What if?

May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I don’t know about you

But for me–I am often my biggest problem

And by that I mean

The thoughts inside my head

Lack of motivation

Getting derailed

It could be almost anything that does it

My mood

My circumstances

Something I ate that I shouldn’t have

Which leads to cravings

Call it what you want

But for me it’s like a spark

It starts small at first

But  turns into wildfire

And before I know it

I’m off the tracks

In a funk

Wishing I wasn’t

But not knowing how to stop the downward spiral

I’ve developed a few strategies

To help me in these times

And they don’t always work

But a lot of the time they do

So thought I’d share

A few weeks ago

I was sick

And missed a workout

Something as simple as that led me down a bad path

The next day I found another reason to flake out

And before I knew it I was even eating things I knew were bad for me

It’s amazing how quickly bad habits get together and bully you back into submission

There I was that third morning

Knowing I should be in the gym

But instead I was depressed

Knowing that I wouldn’t go

And that I’d probably eat something that day I shouldn’t

So I deployed this strategy

Not thinking it would work

I said to myself

“Holly, I know you’re not going to the gym today and you’re probably going to eat something you shouldn’t.  I get that.  So fine.  But just for pure entertainment’s sake….what WOULD you be doing right now if you WERE on track? Just imagine for a moment what you would be doing if you weren’t off the rails? What would your day look like?”

So I answered

I would get up and put on my gym clothes.

Then I would drive to the gym

And I’d do my workout

It wouldn’t take long since my victory plan is simple

And only requires me to add 30 seconds each day

I would be done pretty quickly

And then I would come home feeling victorious

Then I could enjoy my coffee in peace

Without all the guilt

And I wasn’t trying to convince myself to go

I had already decided not to

But I still played out this scenario in my mind

Telling myself what my  morning would look like

Step by step

Visualizing what it would have been like

If I was living it out the way I really wanted to

And then I asked myself “How would I feel if I was living out my morning as I really wanted to?”

And I sat there meditating on that feeling of victory

Of accomplishment

Without the guilt and dread and depression that I was currently feeling

And as I did this

A funny thing happened

I started thinking that maybe I wanted to go after all

It started to feel….possible

That maybe I could put one foot in front of the other

And just do the things I had laid out

And feel the things I had imagined being able to feel

Accomplished, victorious, happy

And so I put on my gym clothes

And my shoes

And went to the gym

It didn’t take long

Then I came home

And drank my coffee in peace

Blissfully happy

Feeling stronger

I had broken the pattern

Stopped it in its tracks

The next day I was stronger

But it doesn’t stop there

Because this is a cycle

And it will happen again

Maybe with food

Because at my son’s baseball games

I’m always under attack

From the concession stand staring me down

Drawing me in

And there have been times I say to myself

“I have to buy a hot dog. I’m going to.  I don’t feel in control.  I’m not going to resist”

So then I ask myself a question

“I know you’re not in control right now.  But what would it feel like if you were?

And then I imagine it

Really spend time thinking what that would feel like

And trust me–that’s a feeling I LOVE

Being in CONTROL of my food

And after that I ask myself

“What would you be doing if you were in control? What would it look like?

And then I answer

“I’d sit here and watch my son’s game without leaving to get food.  And when it was over we’d go home and I would make myself something that’s not dangerous for me to eat.  And I’d eat it and feel full.  And then I’d feel awesome for having conquered the concession stand beast!”

And I might decide

That I wanted that dream to become a reality

And find that somehow imagining it had given me the strength to make it real

I find that this strategy works

70% of the time

Maybe not always

But more often than not

So use your imagination

Because sometimes what you imagine becomes real

When you ask yourself

What if?

What if I was in control today?

What would it look like?

What things would I be doing?

How would it feel?

And sometimes it becomes a reality

You–making your own dreams come true.


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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Staci May 17, 2012 at 4:38 am

Boy, do I know what you’re saying. I needed to read that tonight (no, wait – 4 nights ago, lol). It’s amazing, though, how one wrong move quickly leads to another and another. Once the guilty feelings start, it’s like digging yourself out of a grave to get back on the right path! But just the same, as soon as you take the one positive step, the one step in the right direction, all the other “good” steps follow! Weird, we humans. 🙂
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tz May 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

will have to try and use that visualization technique myself…nice post, as usual.
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Nikki Mohamed May 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Visualization is awesome. So is reminding myself how addictive endorphins can be…I HATE getting started but I LOVE how I feel when I’m done working out. Endogenous Morphine is the bomb! So…I forced myself to push through the shin splints pain today and I finished my work out and then created a scene by walking through the streets with a big dopey grin on my face. Keep up your good work.
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Tina May 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

G. R. E. A. T. post!!! I am going to try this right now as I find myself in a self-defeating funk right now. Thank you!
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Amanda May 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This is certainly something I needed today; thank you. I hurt my back last week trying to take on more than I should have with the 30 day shred workout. My weak shoulders weren’t having any of it, and I ended up in bed for 3 days. I’ve felt really dejected ever since and haven’t done much of anything in the way of exercise, and on top of that I’ve let my rampant cravings have their way with me.

But today, I’ll try it your way.
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Roberta May 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Thank you! Just what I needed to read today.


AimeeWrites May 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Our brains are so powerful!

You know, sometimes when I have a craving, I sit still for five minutes and allow myself to fully enjoy the imaginary process and taste of eating that food. If I really focus, I can actually taste it, and by the time the process is over, I’m no longer craving it!
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Mimi@Irresistible Icing May 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

OMG, I can totally relate. I just found your blog and LOVE it. I know the pain and have been on the same journey since childhood. What a great skill that I need to start using. Thank your for sharing. Yes, it is a constant uphill battle.
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suzanne May 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I am definitely going to use that plan this week!!
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Bill Dameron May 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Perception becomes reality. You have a wonderful way of visualizing. Something I need to try and do more of!
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Sherry May 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Yeah…i love how you stepped back and asked yourself those questions…very inspiring…I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my mind…thank you for sharing.


Andrea May 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I love this. It’s part of what makes me remind myself to get up and move at the end of the day when I really just want to put on PJs and get on the couch w/my remote control and DVR! GO YOU!
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Robyn May 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

What a great idea. I am goign to try it.
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Trece Wyman May 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm

It is always esier to maintain momentum, rather than start from a stop. You offer a powerful tool to leverage that start. Thanks!
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Ashlee @ A Step in the Right Direction May 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

Great post! I like the visualization technique I am definitely going to try that on days I really do not want to get up and walk or do something physical. I just found your blog and you are definitely an inspiration!
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sandie May 18, 2012 at 1:15 am

You know I know exactly what you are saying Holly – and I have been looking for that mojo for a long time – and I am having a hard time finding it right now. Thanks for the encouragement. sandie
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Dawn May 18, 2012 at 1:25 am

Imagination is an AMAZING trait to have. One of my favorite Albert Einstein quotes is: “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere”.
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Lisa Eirene (@LisaEirene) May 18, 2012 at 4:12 am

Awesome! I’m glad you are trying to break the cycle!

For me, health became a “I Have To.” “I have to go to the gym today.” “It’s Tuesday, that’s a gym day!” or “I’m going to be under 2,000 calories today. Period.” Just setting my mind to something, creating a habit, creating a ritual, really helped eliminate that flaking out on myself.
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Wishfulshrinking May 18, 2012 at 4:22 am

What a wonderful way to thinking yourself into the next right move.
I think we all have fallen off the beam in our thinking and its good to see how others get back on.
Thanks for the great post!
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Kelliann May 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm

WOW… I really needed to read this today. What a great concept. I am going to use it – all day long today. Thank you
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Sheila May 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

What a great strategy! You are so clever. I’m going to try and use this as I think it’s a great idea!!!


Jillian May 24, 2012 at 5:12 am

Holly, I’m sorry it has taken me this long to come check out your blog. You are such an inspiration! So connected to my own struggles with my weight are my struggles with depression. Some days it feels like a whole ‘nother me telling me that I’m going to fail. I love this idea of yours because it lets me create a new me– a me who is ok with failing today, as long as I am fully aware of what choice I am making. I think that tomorrow I’m going to make some excellent choices! Thank you so much!
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Juice July 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

This is a phenomenal post! I’ve never thought about trying this technique, but I’m going to start. Thanks for sharing your struggles and successes with us in a way that inspires!
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