Picture In . . . Body Out!
How Your Self Concept Creates or Destroys Your Health
Hello, my friends! I had an interesting experience with an anorexic client today. As I sat down with her, I could tell that she was slightly annoyed that her mother (a very caring and sweet lady) had brought her to consult with me. For the next five minutes, her mother began to describe in detail her eating patterns as I listened attentively. I learned that her doctor and her dietician told this particular girl that she immediately needed to begin consuming 2,500 calories, much of which should be junk food.
As a Holistic Lifestyle Coach, I found myself in a natural disagreement with the doctor’s methodology. I became increasingly interested in the ROOT cause of her eating disorder, and I proceeded to ask her many questions about her core beliefs and values. After going through many of her spiritual, financial, and professional values and goals, I proceeded to ask her about her nutritional values.
It came as no surprise to me that this sweet girl was very dedicated to eating healthy and natural foods. She carries in her mind a “picture” of who she is and what her core values are. Needless to say, she was facing an internal conflict when her doctor and dietician told her to eat junk food to “fill in the calorie gap.” She was relieved when I sided with her desire to be healthy, and she was empowered when I told to never divorce herself from that picture.
This particular girl wanted to look like Julian Michaels but yet was only eating 500 to 600 calories per day, another obvious internal conflict. In short, she held picture in her mind of what she wanted to be and she was invested in achieving it no matter what. With a little coaching and unconditional love, I am sure that she will find the best of both worlds, eating healthy and gaining the body she dreams of.
This session was particularly powerful for me because it made me realize once again just how powerful our self-concept really is. Dr. Maxwell Maltz in his landmark book, Psycho Cybernetics documents how our self-concept or our “picture of ourselves” will ALWAYS replicate the results that we get in our personal lives. In other words, when we fashion a picture of “who we are” in our mind, whether it be good or bad, we will ALWAYS act in harmony with that picture. I know that this might seem overly simplistic to some, but rest assured that this scenario will always prove true.
So my question to you is this: When it comes to health and fitness, what picture do you hold in your mind? Do you see yourself as fit, healthy, vibrant, functional, energetic, youthful, and fun? Or do you see yourself as unfit, genetically predisposed to failure, lethargic, unenergetic, slothful, and lacking self control? Obviously, you might see yourself somewhere in between as well, but the point remains the same: WHAT YOU SEE ON THE INSIDE IS WHAT YOU WILL GET ON THE OUTSIDE!
The picture that you hold in the inside is nothing more than a collection of conditioned beliefs that you have formed about yourself over the years, and, YES, they can be changed. Never, NEVER fall for the blasphemous nonsense that you cannot change because you “are who you are.” In reality, you are what you tell yourself that you are. You are the picture in your head! You are the sum of your conditioned beliefs.
So, what to do, you ask? The complete answer to this question is well beyond the scope of this blog post, but I will give you three very powerful starting points that will get you started in the right direction. For a complete road map for change, consult Psycho Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.
Step #1: Create a Dream of What You Want, NOT What You Don’t Want.
I commonly call this a CCV or Crystal Clear Vision. Detail exactly what good health means to you and allow yourself to create a picture of what it looks like. The more specific you are the better.
Step#2: Discover all of the “Pictures” of Yourself That are Contrary to That Vision.
You will find that you have many pictures and conditioned beliefs that take you away from that vision on a daily basis.
Step#3: State the Opposite!
Begin to put together a compendium of beliefs that directly challenge the limiting beliefs and state them out loud with passion and emotion at least twice daily.
I know these steps might seem “elementary,” but I can assure you that they will work 100% of the time if you earnestly do them day in and day out. You are worth much more than those tired, worn out pictures in your head that continue to limit you. So do me a favor, and BURN them, each and every one of them, and reap the rewards of a new you!
Life is good!