How feeling like Meryl Streep can help you lose weight

Do you ever wonder how an actress like Meryl Streep can take on a myriad of roles, like that of a witch to Amanda Prisetly, with such believability? 

Well sure, but what the #$%^ does that have to do with losing weight, Heather?

Quite a lot. To become someone else requires an actress to think and feel like someone she is not. The same is required for achieving any big goal. 

When I start working with a client, often she feels stuck because of all the things she’s tried to lose weight that didn’t work. And that’s because she doesn’t know how to move beyond it. Her past feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy that keeps coming true. 

And that’s because instead of understanding the internal work needed, she’s focused on the “thing out there” that will make it happen this time. But when the diet, supplement, fancy app, or infomercial product isn’t working or sustainable, it confirms that she can never stick with her healthy habits.

So, back to Meryl. In order for us to believe that she is a powerful fashion magazine editor, she has to become one. And she has to practice. A lot. And more than just memorizing and reciting lines, she has to feel into the role, to become Amanda Priestly. 

That’s how any of us make changes in who we want to become. It starts by clarifying the fit and healthy lifestyle we want, the equivalent of the script for playing a role.

Photo by Ron Lach : https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-black-shirt-writing-on-white-paper-8085938/

And then we practice. But just as Meryl Streep does more than rote memorization, we also must feel this new identity to truly prepare ourselves for the role of our future self. Neuroscientist Dr. Sarah McKay says, “You can practice emotions in advance of a situation by teaching your brain the most useful way to respond in a situation. Actors do this all the time. The emotions they feel on stage are real because they rehearsed their creation.”

Try it. Picture yourself as the fit and healthy you that you see in your head. Close your eyes and practice being her. What does she think? How does she feel? How does she respond to typical challenges? Go about your day as her. Believe me, this is essential to becoming her. 

And hey, when you have a coach by your side this kind of work becomes easier and you reach your health and weight loss goals more quickly.

Do healthy eating habits make you feel like you’re ‘missing out’?

Growing up, I didn’t have a concept of healthy eating habits beyond the obligatory vegetable on my dinner plate. Like any child, I wished broccoli would taste like chocolate brownies. Then as I got older, I wished brownies were just 45 calories and contained the cancer-fighting properties of the cruciferous broccoli. 

Even up to a few years ago, healthy eating had a whiff of deprivation for me. But that changed when I started to look at all the foods I “get” to eat. Have you ever had those little orange tomatoes fresh from the farmers market? If I’d had those as a kid I may never have “needed” so much chocolate.

Of course you can think about all the energy you’ll have, and how great that pair of jeans will fit if you can just stick with your healthy eating habits. Creating a clear picture of how fit and strong you’re becoming, imagining yourself looking and feeling fantastic, is great motivation. 

But there’s that part of our brain that likes instant satisfaction, and thinking about those results can feel too vague and certainly not “instant.” So thinking about all of the delicious healthy foods we get to eat provides that spark of immediate enjoyment.

And I learned not to expect a sweet, juicy strawberry to give me the same feel-good dopamine spike as mint chocolate chip ice cream. It’s a different level of satisfaction. Like the difference between marriage and that initial dating phase.

Staying on track with healthy eating habits requires balancing brain chatter and temptation with your desire for losing weight, and this is one strategy that really helps me and my clients. When you not only focus on the healthy foods that you really like, but make sure to have them readily available and incorporate them regularly into your daily fare, you will feel more satisfied. And the more satisfied you feel, the less you feel deprived.

In fact, I can’t remember the last time I felt like I was missing out.

Photo by Brenda Godinez on Unsplash

How to feel super successful everyday, even when you fail

How to feel super successful everyday, even when you fail

When we focus on how to succeed, we generally look to the outcome. If we get the outcome we want (like the scale going down) then #winning. If not, #loser.

It’s an outdated view of success. Binary. Winning is left – largely – to chance.

In truth, your success depends on your willingness and ability to recognize all of the ways that you are winning. 

Please do not gloss over that last sentence. Both willingness and ability are critical to you feeling super successful every day, no matter the outcome you achieve. Let’s break them down:

Willingness means not holding yourself to perfectionist standards. Maybe taking an ugly win. You were going for a 20 lbs weight loss this past quarter. You lost 3. Take the win. Acknowledge what you did to get there. Congratulate yourself that you didn’t gain 3, which was your past trajectory. 

Yes, assess the failure. Learn. Refocus. Retool. And go again. But go into it feeling like Serena Williams who knows she’s a winner, even when she’s lost a tournament.   

Ability is looking for what you might not normally think of as a success. Say you picked up that glazed donut and ate three quarters of it before coming to and thinking “whoa, what happened here?!” and put the remainder in the trash. You might be tempted to feel bad about what you did eat. Instead, take the kudos for stopping when you could have wolfed down the last few bites (do you know how hard that is?!). 

How to feel super successful everyday, even when you fail
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Take 47 seconds now and come up with five ways you’re winning today. Like you…

  • Ordered a grande instead of a venti
  • Took a 4-minute walk instead of scrolling to pass the time
  • Responded with grace and understanding to the complaining coworker you’re not fond of 
  • Walked the two flights of stairs to your office, even when the elevator opened right in front of you
  • Stopped halfway through a bag of Cheetos and put the rest away

If you want to know how to succeed it starts here, with recognizing all of the ways you are already winning. When you come from the place of being successful, you prepare yourself for successful outcomes. You are more likely to take the actions necessary to achieve your goals when you feel like a winner. 

Another way to win more…have a Strategy Session with me. Let’s talk. 

8 Quick & Easy Ways to Kickstart Feeling Better and Getting Fit.

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