This has positive meaning for some, and very negative for others. Just the word fake throws some people for a loop. It makes it seem dis-ingenuous or dis-honest in some way. To others it seems like they don’t know what they’re doing; a mystery that they don’t know how to solve.
Well, call me Sherlock Holmes because I am about to explain how “fake it till you make it” will help you get to your health and weight goals.
This week a client came to me with an ah-ha moment. We have been talking for a couple of weeks about how she dislikes counting calories, hates diets, and finds that doing these just really makes her want to stop. Did you hear that? Following a strict diet just makes her hungry, grumpy and makes her want to quit. Haven’t you been there? I have!
So I suggested that perhaps she stop; she didn’t like this suggestion. It was confusing at first, because how was she going to get to her goals if she stopped dieting and counting? But she stayed with me as I suggested there may be another way to approach it, one that will work for her and not bring her down. Then she continued to think it over as she went home for the week. She asked herself questions at home and stayed in the process of finding a solution.
What she found out about herself was awesome!
She told me, she would often splurge on fast food or treats, because “I know I will have to give them up when I get fit”; so she was allowing herself to have it now. Can you relate to that? Have you ever thought, I am going to start my new “diet” Monday, so today I am living large this weekend! That is the same type of thinking. At some point I will lose this part of my life, or this choice, so I better get all I can get right now!
Well she could see this didn’t support her, because if she kept splurging on fast food as often as she was, she would never get to the fit level she wanted to. Something had to change; plus, diets were making her stressed.
So she decided to “act as if” or “fake it till you make it”. She decided to make her food choices based solely on what her “fit self” would do. Would “fit me” in the future eat this? Ok! I will eat it too. As she was telling this story, I was surprized at how quickly this way of thinking was effecting her actions. She had started to walk for 30 mins extra each day when she came home from work. She just walked, not run, because then she didn’t have to change her clothes multiple times; she could just jump on the treadmill, walk and go right to starting dinner. Previously, if should couldn’t run, she wouldn’t do it; and running didn’t often fit in her schedule, so she just wasn’t getting the extra activity. Now, most days, she was getting the walk in before dinner.
Her meals changed, but not because she was obsessively counting everything; just because her fit self needed good food to fuel her body. So she made tasty, fresh food she loved. In just a couple weeks she had already dropped a few pounds. I noticed as she was talking there was a light, no-pressure attitude regarding her eating. She even told of the conflict that arose when she contemplated her birthday (No, I can’t have cake, but I WANT cake. NO! Wait, would my “fit self” have cake on my birthday? Yes! I would have treats on special occasions. They would have to be really GOOD treats and I would have a reasonable amount).
This was her AH-HA!
Could you benefit from this idea? If you start now to make decisions based on what your future “fit self” will do, you will soon be living in your “fit self” body. Your body must catch up with where your mind is. Understand that this does not mean perfection; remember, that is what we are trying to get away from.
Think of a baby trying to walk. My boys let go of the furniture and took those steps with a look of full confidence on their faces, like they had no doubt they could walk across the room. Then, boom, they fell down! AND then they got back up and did it again and again and again, until they were walking.
Babies don’t sit and say, “When I can walk I will let go of the couch”, they simply start acting like walkers and learn as they go. They make corrections, learn the technique, change the way they do it, until they can walk, then run, then jump off all mom’s furniture! But I digress.
What might change if today you started to question what your “fit self” would do, before you eat, as you lay in your warm bed before your morning exercise, before you stay up late working on a project? I think you will find, like I did, that when you crave chocolate (and would normally just go get some) you will think, “How will this effect my performance? This is going to make my workout hard tomorrow. Why am I craving chocolate anyhow? Am I even hungry? Nope, just bored! Well, an athlete doesn’t eat just because they are bored. And last time I gave in to a craving, it didn’t even taste that good.” You may find what you really enjoy splurging on (ahem, skinny soy peppermint mocha), you can have and it has no negative impact on your goals. You will find that you feel well fed, non-anxious, and your body will drop pounds and inches, without it feeling like your “trying”.
You will find yourself making corrections, learning techniques, and changing the way your eating and working out over time, based not on some diet, but on how your body is preforming for you. You may even find losing weight and getting fit can be . . . gasp, dare I say it . . . easy!
Simply fake it till you make it!