If you are a visual person, Day-Dreaming can help you to lose weight

‘I am running slowly around my local park, and there is a clothes hanger, floating through the air ahead of me with a beautiful dress hanging from it and I kept following it trying to catch it, even when I got tired, I kept going’

I was told that story in 2010 by a girl who was successfully losing weight with me and I have never forgotten it. She used this visual to motivate herself to keep moving.

Can you allow your mind to float away and day-dream and become excited in your head about future possibilities for yourself? 

Visual people tend to talk quickly and have high energy. Do you say “I see what you mean”, ‘I get the picture’, and when you are learning something new, do you draw a diagram or visual to help you learn. If yes, you may experience life more through your eyes than your other senses. 

Try this Technique

Put yourself in a place where you are relaxed, happy and able to think and day-dream. Ask yourself the following questions.

What am I happiest doing? Draw from the past or create a new future

When I felt really happy and at peace with myself in the past, can I describe my surroundings (identify where geographical, doing what work, living with who, in what home,  in or out of a relationship, social circle, friends, community)

If I feel I have never been truly happy in the past, can I begin to imagine the above scenario and create a picture of it in my mind. This can take time so be patient with yourself.

What am I wearing? (linger over this picture and look at every detail)

Am I active? 

How do I spend my weekend? 

What gives me joy? – (people, clothes, food, singing, sense of wellbeing from the inside, hill walking, books, music, cooking……)

Look at yourself in the picture, closely

Return to reality but re-visit this day-dream, this visual image.  In the following days and weeks, return to it and paint it in with brighter colours every time. 

You can allow your other senses to engage by making it into a movie in your head and put yourself into the movie.  You can begin to feel e.g. the sun on your face, the smells, the sounds. Make it come to life and hear the sounds around you in the movie and what people are saying to you. 

This technique is called visualisation and it is empowering and motivational. If it makes you feel re-energised, motivated and happy, use it. It is a break-away from the day-to-day activities, the bad news and it might become your top motivational tool for weight-loss. 

One step further is to imagine you have reached your goal weight and lifestyle health goals and you are asked to speak to a group of people who are setting out on a weight-loss journey.

Imagine you are talking to this audience:

  • Tell them what you did to get to your ideal weight – list the changes
  • Do you have any regrets having made these changes – imagine the question ‘Did you give up wine, beer chocolate, bread?’….
  • Then take a final question from the floor ‘What would you have done differently to get you to where you are now?  Answer it

We were trained in Neurolinguistic Programming at college. I don’t use it much as I should but I absolutely love this visualisation technique and use it on myself and strongly advise clients to explore it. It’s just day-dreaming really!

Joan Moloney works in Weight-Loss Nutrition, based in Ireland, and offers online services to men and women who need help changing their lifestyles.

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