You’ve Been DIETING all Wrong

Get and STAY in the Diet Zone by using these 3 Types of Mental Rehearsal

Everyone has different motivators that ignite their NOW’S THE TIME TO GET FIT AND HEALTHY fire; but have you ever really stopped to think about harnessing the power of different types of motivation? That’s right, there are different types of motivators and I’m going to show you how to harness the power of each type. The single most important component in a successful lifestyle change can be found in the mind. Success is 90% mental and understanding how to engage your motivators and disengage your de-motivators is imperative to achieving a complete and total lifestyle transformation.

Tapping in to your unique motivators is important, but can be challenging. What FIRES UP one person may actually de-motivate another. So, as in most things in life, this is not a one-size-fits-all category. Motivation is UNIQUELY YOU and discovering what will effect change in your mind is the goal. Who cares what fires up anyone else, how does that help you? Let’s selfishly focus only on the things that move your heart into action!

The only thing required to tap into the powerful tools I am about to share is your commitment to a daily practice of quiet reflection. That’s it… Can you give yourself the gift of 5 minutes? Therein lies the real challenge.



Mental Rehearsal

Mental rehearsal includes three types of visualization; projected visualization (future), process/performance visualization (setting up your day and overcoming obstacles), and catalyst goal visualization.  

Mental Rehearsal is visualizing yourself being successful daily, situationally and into the future, before you’ve actually done anything. 

The reason Mental Rehearsal or visualization works lies in the fact that when you vividly imagine yourself reacting and overcoming certain situations, you are in turn physiologically creating neural pathways in your brain, just as if you had physically performed the action. Mental Rehearsal trains our mind and creates the neural patterns we need to redirect our behavior, this leads to great strides in achieving what we really want in life.

The key to using Mental Rehearsal is knowing how and what to imagine.  

There are 2 main components to learning successful visualization & imagery: 

Regular practice

– Schedule a time for visualization and imagery. Begin by visualizing two or three times per day—morning and evenings while in bed is a good time and place. Start with 5 minutes of visualization. As you become more skilled, and relax into the practice you will discover that you may want to carve out more time to visualize for the sheer purpose of enjoyment. 

Keep thoughts purposeful and directed

– This will lead to a positive experience. Learn to direct and control the images in your head. Let the mindless chatter enter in and exit out, do not pay attention to it, the more you practice the more skilled you will become at controlling your visualization technique.

IMPORTANT Side Note: the more sensory components you add, the more real the visualization (or experience)! See, smell, touch, taste, and hear your experience for maximum impact.

Mental Rehearsal has 3 visualizations “themes” to keep in mind, as well.


Projected Imagery (Future)

Imagine a desired future and play scenes in your head, like a movie.

  • How does it feel to play (ride bikes, swim, long walks) with your grandchildren?
  • How do move in your new body, fluid, effortless, unencumbered?
  • What activities fill your days, bike rides, long walks, fresh food, cooking, gardening?
  • Do you live by the beach, mountains, lakes or rivers? How does that sound, smell, and look to you?
  • How is your relationship with stress, are you carefree and confident that all is well, are you spiritually tapped in?

I found my ultimate strength in Projected Visualization although I utilize each type of Mental Rehearsal regularly, projected visualization allowed me to make my healthy lifestyle transformation about more than just aesthetics. It became much more meaningful to me when I created a future life for myself that centered around my ultimate desires, and that is to live a life that allows me to be active well into my 80’s and even 90’s.

When I began the Mental Rehearsal Practice of Projected Visualization my children were only 10, 7, 6, 2. Grandchildren weren’t even on the radar and today, 14 years later, I still have no grandchildren (although I do have a grand-puppy named Ted), however, my images are so vivid and real to me that I know my future is (and will be) full of love and a very active life for years to come.  


Process/Performance Visualization (Set up your day and overcome obstacles)

Set yourself up to succeed each morning by visualizing your day. Anticipate your obstacles and mentally prepare with tools (which I refer to as 6S Strategies) to overcome these challenges. Imagine yourself overcoming obstacles such as…

  • Obstacle
    • Your Daily Starbucks Addiction (500-1200 unnecessary calories) Walking away from tempting situations
  • 6S Strategy- perform all of these thoughts in your mind first and you WILL live them out when the time comes!
    • Reroute your drive away from Starbucks
    • Picture yourself passing by without stopping
    • Change the time you leave the house
  • Obstacle
    • Joining your co-workers for tempting lunch
  • 6S Strategy- perform all of these thoughts in your mind first and you WILL live them out when the time comes!
    • Pack your lunch
    • Bring your walking shoes and walk 1 mile during your lunch hour
    • Invite a co-worker to join you walking
    • Hear yourself turning down the invitation, politely but firmly
  • Obstacle
    • Breaking the patter of a nightly bowl of Ice Cream
  • 6S Strategy- perform all of these thoughts in your mind first and you WILL live them out when the time comes!
    • Eat a late lunch and a protein rich dinner to better stabilize your sugars (3:00pm lunches are great because they allow a light dinner and sugars remain more level)
    • Reduce bowl size to a 2 oz. ramekin, you get the satisfaction with a fraction of the calories
    • Ride the wave: This is the practice of experiencing the Ice Cream, wine, cigarette or whatever in your imagination. Go to that place in your mind that feel the pleasure of the experience and milk it. Taste the ice-cream or wine etc. This is often enough to satisfy the craving because it releases all of the chemicals associated with the action without the damaging aspects of the actual ingestions.
    • 10 Minute Pause: Don’t deny yourself the craving simply state to yourself “I will revisit this impulse in 10 minutes”. This is typically enough time for you to gain control over the impulse. Not denying yourself outright tames the human primal response to denial with is feast or famine.

Process/Performance Visualization is situation specific, and requires custom tailored 6S Strategies for each individual person. Think out-side the box, you are gathering tools and then picturing yourself using these tools to support your efforts.   Many hours of research and clinical trials went into developing this facet of The 80/20 Lifestyle Diet: A 28-Day Guide to Total Lifestyle Transformation. I interviewed sports psychologists, behavioral therapists, religious psychologists and many more and they all overwhelmingly support the use of Mental Rehearsal in shaping new behaviors.


Catalyst Goals

These goals burn the brightest but burn out the fastest. Most everyone can relate to making drastic lifestyle changes due to an impending event. For instance, a high-school reunion, a monumental birthday, a party, spring break. Although exciting, catalyst goals, typically, do not have enough substance to translate into long-term healthy lifestyle transformation.

Great examples of catalyst goals are any television program that focuses on competitive weight loss, such as The Biggest Loser, My Diet Is Better Than Yours, Fit to Fat to Fit. With the exception of Extreme Weight Loss Makeover, which I feel may actually help the contestants; this competitive environment creates more stress than structure. The eyeballs watching, the pressure of competition and the protected environments has nothing to do with the real life challenges the contestants will face the months and years following the show. Being denied, pushed, poked and prodded along the way by overzealous coaches with skin-in-the-game does not create the psychological structure necessary for long-term healthy lifestyle transformation. Sure it will get results (temporarily), but the journey sucked, the foundation was not laid, the new neural pathways were not formed and the human primal response of feast and famine will return, and these contestants will be left to face new challenges out of the spotlight.

Therefore, I caution against using catalyst goals as a sole means of motivation. They are great to goose-up the intensity, but be sure to support them with projected imagery visualization.  




So there you have it, the beginning of your very own toolbox! If you think The 80/20 Lifestyle is about food… think again. The 80/20 Lifestyle is about enjoying the healthiest relationship possible with food and fitness by breaking self-destructive habits and replacing them with habits that serve your greatest potential.

Fundamentally everyone knows what to eat, the underlying question, and the question that holds the key to your success is WHY AM I NOT DOING WHAT I KNOW I SHOULD BE DOING? And the answer filters down to the simple understanding of motivators, goals, and neuroscience. This is the beginning. 

The information in this post is a sampling of the content you will find in my soon-to-be-released book, The 80/20 Lifestyle Diet: A 28-Day Guide to Total Lifestyle Transformation.

For more information visit my Living 80/20 101 page and sign up for my NOURISH Newsletter.


Until Next Time… LIVE INSPIRED!!!

Robin Shea xoxo

By | 2016-10-25T15:14:20+00:00 March 14th, 2016|Journey Blog, Rewire Your Brain|Comments Off on You’ve Been DIETING all Wrong