Think Yourself Thin

Can you get to your ideal size by just thinking so? Yes, you can. We know people who have done it. You can give up having a weight issue. Just walk away from it. Adopt the attitude of “been there, done that.” Convince yourself that you are already at your ideal size. How can you do this? By using your mental and emotional resources to make it so. Notice that we didn't say to use willpower and self-discipline. By now you have enough experience with weight loss to know these don't work, so let's take a different approach. We suspect it is one you haven't tried before.

Believing Is Seeing

Never underestimate the power of your mental outlook. Researchers tell us that the brain doesn't distinguish between what you imagine and what is real. Yes, if you imagine that you are at your ideal size, your subconscious doesn't know whether it is fact or fiction. The more you imagine and the more you turn away conflicting thoughts, the closer you get to being effortlessly thin.

People who are naturally thin do not think they are fat. They don't worry about what to eat, when to diet, or how to diet. The thoughts wouldn't cross their minds. Do the same for yourself. Here's how.

Cut Excuses Out of Your Thought Menu

Body of Knowledge

The research on the power of thoughts overwhelmingly supports getting your thinking in alignment with being thin for life. Get rid of any fat thinking and behaviors. If using the power of thoughts works for Olympic athletes and professional ballplayers, it can work for you.


Learning to eat as if you were already thin can be fun. Take your thin friends out to lunch or dinner and observe how they eat. Then model their healthy eating behaviors, such as being picky eaters and not cleaning their plates.

You and only you are totally responsible for the size of your body. It wasn't the advertising that put the food into your mouth. It wasn't anyone else, either. It was only one thing—you. We want you to stop using excuses and take full responsibility for the size of your body. This action empowers you to make the changes necessary to get to your ideal size.

Yes, we mean that mom, the kids, the spouse, the hormones, and on and on are not the real reason you have a weight issue. It was solely how you reacted to your life situations. For example, when Lucy got over the fact that her son had learning disabilities and that she had to deal with the situation rather than eat over it, she was finally able to release the fat. We know this sounds really tough and a bit ruthless, but we also know you want to be your ideal size.

You are in charge. Act in charge of your eating. Be picky and be impolite. After all, it is your body and not anyone else's. You have our permission to be obnoxious if necessary to avoid eating what you don't want or need.

If you find yourself wanting to make excuses for your size, stop mid-word (just like you should stop mid-bite if you were done eating). Then take it back, rephrase it, and say it in such a way that you are responsible and in charge. For example, if you say or even think, “I feel fat today,” reword it and instead say aloud, “I feel thin today.” Turning around your thoughts like this gives you power.

Forgiveness as Weight-Loss Aid

Perhaps you started gaining weight from the stress of a major—or even minor—life event. Such things as divorce or loss of a loved one can trigger overeating for consolation. So can getting older and feeling older.

If you can release the trauma and sadness from such events and the people associated with them, you can often come to terms with overeating. To do this, use the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the act of pardoning without harboring grievances. The key to success with forgiveness is persistence, tenacity, and desire.

In virtually every religion in the world, forgiveness is considered to be a highly sacred and spiritual practice. We agree. We also know that forgiveness has great power to heal wounds and release weight. So, if you feel burdened by past life events, as if you are still carrying around their weight, use forgivenesses. Here's how:

First make a list of everyone who was involved in your weight issue. Be sure to include yourself. Then make up some forgivenesses and write them down. Use the formula, “I, (fill in your name), forgive you for (whatever the issue).” Also write forgivenesses for yourself, such as, “I, (fill in your name), forgive myself for (whatever the issue).”

For yourself, you could write the following:

  • I forgive myself for overeating.

  • I forgive myself for getting older.

  • I forgive myself for being overweight.

  • I forgive myself for abusing my body with too much food.

  • I forgive myself for not exercising.

One client came back to class the next week having begun the forgiveness homework exercise. She told the class that she had written 27 pages of forgivenesses, and she still wasn't finished forgiving her mother. But she said it was really a great feeling.

Although it might sound somewhat shallow to forgive a person so that you can lose weight, well, if you haven't forgiven them already, perhaps it's time. And your weight situation presents a treasured opportunity to let go of past grievances.

We figure it doesn't matter why you forgive. It just matters that you do.

Next: Page 2 >>

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks