Take an old picture of yourself when you were as fit and trim as you want to be now and post it where you will see it frequently. If you don’t have a picture of yourself, find one in a magazine or on the internet that looks the way you want to look. Several times during the day, look at that picture and spend several minutes visualizing yourself looking like that. Do this when you first wake up, before your workout and at bedtime, as these are good times for meditation. In this manner a visual goal is established both in your conscious and subconscious minds. This is important because it will accelerate your progress and increase your results.
- Mental visualization is a very strong tool. Maxwell Maltz, MD, writing in Psycho-Cybernetics, described how two groups of athletes were used to test this theory. The two groups were tested on their basketball shooting prowess and their scores were recorded. One of the groups was told to practice shooting baskets on a basketball court for two hours a day. The other group was told to sit quietly and visualize themselves shooting baskets . . . and making them, for a like period. After a suitable time, both groups were tested again in actual shooting. When their new scores were compared to those taken prior to the practices, it was found that both groups had improved a like amount. Doctor Maltz surmised that practicing in the mind is as effective as the actual physical act, at least as far as the technique. It is still necessary to exercise to condition the muscles and cardio-vascular system, but focusing on our goals several times a day will decrease the time involved to reach the desired achievement.
- In his book, The Gabriel Method, Jon Gabriel told the story of his weight loss of more than 210 pounds by mental visualization and knowing proper nutrition. His “non-diet-and-exercise-program” has been used by thousands of his acolytes all over the world with great success. What is even more remarkable is that medical doctors who have examined Jon can find no traces of his former morbid obesity. His skin is tight with no stretch marks and his body is nicely defined, just as he had seen it in his mind when he started his trek to fitness and a great looking body. Gabriel maintains that his mental imaging and visualization using photos reprogrammed his body to be thin. His contention is that many people are fat because of psychological and environmental issues causing their subconscious mind to believe that being fat is “safe” and being thin is “dangerous.” His personal imaging campaign reversed that programming and allowed his body to lose weight to be “safe.” He did practice good nutrition and exercised, but he did not diet per se. Prior to developing his Method, Jon paid large sums to several renowned diet doctors, including Robert Atkins, MD (The Atkins Diet), for personal consultations, but his weight losses were minimal and short-lived.
- Both of the aforementioned authors were scientifically trained observers. Their experiences were recorded about forty years apart, but their conclusions are similar: The subconscious mind is like a computer that may be programmed or reprogrammed by the conscious mind. Doctor Max’s title even suggests this; Psycho (mind) Cybernetics (the study of machines). Both authors contend that meditation or low-level self hypnosis may be used by anyone to program their subconscious mind to perform almost any desired task.