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.
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.