Sharks and weight loss
A couple of weeks ago I was working out at my gym. There I was plugged into my music doing some intervals on the rower. Intermittently I was able to watch the text titles on one of the TV screens and I saw parts of a documentary called How Jaws Changed the World.
(I couldn’t quite believe I watching more footage of sharks having seen Sharknado at the movies the previous night. Not my typical choice of movie, I want you to know, but let’s not get side-tracked…)
In How Jaws Changed the World I saw an interview with Damon Kendrick, a man who had been attacked by a shark in his youth and lost one of his legs from the knee. Today he is a champion athlete in many sports, including – amazingly – ocean swimming events!
He was asked: “Do you worry about sharks?”
Yes he does at times, he admitted, and he knows if he thinks about them too much he’ll be in trouble.
To take his mind away from dwelling on sharks while he’s swimming, Damon uses what I thought was a delightful mantra; he tells himself, “I’m a dolphin. I’m a dolphin. I’m a dolphin.”
But what does this have to do with weight loss?
Stay with me. I’m getting there.
When Damon repeats his mantra, he’s imagining himself as a creature that embodies the positive feeling state he wants to enter. By focusing on “being a dolphin” he accesses the positive qualities he associates with it. Perhaps playful, swift, nimble, confident. Using his imagination like this is a great way to quickly access a resourceful state.
Another idea is to think of a character you know from the TV or a movie and imagine you are that character.
Can you see how you could use this idea for your weight loss journey?
You can use a mantra to feel positive and resourceful
Is there an animal or a character that epitomises qualities you need to be successful in achieving your weight loss goal? Things like determination, self-compassion, realistic- thinking, optimism, relaxed intent, self-belief, persistence or patience, perhaps?
Have fun trying on different ideas. Here are some I came up with…
- “I’m a gazelle” – lean, graceful, swift, nimble, aware
- “I’m a cat” – flexible, agile, graceful, sleek, playful, self-reliant
- “I’m Elizabeth Bennet” – sassy, intelligent, level-headed, honest, patient
- “I’m Yu Su Lein in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” – incredibly physically fit, determined, sensible, kind-hearted, forgiving
- “I’m River Song from Dr. Who” – smart, confident, big-hearted, curvaceous, strong, feminine
See what works for you. When you find the one that feels just right, remember to use your chosen mantra when you feel you need a positive boost. Experiment with different references for different situations.
Although this may seem light-hearted, there’s real power in being able to enter a resourceful state at will. Just think of Damon staying focused in an ocean race. Given his past experience it could be all too easy to let a negative spiral of thoughts get the better of him yet Damon uses his imagination in a positive way instead. You have the ability to do this too.
I’d love to hear your ideas for positive mantras in the comments section below!