“Back fat? Seriously?”, I looked in the mirror with a disgusted look on my face.
Over the last 18 years, I had gained an extra 20 pounds.
Not cool… at all.
While I wasn’t paying attention, my weight and my waist band had gradually increased two pant sizes (and the pants I was wearing were starting to get a little tight).
The extra weight was affecting the way I felt and my energy levels, which ultimately effected my happiness.
Some things just seem to sneak up on us. We turn around and realize we’ve gained weight or that we are in a job we don’t like or with a partner who doesn’t fulfill us. Life can be funny that way, can’t it?
Let’s do something about it.
Traditional Weight Loss Methods “Almost” Work…
At that point in my life, I was still watching television. Beach Body was running commercials for their P90X program with Tony Horton. Their commercials were awesome, but up until this point, I had resisted buying the program.
Back fat was enough to push me over the edge.
I ordered the program and started doing the P90X home fitness workout program. It was brutal at times, but it worked.
I was losing weight with the DVDs and I was getting lean very fast.
My plan to lose weight and get fit was working, and then the sabotage started…
Have You Ever Noticed How Your Mind “Helps” You Gain the Weight Back?
One night, I looked down into a now empty half gallon of ice cream. I didn’t even remember getting the carton from the refrigerator. I didn’t really remember eating all of it. I felt like I had been in a trance.
I was about to learn a very powerful lesson.
I’ve invested a lot of time and money learning about human behavior and the mind. For some reasons, I’ve always been fascinated with why we do the things we do and how we can change our behavior to get what we want in life.
Naturally, I was very interested in why I had just pigged out.
The questions starting flying…
Why had I eaten so much ice cream? Why didn’t I remember much of the experience? I don’t really even enjoy ice cream, so why now?
I racked my brain for answers.
Eventually, the Universe answered.
“I had eaten a half-gallon of ice cream in one sitting… on autopilot.”
For the past 10 years, whenever I looked into the mirror, I was use to seeing a certain version of myself – the version that weighed 20 more pounds than I did in high school. That image was burned into my subconscious – that was “the way I was.”
But, I had thrown a monkey wrench into the works…
I was losing weight as a result of the P90X workout program and I was changing “the way I was.”
Is Your Mind Preventing You From Losing Weight or From Eating Healthy?
When I looked in the mirror, the conscious part of me that wanted to get into shape and lose weight was really happy with the results. What I didn’t realize was…
My subconscious was freaking out.
My subconscious mind was use to my body having a certain look, a certain shape and a certain feel. Let’s call it my “physical identity.”
When I looked in the mirror after a few months of P90X, my subconscious mind saw a mismatch between the person in the mirror and the person it thought I was (my physical identity).
My Subconscious Rings the Alarm Bells
Our subconscious mind acts to keep us alive, to protect us, and to keep us congruent with our values and our beliefs about who we are (our “identity”).
I was messing with that “identity.”
My subconscious mind decided to put things back into alignment…
It sent me to the freezer that night. It had me eat that bucket of ice cream so that, “I” would come back.
My subconscious wasn’t trying to hurt me – it was trying to “align” me with my beliefs about who I was. You see, I had changed had I looked externally, but I had not changed my internal mental image of myself.
What about you? Do you ever feel like your mind works against you?
My “Subconscious Weight Loss” Experiment
That night, I asked a series of questions that would lead me on an amazing journey around the world.
“If this happened on autopilot, if my mind tried to make me gain weight to return to my previous identity, can I use that automatic mechanism to my advantage?”
“Can I trick my mind into helping me lose weight on autopilot?”
I designed a totally unscientific experiment to find the answer.
I used several different “mind control” techniques in combination to test out my theory – nothing too woo-woo.
The results were pretty astounding. I stopped doing P90X, but I kept losing weight. I stopped eating when I was full (without thinking about it consciously). I automatically stopped or cut back on food that was hurting me.
I was losing weight automatically just like I was breathing automatically.
I lost a total of 21 pounds and was back to my high-school weight.
I went from a size 34 pant to a size 31 pant. I had to have my suits tailored and I had to get rid of a lot of big and baggy clothes.
Even though I’ve been a student of positive psychology and personal development since about the 7th grade, this experiment was pivotal.
The effectiveness of what I had done marked a milestone in my journey to understand how you and I can use our minds to create our external reality.
Will this exact approach work for everyone?
No, of course not…
Some of us overeat to feel better or as a self-protection mechanism due to abuse. Those situations require a different but related approach to handle the deep-seated emotions and beliefs.
Will this work for a lot of people who have slowly gained weight over time? Yes, I believe it will. Combine it with a good workout program and you’ll be unstoppable.