Couple Giuliana Pino and Olympic medalist Danell Leyva

Act As If

I’m not naturally inclined to embrace a super healthy lifestyle. I’d rather sit at home and read, knit or play my piano than go out and exercise. I’d rather eat pasta and warm sourdough bread every night than lean protein and vegetables. And I’d rather drink wine than water. However, many years ago I found a shift in mindset helped me make better health choices: Act As If.

Act As If is a powerful tool. I first incorporated this philosophy when I was dancing and struggling with finding the perfect “diet.” I decided to stop thinking of myself as an overweight dancer who needed to lose weight and start thinking of myself as a lean, fit, “heath nut.” It was remarkable how quickly my habits changed from sneaking chips and overeating to only eating when I was hungry and only consuming healthy food, at least for the majority of the time. Part of what helped me was observing the habits of people I felt were really “fit.” I found that they ate slowly, they weren’t obsessed with food when it was around, and they never finished a meal.

I have managed to develop a “healthy” lifestyle, which I feel I adhere to about 80% of the time, and it’s because I keep hitting the Act As If button. I’ve been doing this since I was 18. At some point I expect that if I keep Acting As If, then one day I won’t be acting anymore and I’ll just BE.

Here are a few of my Act As If buttons that I find myself constantly rebooting:

Act As If I’m super healthy—For me, this means eating clean and exercising at least few times a week.

Act As If I’m organized—I find I have to hit this reboot button a lot… multiple times a day. It helps that my husband is super organized and tidy so my mess is definitely an eye-sore in our home.

Act As If I’m a morning person—This means planning my life so I get up early and get going even on the weekends. I feel this is important to stay on a schedule and sleep pattern so I’m not lethargic during the week when I do have to get up early.

So ~ what is your top Act As If you hope will someday become your BE? Please share below.

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47 Comments on "Act As If"

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Constance manders

I love this musing, Coach- I’ve got many of them– some VERY serious for facing life’s changes and some less-so, but still important guideposts. One of these early ones related to diet/ food. Act As If bakery items were Poison!!! It worked- I still see them as evil but tempting 🙂

Shellie Sigal

I ACT as IF the auto-immune pain didn’t exist, and I workout every single day. Even if the pain gets the better of me, I forget about, and ACT as IF I was pain free. To be honest, this has been working for more than a year, so I totally agree with your advice! Love reading your blog!


You’re awesome! You’re doing what I need to do. I recently developed an autoimmune disorder and the medications are harsh to say the least. I’m responding so well to the medicine but I have crappy side effects. Do you have any tips for pushing through the crappiness?


Act As If I love alone time – I would much rather be surrounded by friends, family, and people in general, but I’ve learned to act as if I love time spent with just myself. Making the effort to take this time always leaves me feeling more connected with the person I want to be, grounded in my values, and conscious of my priorities.


I act as if I am working harder than anyone going after the same dream as me. To be more specific – I act as if I am the hardest working male model in the gym, on my plate, in meetings, on castings, during photo shoots and even in my down time. “Act as if” for me is living intentionally with a dream on the horizon. When the dream may not seem tangible, at least you’ll be prepared when the miracle comes.

Abby Laver
Wow Miss. Val, I REALLY love this. I am going to act as if I will accomplish what I want to accomplish. I have different things that I want to do with my life and career and sometimes people are supportive and sometimes people say things that get me down. I love the power in this statement because it involves action and change, so I am going to act as if I will accomplish what I want to accomplish and then maybe I will have more confidence in myself to know that I will be able to become what I… Read more »
Amy Erickson
As I was pondering my own “Act As If,” a few ‘buttons’ rolled around in my mind—encompassing everything from exercise to my career—but I kept coming back to one particular “Act As If” button: Act As If I’ve Been Chosen. And, wouldn’t you know, Miss Val, you had something to do with this as well. Let me explain. My plan after college was to get a job, get married, have kids, and “live happily ever after.” Well, I graduated from college more than seven years ago, and I’m still living at home with my mama with no prospect of things… Read more »
A Renee
This, as you so kindly pointed out, is authentic to me. I hope that others who have read this magnificent musing will search their lives for examples and, if they’ve not found one, will make it a part of their everyday lives. How to put this I’m not entirely sure. Any sort of elegant prose has escaped me in this moment, but let’s give it a try anyway. Everyday I wake up, put a smile on my face. I go to work, waving good morning to the guards from my car as I slowly motor through the parking lot, hoping… Read more »

A Renee, first of all THANK YOU for being a civil servant! If it ever feels like a thankless job please know that there are many of us that are grateful to you. Also, thank you for being so venerable & honest in your post. I think acting as if you’re happy when you’re not is one of the hardest things to you.


This is amazing! I can only imagine what the world would be like if we all did a little more of this. I will definitely be trying to implement this in my everyday life.


My top “act as if” is to act as if I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Sometimes I second guess myself, but if I always acted like I could do it, eventually I could do it!


My top “Act As If” would definitely have to be to act as if I love myself everyday. I struggle with this because I am a perfectionist. I catch myself critizising and judging everything I do wrong, rather than acknowledging all of the things I do right. I hope to one day find a balance, where I can ask myself what I can work on, while still giving myself a pat on the back for what I already improved on.

Lieve J Olivera

Hey, I love this ‘ Act as If’, Miss Val!
I’d like to act ‘As If’ I’m a famous writer… Consequently I’ll be disciplined to write my daily doses.. One day I’ll BE that author….
… But I never ‘Act as If ‘ I love you, my friend Miss Val… I am being LOVE !
Thank you for sharing!

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