The mirror and the looking glass

So, like many Slimming World members up and down the country, at the start of the summer holidays I bought one of the new journals. It’s basically like the luxury, upgraded version of a food diary. Except that as well as helping you keep track of your food each day, you can also log your body magic, create meal plans for each week, log your weight loss and weight goals, top tips from group each week, and tons more besides.

At the end of each week there’s a little exercise to help you reflect on your journey and to encourage you to keep going. Some of these are creative in nature, such as colouring in balloons for every pound you’ve lost. Some make you think, like writing down the things you love about yourself (which can sometimes be challenging for those of us who have had body image issues our whole lives).

Although I started using mine a couple of weeks after most of my fellow group members (waiting for pay day when they first came out!), I have found it so, so useful. But not necessarily just because I am writing things down.

Back at the beginning of July I took one of my best friends, Beth, out for birthday tea. As you can see from the photo below, it was not necessarily Slimming World friendly… sorry about that! It was definitely a Strategy 1 day.

beth birthday

BUT what Beth said to me that day was amazingly helpful in getting me back on track and losing some weight again after an extended ‘blip’.

I told Beth all about my recent struggles and how I wasn’t really managing to stay on track this year. I also told her about some of my other life woes, including fertility issues, health problems, money problems – you name it.

Now lovely Beth is a big fan of life coaching and talked me through a tool called a life mirror. Essentially we took a piece of paper and on one side we wrote down what life looks like right now. Then on the other side we wrote what I want life to look like in the future.

The first side is a totally realistic and present picture. There are no ‘if’s or ‘but’s, just what is true and real at that moment. And on the second side is your perfect picture of the future, without worrying what is or isn’t realistic or how you might get there.

For me, what was most helpful wasn’t the following discussion about progressing from one place to the other. It was working out what point B actually is and what it looks like.

I was reminded again of the quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Alice

You have probably heard this before as “if you don’t know where you’re going, all roads lead there”. It came down to this. When Beth asked what sort of house I’d be living in, it was easy to picture. When she asked what job I would be doing, I could tell her straight away. But when she asked me what I was wearing and what size it was, I couldn’t answer her. I have never truly allowed myself to visualise myself slim!

We talk about target weights and goals all the time in our Slimming World groups, but how many of us have actually sat and spent time truly thinking about that end point? What we look like, what we feel like, what we can do that we couldn’t before. I talk about it a lot… but believing it is something else entirely! But that end point is so much more than a number on the scales. It’s the whole reason we’re doing this in the first place!

And so began my coded messages. They look a little something like this.

Code

Now to most people, my scribbled hyroglyphics in the corner don’t mean much. But to me, they are a massive mindshift, from dreams to milestones! The dress I WILL wear when I’m slim, the house I WILL live in when I’ve sorted my job and money out, the amazing loving family I WILL have and which WILL grow when my health and fertility issues have resolved, and the big mountain I WILL climb when I am fit enough to do so.

One of the tools in our Slimming World ‘armoury’ is visualisation. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it! The general idea is to visualise yourself making good decisions in tricky situations. For example, visualising yourself ordering a salad with no dressing in a restaurant while your mate orders chips…

This is basically visualisation on a much bigger scale.

But it is totally working 🙂

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