Beliefnet

Now that summer’s over, our inclination is to fall into a “healthy food hibernation” during the fall and winter months. For many of us, that means simply caving in to so many unhealthy holiday temptations that pack the extra pounds onto our bodies. Unfortunately, the negative health consequences of extra pounds are awake and on the prowl year-round seeking to devour our health. That’s why it’s critically important over the next few months to keep our focus on a firm foundation of healthy eating.

Millions of dieters fail to keep the pounds off permanently because they are trying to lose weight for all the wrong reasons. The good news is that we can train our minds to choose powerful, right reasons to lose the fat and keep it off, permanently. Yesterday, I shared the first commandment of weight loss success: Thou shalt not worship food as your god.  Today, we look at the second commandment:

2. Thou shalt not worship a false image.

A “false image” is an idol that is worshiped. Don’t be fooled into worshiping a false image—a body that can only be achieved with the help of extreme plastic surgery and digital photo airbrushing by the beauty and fashion industry. You will never be happy if you pursue such false, superhuman images.

Warped perceptions of our physical appearance are created from the Barbie-type, airbrushed images that surround us every day. With these unrealistic expectations, it is no wonder so many people are dissatisfied with their bodies, self-conscious and incapable of appreciating basic good health. This goes especially for women—four out of five women are unhappy with their bodies. The consequences: teenage girls tormented with self-scrutiny, pregnant women deprived of essential nourishment in order to limit weight gain and the new prevalence of eating disorders among women in midlife.

Even preteen girls in the United States grow up with Barbie dolls, playing out scenes for what their adult lives could be. According to Marie Claire magazine, if Barbie were a real woman, she would be 7 feet 2 inches and possess these unlikely measurements: 40-inch bust, 22-inch waist and 36-inch hips!

Are we allowing our celebrity-obsessed culture to torture our minds (and checkbooks) with impossible idols instead maintaining a realistic, beautiful and healthy body image? It should make us angry enough to change our thoughts and actions. It is critical that we develop a crystal-clear picture of a realistic, beautiful and healthy body in our mind’s eye.

Why is it important to visualize a realistic, perfect body? Doing so will force us to make a win-or-lose decision with every meal or snack. We empower ourselves to choose whether that extra cookie or fatty bite is really worth wrecking our dreams and health.

Let’s take some time right now to visualize the perfect body clearly. Smile while you are doing this. I want you to focus on clearly seeing the exact beautiful body that you want to have:

• See softer, sexier skin with diminished wrinkles and discoloration.

• See silkier hair and stronger, longer nails.

• See leaner arms with a trimmer stomach and smaller waistline.

(Picture it in your mind.)

• See a smaller, firmer gluteus maximus that isn’t sagging.

• See leaner, toner legs with a tighter skin appearance.

Take some serious time to imagine your beautiful, unique self, only leaner, softer, and more beautiful. Do you like what you see?

Now, we’re really going to put your imagination in hyperdrive — going deep within your body to imagine what you can’t see but yet is vital to a long, satisfying life:

• See a healthier brain, heart, circulation system, digestive tract, kidneys and liver.

• Feel the weight taken off your joints.

• Feel more energy ready to meet and beat the challenges in life.

(Take a moment and really feel it.)

• Feel a spring in your step with the urge to move.

• See a glow in your eyes and a smile on your face.

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