, much more-back?
I thought myself fat.
How It All Started
I was a chunky pre-teen who turned into a fat teenager. At my high school graduation, I weighed 180 pounds. I had never dated, never been asked out on a date, never went to the prom. I felt ugly and worthless and unworthy of love.
Then one day, fat and miserable, I started leafing through a fashion magazine. I admired those models and all those nice clothes that I knew I couldn’t wear, and I started imagining myself wearing those clothes.
Right then, I somehow made the decision-without really making a decision, you know?-to finally be thin. From that point on, I started shedding the weight. Within 2 years, I was down to 125 pounds. I could finally wear fashionable clothing, without resorting to “plus” size clothing.
But something was wrong. I still didn’t date. Few men even asked me out on a date. Do you want to know why? In my mind, I was still fat and ugly and unworthy of love, that’s why. I never really felt thin. Just as men seemed to respond to my self-concept and reject me, so did my body eventually reject its thinness. Gradually I gained back all of the weight I had lost and much, much more.
Why did this happen?
Power of Your Mind
In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz related what science has proven, “Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a “real” experience. In either case, it reacts automatically to information which you give to it from your forebrain.”
In other words, for our purposes here, if you have been thin all of your life, you likely “think thin” and you will probably remain relatively thin. If you have been fat for most of your life, or for many years, you likely “think fat” and are likely to remain fat no matter what you do. What this also means is, if you become thin after being fat, you will probably become fat again, unless you change your self-concept.
That’s what happened to me. Though I was thin, I didn’t really feel I had the right to be thin, and didn’t feel thin anyway, so I gained it all back.
In future articles, I will expound on the various aspects of thinking yourself thin, with specific strategies to make these needed changes in your thoughts-and mine.
With 2009 almost here, I plan to make “thinking myself thin” my New Years’ resolution, and I’d like to invite you to come along with me, on this wonderful “mind journey” to permanent weight loss.
Maltz, Maxwell. Psycho-Cybernetics, Pocket Book, New York, NY 1960