For the better part of 10 years I was carrying around 20-40 lbs more than I wanted. I had tried every gimmick, every diet, every exercise routine to no avail. I spent many dollars and hours busting my ass at the gym, I bought only the best fresh produce and ate as minimally as possible. The calories in/calories out equation was not working for me. I found some reprieve after reading ''The 4 Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss. His approach is different than any other diet plan I've found, and it worked for me, probably because he condones the consumption of red wine! I was able to drop a few pounds, and I felt better but I didn't stick with it and after many months gained the weight back. After working this hard I realized my excess weight was clinging to my negative self image. I knew that until I genuinely loved my body I was never going to lose the weight.
Then floating entered my life. I knew this was a powerful tool that could be used for many things but it wasn’t until I read about women increasing their bust sizes with visualization that I decided to turn my float practice into a weight management tool. As detailed by Michael Hutchinson in “The Book of Floating” one study instructed women to visualize a warm towel over their breasts, with a heat lamp shining down on them. Other groups visualized themselves as they would like to be, and yet another group visualized blood and energy flowing into their breasts. In all the studies the increase to bust size was significant, ranging from 1.5 – 2+ inches.
I have no desire to increase my bust size, but by reversing the visualization I hoped to decrease the inches hanging on my hips, waist and thighs. Research has proven that floating can help with overcoming addictions, and for many people our relationship to food is absolutely an addiction.
I didn't loose the weight immediately. I floated for many months before I shifted my float focus from relaxation and mind exploration, to that of a weight loss tool. I began visualizing myself with the body I wanted, not necessarily the one I had. I would repeat mantras of self love and appreciation and spent time thanking my body for all the great things it can do. I would run my hands up and down the sides of my body in the silky water and feel where the extra weight was collecting. Over the next few months I started to notice the weight falling off, but more importantly I starting enjoying what I saw in the mirror. I took a softer approach with myself.
This may sound silly, but it’s a recurring visualization in my float practice. I imagine my body as a large steak sizzling on a fire grill. I hear the fat blistering, watch the excess slowly dripping and rolling down and away from my body. I always feel a little foolish describing this imagery, but it was effective.
I was not doing anything different than I had before. My diet remained mostly unchanged, I attended many yoga classes at Get Bent, but that wasn't overly new. The only real difference is that floating took the weight off my mind so my body could focus on making my outside reflect how I felt on the inside.
To date I have lost about 30 lbs and I'm happy with the person I am. I am proud of my personal achievements and what my body says about me. I'm not perfect, I never will be, but I'm a better reflection of my true self. Using the float tank for weight loss is not unique to me, in a study of 48 female participants sensory reduced environments were shown to be very effective for weight reduction.
Almost everyone wishes they could drop a few pounds. Your weight loss journey is yours alone, and I am certainly no weight loss expert. Of course you need to eat well and exercise to reach your weight loss goals. There is no substitution for mindfully choosing your foods and making movement a priority. Floating is simply a tool that you can use to help you on your journey. I found the mental clarity floating provided was the key to successfully reaching my weight loss goals. I hope floating can help you reach your goals too, whatever they may be!
Self image was my obstacle, but you might need different help. If you are searching for someone to help you with your weight loss journey I recommend you check out the constantly growing and evolving weight management programs with the wonderful Raina Lutz, RHN. In conjunction with a consistent float practice of course!