Jon Gabriel once weighed over 400lbs. He reached his goal weight in the 180’s using visualization of his desired body and size to help him reach that goal.
He would take the time to imagine what it would feel like and look like to be there both mentally and physically.
This helped train his nervous system to recognize the various emotions, sensations, and situations that might come up, so he could stay on track.
Let’s take a look at visualization basics, as he describes them, to help you cultivate your own practice. This strategy could help you get closer to achieving your goals too.
What is visualization?
Visualization is similar to meditation. That’s because you’re taking time out of your day to close your eyes, turn off any distractions, and just sit with yourself.
Where it differs is that mediation requires becoming aware of your thoughts and allowing them to ebb and flow. Visualization requires imagining future life events playing out in your mind in high definition, almost like a movie.
The key to assuring the impact of visualization is picturing the future event in detail.
This helps teach your nervous system to become familiar with the sensations, thoughts, and emotions you want to experience along with it.
Tap into your five senses. As you see the scene unfold, include any tastes, textures, smells and sounds that you anticipate feeling in real life.
Then, when that event, activity or moment arises, you can feel fully prepared, knowing you’ve already been through it.
Keep this practice on repeat. The ore often you replay, the more impact.
What kind of future events do you want to practice visualizing?
You could practice visualizing things you’re looking forward to, like a vacation or a big family celebration, or even something as modest as a casual dinner out with friends.
You could also practice visualizing things you want to avoid like anxiety or stress. Or things you want to be prepared for like a difficult conversation, a doctor’s appointment or a test.
Many athletes, performers, public speakers, entrepreneurs, and other successful people practice visualization.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, practices visualization to ward off anxiety and stress to help him prepare to face difficult or unexpected situations during competition.
When I would visualize, it would be what you want it to be, what you don’t want it to be, what it could be. You are always ready for whatever comes your way…. Any small things that could go wrong, I am ready for.
According to Jon Gabriel, every diet or approach he previously tried followed the same defeating pattern.
There was a list of “bad foods,” thing he couldn’t eat. He’d avoid them like poison.
Then there were “good foods,” the things he was allowed to eat freely. So he’d fill his fridge and stomach with those approved items. He trusted that as long as he followed the program, it would work.
But it didn’t. It never worked for very long.
The pattern was the same every time.
He’d lose some weight initially, but after a few weeks, or a few months, intense food cravings would come roaring back and take control. He’d succumb to a huge binge. When he hit his heaviest weight, it had become a debilitating problem in every area of life.
Out of sheer desperation, Gabriel started using the mind-body practice of guided-imagery visualization.
He was 409 pounds, but visualizing himself as a lean and fit 183 pound guy.
As ridiculous as it may have seemed to him at the time, the results speak for themselves.
Every night, he would visualize his goal. The next day things seemed to fall perfectly into place to help him achieve that goal. As he describes it, just like clockwork.
Fast forward two and a half years after starting and he’d reached his ideal weight and ideal body.
He wrote about how he did it in his book, Visualization For Weight Loss.
Visualization is uniquely suited to retraining your body to be thin.
It works from the inside out to change your biochemistry and neural pathways.
With regular practice, visualization will ease the stress in your body.
Here’s a summary of how Gabriel advises you to start the perfect visualization.
- CLOSE YOUR EYES AND ENTER THE “SMART MODE”
The first thing is to get your mind into the more powerful, highly programmable state of SMART Mode. All you need to do is to find imagery that relaxes you simply and relatively quickly. What image do you find relaxing? My go to is ocean waves breaking on a sandy beach.
- CREATE A SENTENCE IN YOUR MIND THAT HIGHLIGHTS THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO MAKE
You can use an affirmation to make any desired change you’d like. Whether it’s to change a habit, belief, or food choice, break an addiction; or anything else. Just make sure that the words you use in your affirmation focus on the positive and take place in the present, as opposed to future, tense.
- MELT THE FAT: IMAGINE YOUR BODY FAT TRANSFORMING INTO HIGH OCTANE ENERGY
There are lots of ways you can imagine weight melting off your body, but Gabriel likes this imagery a lot. See the excess weight being transformed into life force energy and being stored in your body as a much purer form of energy than fat. You’re storing it as invisible, healing life force energy.
- CREATE AN IMAGE OF YOUR IDEAL SELF
Now that the fat is melting away and becoming energy, turn your inner attention to your ideal self. Picture your desired body shape, and imagine what it feels like to be living inside that perfect shape. Feel your skin tight, muscles toned, belly flat, and a lightness of being.
- ENVISION THE UPCOMING DAYS AND MONTHS LIVING AS THIS IDEAL SELF
Imagine scenes from your day-to-day life. Then, you can turn your attention toward your future. Picture scenarios that you want to happen. See yourself becoming fitter, healthier, more relaxed and more confident. You may want to envision creating more success in your business, more loving relationships, or healthier boundaries.
- MAGNETIZE YOUR FUTURE
As you see yourself months and years down the road, in your perfect, ideal shape and body, imagine that this future version of you becomes a magnet that’s being pulled toward the direction of total success you envision.
- BRING IT BACK TO YOUR BODY AND GET RECHARGED
Finally, bring that bright image of your future self back to your body. Imagine that super-successful future self becomes you right now, while you’re sitting there. Feel the new you that you’ve just created charging every cell of your body with success.
And then, just before you open your eyes, feel and affirm that the visualization you’ve just created will change your life forever.
Gabriel advises that you say to yourself,” With the power of my mind, I’ve created my ideal body. My excess weight easily and effortlessly melts off me. I allow myself to achieve success in every area of my life, now and always.”
Meet Jon here.
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