I stumbled across an awesome TED talk today about faking it ’til you make it. The presenter talks about how your body language can shape who you are. She applied the principles to school, job interviews, and business, but it made me think about how faking it ’til you make it might apply in weight loss and getting fit and healthy.
I know that faking it ’til you make it works. I’ve used it many times in my life. I’m not a very confident or outgoing person. That’s why I enjoy blogging so much. It allows me to share myself, my thoughts and feelings, from behind the safety of a keyboard and computer screen.
I’ve always been terrified of public speaking, and I’ve turned down many opportunities for growth and promotion because of it. A little over a year ago, we moved into a new house, so we started going to church in a new area. My husband and I were asked to give talks to introduce our family to the new congregation. I was terrified. My husband is a corporate trainer and he’s very outgoing and confident, so I knew he could fill up the remaining time if I got up and just couldn’t do it.
I accepted the assignment and prepared my talk, all the while trying to talk myself out of it. I finally decided to fake it ’til I made it. I reminded myself that the new congregation didn’t know I was shy and awkward. I could just get up there and act confident and maybe they would think I was. Guess what? It worked. I was actually really proud of myself and thought I did a great job.
How can this apply to weight loss?
Weight loss and getting fit isn’t easy, especially if you’re like me and have struggled with it your whole life. It’s like changing from being shy and awkward to confident and outgoing. It feels overwhelming and impossible at times.
Here are a few ideas for faking it ’til you make it:
1) Write down your goals.
It’s easy to feel motivated in the beginning, but it takes commitment to keep going when the progress doesn’t happen as fast as you’d like and you feel like walking away from the whole thing. You might think of setting goals like lose 50 pounds. Those are important because they are measurable, but I actually prefer to make goals about how I want to feel. If you dig down deep and ask yourself why you want to lose weight, you’ll discover that feelings are what really drive your desire. You want to feel attractive, or feel energy to play with your kids, or feel confident, or feel proud of yourself. Write your goals or desired feelings on a piece of paper and put them on your mirror where you’ll be able to review them often.
2) Plan your meals and track what you eat.
As you progress along the path to fitness, it’s normal to let your healthy habits slip. Meal planning and writing down what you eat can help get you back on track. Check out my free fitness journal pages if you don’t already have a meal planning and tracking system that works for you.
3) Forget about perfection.
Progress isn’t about perfection, it’s about perseverance. If you mess up, so what? Just get back up and start again with your very next meal or workout. Don’t ruin a whole day because of one poor choice. Decide that no matter what, you’re worth it, and don’t give up on yourself.
4) Dress the part.
Take extra care with your physical appearance. Looking your best is not about being heavy or skinny. It’s about finding clothes that flatter your body in its current shape. From my experience, when I look fantastic, I feel fantastic.
5) Empower yourself.
Remember knowledge is power. A little knowledge can go a long way toward helping you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. I personally struggled until I learned about and tried clean eating. If you’re interested in learning more about it, check out my Clean Eating Guide. It’s full of simple tips for getting started.
6) Be happy now.
Most of all, don’t put off living your life thinking you’ll finally find happiness once you lose the weight. Find ways to be happy now. Sign up for a new class, buy a new outfit, move forward in a relationship. If your life is not happy without the weight loss, it won’t be happy with it.
Remember that it all starts with your thoughts. As you work on your body, you have to continue to work on your head, believing that you have the strength to make it through the day, completing all the requirements for better health, and knowing that you are WORTH the effort! Each morning stand in front of your bathroom mirror, strike a power pose (watch the video below to see what I’m talking about), then review the goals you’ve placed on your mirror.
Jillian Michaels, from the Biggest Loser, emphasizes over and over that losing weight not only takes real time, it takes mental time. She says, “It’s a process. If you fail, keep starting over. New habits and routines can take weeks to master.”
The key to being successful in anything, including weight loss, is to simply act with the intention of being successful. In other words, fake it. If you’re not fit yet, decide to act like you are. Spend your time like a fit person would, eat what a healthy person would eat. Forget everything you’ve been telling yourself about who you are and what your limits are, and just pretend you’re the person you want to be. And guess what? Eventually you’ll become that person.
Here’s the original TED talk in case you’re interested in watching it. It’s very inspiring!