VISUALIZE workshops are 3 hour virtual retreat workshops where I teach people to use visualization exercises, stream of consciousness writing and drawing to get clarity, buildthe life that they want and step into it.
To share how visualization has helped me become the person that I am today, I did a 6 day countdown to my VISUALIZE workshop where each day I shared a story of how and what I visualized and how it came to fruition. This is the third story about how I lost the weight, let go of the baggage and embraced a healthier life!
In 2014 I was 30 pounds overweight and had just gotten out of a 7 year relationship. Everything was happening all at once. My boyfriend at the time and I had broken up 2 weeks before I graduated from college. I found myself newly single and didn’t even notice that I was overweight. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was not in love with the way that I looked and felt, along with how I was putting myself out there in the world. I was blinded and distracted by all the other things going on in my life, like having to complete my senior thesis.
So I get out of this relationship, graduate and realize how unhappy I am with who I am in this moment. Letting go of the relationship and not having a thesis to occupy and avoid, pushed me to see that I had not truly worked on myself in 4 years! I hadn’t been taking care of myself. I wasn’t eating all day and then would binge eat domino’s pizza at night. I was in place where I was feeding my emotions with food. I was totally uncomfortable with sitting with my emotions. I remember walking into my bedroom thinking that I really should meditate and visualize but having to sit and listen to my thoughts was way too painful, so instead I would go and eat some more cereal…I mean I really liked cereal so…?
When I eventually started meditating and visualizing for the first time, it was so hard and scary because I hated what I was thinking. I hated that my thinking would lead me towards eating unhealthy foods. I hated that I had let myself get this out of control into a negative downward spiral. The first time that I sat down to meditate, I had to see the process as a journey and accept that I am overweight and unhappy. The person that I was with at the time mockingly said, ‘You’re gonna meditate, who meditates?’, and I thought to myself that maybe I shouldn’t meditate but thankfully, I decided that I was going to meditate anyways. I moved back to Maryland* for 2 months to stay with my mom and find my grounding so that I could eventually move back to Philadelphia into an apartment. I started meditating every single day. I dedicated at least 10 minutes a day before bed. As the days went by, I realized that I am not my connection to food and I am not my connection to my emotions. These connections are literally an ego mechanism that is separate from me. Meaning that, I would be craving waffles or carbs but actually see that my emotions are craving that, not my body. I started being able to separate the two things from each other. I began visualizing what it would be like to have my ideal healthy body. It wasn’t even about the weight - I wanted to feel healthy and attractive. Once I started to visualize this feeling every day, I started to really get into this feeling and spurring myself on – I was going to look HOT! I felt how great I was going to feel and look. As I started to consciously separate the emotions from the eating, I started to reconnect with what was in me and with what my heart was calling me to do. I ended up moving back to Philly and eating healthier. I visualized and needed accountability, so I started blogging about my health journey. Over time, I reached my goal and maintained it. Ironically, along with the emotional side of eating, I also found out that I am actually intolerant to a lot of foods, like lactose. There are things that we completely ignore but if we pay a little attention and listen to our body, which meditation has helped me do, we will realize that these unhealthy patterns are so not worth it. I have had to learn my lesson over and over again though. Every once in a while I still have cheat days, like this weekend I had vanilla cake with chocolate icing – YUM! Usually when I mediate I tune in with my body and how it’s feeling. So yesterday I felt a bit yucky after the cake but thought that it was no big deal. But when I woke up this morning, I felt awful. Over time it stops being worth it. I used to have favorite foods that I would eat often and not notice that they made me feel gross. I actually didn’t notice that I actually felt gross all the time. Yes, there would be a sense of delight when eating my favorite food, but then two days later I would have a stomach ache.
I envisioned the day when I was 30 pounds lighter and in less than 6 months I found myself there. Now it’s been 3 years and I’ve got muscles and I am doing yoga and things that have shifted my whole lifestyle. My weight loss program was not only about losing weight, it turned into a whole new way of thinking, being and living.
Thank-you for reading my story. I hope it gave you some good ideas. Keep your eye on my blog page for upcoming stories or start reading from Day 1.
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