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Enjoy the Journey How to gear up for success on your weight-loss ride By Patricia Amborn, MSM Creative Visualization Creative visualization is like daydreaming. Athletes use this trick to psych themselves up, imagining how they will succeed before they even step on the field. In the same way, you can plan for your own weight-loss success. For example, imagine: • njoying a wide variety of tasty and E nutritious foods without guilt • alking the dog or climbing stairs W without getting winded • ooking and feeling great in a new outfit L you bought off the rack • etting in and out of your car with room G to spare • eeling proud that you've reached your F goal weight Conjuring a vivid and detailed picture in your mind of exactly what you want to feel, see, smell and hear will make your creative visualization more powerful. Positive Affirmations Nobody likes a backseat driver. We don't like to be told we're doing everything wrong. Sometimes we can become our own backseat driver when we become critical of ourselves. You may believe that you don't say many negative things to yourself, but the next time you feel lousy, overwhelmed or defeated, remember this: You feel how you think. Your mind believes what you tell it. What have you been telling yourself that has you discouraged? Ask yourself, "Would I say this to someone else?" Positive affirmations can keep that backseat driver in your head from ruining your trip. Take a few minutes for a personal tune-up with this activity. Write down 5–10 things that you like about yourself. Next time you have a negative thought, read the list. Focus on your strengths and positive qualities. You can also tune up your attitude by repeating affirmations such as: Stockbyte/THINKSTOCK Losing weight is a long journey. There will be twists and turns in the road, but you can map out the best route for you. These strategies will help. • 'm doing this for me. I • o matter what happened yesterday, N today is a new day. • 'm going to make this a wonderful day! I • y body deserves respect. M • can change my habits. I • put the "umph" in triumph! I • always feel better after I take a walk. I • 'm worth it! I Now add some of your own favorite phrases. You may want to post these affirmations on your refrigerator or mirror. These tools will keep you moving forward until you successfully reach your goal! n Patricia Amborn, MSM, teaches at Ottawa University in Milwaukee. As a freelance writer, she specializes in wellness. She contributed to TOPS' lifestyle guide, Real Life: The Hands-on Pounds-off Guide, and created the Self Care Program for TOPS members. HEALTHY & ACTIVE 2014 71

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