When I interviewed Martina Navratilova and five-time Olympian Anne Kursinski, they attributed their record-breaking achievements to an essential practice: visualizing success. Imagine losing 10 pounds simply by using all your senses to experience a thinner you. Seriously, not depriving your body of necessary food. Not running five miles a day and hating it. It’s not a diet, it’s a mindset shift.
That’s exactly what researchers at University of Plymouth evaluated. Get this, not only did it work, it proved to be the most effective weight loss study ever conducted. The only study to come close was Weight Watchers where results were short lived.
The technique is called functional imagery training, or FIT (fittingly – ha!) and it combines motivational interviewing with vivid imagery practices to tap into inspiration and imagination. The average person lost 10 pounds in 6 months and continued to loose weight and get in better shape months after the study concluded.
I am honored to announce being among the first in the world certified in FIT for weight loss. FIT’s principals align with how I practice in four fundamental ways:
1. Begin with assessing your motivation to change
2. Imagine your future self
3. Determine the best course of action
4. Stay positive
“FIT shows that mental imagery is more strongly emotionally charged than other types of thought. It uses imagery to strengthen people’s motivation and confidence to achieve their goals, and teaches people how to do this for themselves, so they can stay motivated even when faced with challenges. This is all based on two decades of research,” wrote Jackie Andrade, University of Plymouth psychology professor and FIT co-founder.
What if a 20-minute survey could change your personal and professional life by helping you understand what’s really going on below the surface of your actions?
Remarkably, such a test does exist, and it has for over 30-years. Two brilliant statisticians/leadership consultants, Dr. William Edwards Deming, and Dr. Paul Hertz developed PRINT® after decades of research on the connection between self-understanding and professional success.
Several features make PRINT® unique. First, it is a dynamic survey, meaning that no two people take the same test. Each new question depends on the previous answer(s). Second, PRINT® goes deeper than any other personality measure. While traditional assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, focus on personality, PRINT® uncovers and measures unconscious motivation.
“It is really mind bogglingly insightful and shows me a way about looking at myself that makes sense but is new,” said one client of mine. After taking the test, she ordered it for her business partner and family members.
Immediately after taking the survey, you will receive a comprehensive report outlining your unique profile, including a trigger report and detailed strategies for maintaining “Best Self” traits and minimizing “Shadow” traits. An additional career report is available upon request.
I offer PRINT® with a 50-minute one-on-one session or as a two-hour group exercise for team building. Contact me for pricing and details.
This spring I moved back to Miami fulltime and began rowing again. My physical therapist, Sinead FitzGibbon, an Irish healer, inspired me. After a bone-shattering fall, Sinead told me to give up riding horses for rowing boats. Uncharacteristically, I listened. Perhaps it was her charming Irish brogue.
I had not rowed for years, not since my freshman year at Syracuse. I easily found my sea-legs, the rhythm came back to me like riding a bicycle. Feathering the oars and driving them through the water with the force of my legs and seat was stored in my muscle memory.
Reconnecting with the sport came at a time when I badly needed it. I was lonely and displaced following my divorce and subsequent move.
When I row, my busy mind quiets. I tune into my senses with the sound of the oars, a flash of white water from a jumping fish, the smell of the sea, the salt on my skin. In the narrow boat built for four, my teammates and I mirror one another’s movements; we pull our weight and encourage each other with words of support. An incredible feeling of grace and power comes with the rare flawless stroke.
It is a commitment. We rise early before the sun to get to the boathouse on Indian Creek. We launch in the dark, lock our oars in place, climb in in unison and shove off. We row past dimly lit houses, people sleeping within. Occasionally, we bump into bobbing coconuts, moorings and even dead iguanas. As the sun comes up over Miami Beach, we cruise silently along.
The lights of the cars in the distance remind us that we are removed from the busy hard-surfaced world. When we return, we carry the 34' boat to its slings, gather our oars and wash everything down. All is put back in place in the boathouse. By 7:15 am, we are in our cars headed to work or home with a sense of strength, accomplishment and teamwork. We experience all of this before most people have had their first cup of coffee.
Why Wake Early to Row
It’s a full body workout that strengthens your core.
“Being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected and better at what you do,” Wallace J Nichols, author of Blue Mind.
It improves interpersonal communication, including the ability to accept feedback.
A rare sense of interconnectedness that shifts your perspective from “going it alone,” to being an essential member of a team.
Partners around the world. Master’s rowing clubs welcome visiting rowers and new comers.
Being calm under pressure is an essential characteristic of a good leader. Imagine being calm while successfully navigating through rough seas and life-threatening experiences, including pirates, multiple broken bones, and cancer. That is what Captain Sandra Yawn, star of Below Deck Med on Bravo TV does every day.
One of the more harrowing ordeals occurred off the coast of Yemen when an engine room fire left a mega yacht she was captaining disabled in dangerous waters. Following international protocol for a ship in distress, Captain Sandy radioed for assistance. That is when a security guard onboard informed her that pirates were no doubt listening and would arrive before any friendly aid.
Knowing that they'd kill Sandy, he instructed her to hide. She listened and put her faith in her crew, another quality of a good leader. She was locked in a small compartment for hours while chaos ensued on deck. She did not know if she'd make it out alive.
Today, Captain Sandy is alive, well and excited about her life. She just wrapped up season two and has launched the "I Believe" tour aimed at inspiring young women.
Many people talk about hitting bottom and finding their inner reserve. When I asked Sandy about her experience with this she laughed and said, "Oh, I have hit bottom about twenty times.” She then shared her advice for getting out of your head.
Captain Sandy’s Course of Action When Personal Struggles Arise:
1. Stop Being Selfish – "If all I am doing is thinking about me, I shift gears and think about others."
2.Get Out on the Water – "It has a calming effect unless it is rough seas, but even then, it calls you to be your best."
3.Rise to 30,000 Feet - "Get perspective and see what's really going on."
4.Think Outside the Box – "The New Zealand team that won the America’s Cup used their feet rather than their hands. Genius."
5. Listen to Music that Moves You and Get Moving – "I go to Soul Cycle, between the music, the message and the workout, I am inspired!”