How to Think Like a Thin Person
Don't wait to live fit -- start now!
Are you waiting until you've reached your goal weight to "think
thin?" Don't, say weight loss experts. The time to start thinking -- and
living -- as a thinner, healthier person is right now.
Too often, people hold on to the belief that they can't think or act like a
thin person until they reach their goal weight, says Linda Spangle, RN, MA,
owner of Weight Loss for Life in Denver and author of Life is Hard, Food is
Easy: The 5-Step Plan to Overcome Emotional Eating and Lose Weight on Any
Diet. But staying trapped in your old, unhealthy mindset can sabotage the
very behaviors you're trying so hard to change.
"I encourage people who are trying to lose weight to build an image of
how they would not only look, but also how they would act and feel when they
are thin," says Spangle.
If you are a visual person, for example, hang a favorite outfit where you
can see it every day, then picture how well the outfit is going to fit you. If
you're a movement-oriented person, picture how it would "feel" to slide
easily past the empty seats in the theater row, or imagine the ease of
fastening a seat belt in an airplane.
Pretend You're Thin
Spangle teaches her clients to "pretend" they are thin and live as
if that's true. When we pretend something is true, a new pattern of behavior
will eventually evolve, says Spangle.
"Acting as if you have a skill or a feeling eventually contributes to it
coming true," she says. "Public speakers are taught to address their
audience as if they feel totally confident and have no stage fright whatsoever.
Most speakers discover that after doing this even a few times, it becomes
In the same way, Spangle says, you don't have to wait until
"someday" to have self-esteem. You can build your confidence and
self-image by acting as if you already feel good about yourself (even if you
don't). When you get dressed each day, look in the mirror and say, "I look
great!" Then walk and talk as if you do.
"It doesn't matter if you're wearing a baggy dress and worn shoes,"
says Spangle. "Pretend! Imagine how you would talk to others, do your work
projects, and raise your children if you truly felt great about yourself. Then
live out of that internal picture, acting as if those things were
That doesn't mean you should pretend yourself right out of your need to
develop more healthy habits, she adds.
"Taking this approach doesn't mean you can put your head in the sand or
ignore the realities of life," Spangle says. "It just helps you develop
a new attitude about what's already there. At the same time, it also gives you
hope that things can get better. After a month or so of living as if you are
confident and strong about yourself, you will be amazed at how well you match