Your dreams can make you fat-or skinny. I’m serious. The manner in which you dream can significantly affect how you feel about yourself and ultimately, your body weight. I’ve been having lucid dreams since the age of seven. (To be a lucid dreamer means to have the ability to be aware of the fact that you are dreaming while the dream is taking place.) Those childhood dreams continued into adulthood and it was in 1986 that I became curious and read several books on the subject. My favorite at the time was “Lucid Dreaming” by Stephen Laberge. I eventually developed a fair amount of control over my dreams, exploring and touching my surroundings, developing a sense of self-awareness in the dream environment and when necessary, changing the tone of a disturbing dream. I discovered that I could with some success, choose the kind of dream I would have on a given night. Sometimes I was completely aware that I was dreaming and at other times it was more of an awareness that I was not helpless-not at the mercy of my dream.
When I was younger, I was always slim in my dreams (the same as I was in real life) but when I began to gain weight, my dream body fluctuated. There was a period of time when I was thin in my nightly dreams, waking in the morning to a heavier reality. From that point on, my dreams were as conflicted as I was. I knew I had a weight problem, and it worried me. I desperately wanted to find a solution but didn’t know where to start. Over time, I lost confidence in myself and my ability to lose the weight. That was when the subconscious belief that I really was fat and that it wasn’t just a temporary condition, won the battle. My dream body was now consistently overweight and my skinny dreams had faded away altogether. After that happened, I rarely had a dream that wasn’t accompanied by a deep sense of self-consciousness, and inadequacy. I didn’t want other dream characters to look at me. Even in my dreaming state, my thoughts would go something like this: “What must they think of me?” Or sometimes, “Do they even see me?” It was as though the fat had shrouded and encapsulated me, obliterating my sense of self. Those feelings of self-consciousness, insecurity, inadequacy and even invisibility, followed me into my waking hours and affected every aspect of my life, keeping me emotionally anchored in an unnecessary body image.
One of the things I did once I made up my mind to lose weight, was to spend a few minutes each night immediately before falling asleep, thinking about the dreams I would have during the night in order to predispose myself to having what I called a “skinny” dream. It didn’t always work, but each time I was successful, and had a dream in which I was thin, that slimmer mental image of myself was reinforced. I focused on how that made me feel, added it to my arsenal of self-images, and gave thanks to God for the dream. Getting my dreaming mind to believe an image of myself that had not yet materialized, was a bit of an effort, but it helped and it is something nearly anyone can master with a little practice.