Do thoughts have an effect on body-shape? Of course they do. Thoughts, feelings and words are signals you send so your body knows how to shape itself. Your self-image provides a template for your body to grow into.
Can you lose fat or gain muscle strength by thought alone? Yes you can. There are even scientific experiements on this (see below) But it’s easier when thoughts are combined with physical-action (workout). As I teach in my book Reality Creation and Manifestation, reality is created the most rapidly through thought-word-deed, not thought alone. The deed lends physical support and proof to the thought.
The second reason reshaping your body with thought alone is challenging is because you are so closely connected to the feeling of your body that thinking “I am slim” while you’re not is more likely to cause dissociation than manifestation. It’s simply incongruent and inauthentic. Good results come from a congruent alignment of thought-word-and-deed, within the realistic bounds of your self-definition as a human-being.
Is it possible to lose fat or gain muscle with deed alone? Yes, but it takes longer and is less fun.
There have been scientific studies on gaining muscle strength and losing weight with the mind. Here’s an article posted on a U.S. Government website titled From mental power to muscle power – gaining strength by using the mind.
I’ll quote only the relevant section (in case reading the whole excerpt below is too technical for you)
“We conclude that the mental training employed by this study enhances the cortical output signal, which drives the muscles to a higher activation level and increases strength”.
In a previous article I explained how I lost 25 pounds within only a few weeks. That is not “instant manifestation” but it’s very rapid. Because it was so quick, I need vigilant awareness to maintain it. Otherwise I go into “elevator mode” where I just as quickly regain it.
Why is that? Let me put it this way:
It’s natures way of manifesting things. A plant with big roots takes longer to visibly manifest. A plant with shallow roots, manifests quickly. The plant or tree with shallow roots is blown away with the first gust of wind, but the one with strong roots, stays even in the storm. With strong trees, the roots are often three times as large as the tree itself.
Sometimes you can have a fully developed, strong tree but hardly any physical evidence of it! While I do know how to “manifest quickly”, I’m not such a great “fan” of this approach. All of nature – that includes humans – operates on similar principles. Thus, incremental success is more stable than a “one hit wonder” and people who get too easily excited are usually also the ones too easy to disappoint. My own success didn’t happen overnight, it took decades to form. For precisely this reason, it’s unshakeable and unstoppable, like a strong tree. And yet, 90% of the people who come to me for coaching demand “quick results” and “instant manifestation”. In many cases, when a person prematurely manifests great fortunes they are not ready for, it more often hurts than helps them. By “ready” I mean having deep roots that help them handle all the responsibility that come with being a big-league player. The basic rule of reality creation is this: If you can handle it, you can have it! That’s why people who have built up a lot of experience, generally manifest things more quickly.
The best body results are obtained through a combination of vision – an idea of what you wish to look like – and consistent physical action (sports, workout and quality food).
And you don’t even have to sit down for a formal visualization-meditation. It’s more than enough if you get an idea of what you want to look like while working out. As you stretch that leg or do that bicep-curl, you get a brief idea of what you’d like it to look like. Or you see someone attractive walking by and you think “yes, like that”. Or you perform “power poses” “as if” you already looked the way you wanted. You can condition yourself to stand upright, walk and gesture the way you would if you had the shape you like.
A positive self-image influences not only your body shape, it benefits all areas of your life. Some people don’t like hearing this, but looking good helps you succeed. Not to mention that being healthy means having the energy to succeed.
My personal preference is home gym. The standard public gyms have a “negative vibe” through an excessive amount of running TV screens and low-quality-music, which actually weakens the muscles (see my recent video on self-muscle-testing). Workout is best done without distraction, in zen-like silence in a private space. People use entertainment to distract from the “pain” of workout, but if you quit distracting yourself and simply focus on feeling your body, it’s no longer pain and becomes just an interesting sensation to transcend. Then you don’t have to wear ridiculous t-shirts saying “no pain, no gain!” The rules of mental fitness and physical fitness are not the same. To get physically fit, you put the body through resistance. To get mentally fit, you release resistance. But if you understand the meditative-practice of releasing mental resistance, you can use physical workout to release inner resistance and come out of each session a little lighter. Then, you’ll experience a strange phenomenon: Instead of only feeling exhausted and tired, you’ll feel a gain in energy. You might feel physically tired in the hours after workout, but you experience an overall increase in life force.
It’s fairly easy to build your own home gym for less than $700. You can get two weight-adjustable dumbbells, a TRX Suspenders, a pull-up-bar, a soft-mat, a bench, a Bosu ball and a jumping rope. You can do a lot with those few simple items. Or, if you’re more into bodybuilding, you get a weight rack, barbell and weights and also some type of weight-pull-system. I’m less of a bodybuilding type, I mainly do Qi Gong and other energy-practices with a little bit of fitness-stuff on the side. Obviously you arrange your private space depending on what experiences you prefer. My personal favorite is exercising out in the garden at sunrise. 🙂
This may be new to you: Most gym injuries come from split-attention/intention. If I intend to make one movement, but make another. If I am abruptly distracted or surprised while lifting. A gross misalignment of thought and deed. The second most common cause of injury is not warming up. If you abruptly go from cold to lifting extreme weights. If you’re going to lift certain weights, I recommend first “getting into it” with lesser weights. Again, incrementalism wins against “instant manifestation”. It’s a good example of how this “instant” mentality can hurt you. Or, as the old saying goes: Haste makes waste.