The Diet Fight: Future Self vs. Current Self

How to Stay Connected to Your soon-to-be Healthy Body!

So you’ve started a weight loss program. Whether you’re looking to achieve a specific goal or just tired of looking at your current figure in the mirror, you’re embarking on a change.  Here’s the intrinsic challenge, a healthy physical change takes time and a healthy body is a lifelong journey.  However, the “Current Self” is constantly fighting immediate urges:
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  • That cookie looks really good
  • Maybe I’ll just have one more handful of chips
  • I’m going to start dieting… tomorrow (but this time I mean it!)

“Future Self”, on the other hand, is a long way off and has many hurdles:
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  • The pounds aren’t coming off fast enough
  • How long is this going to take?!?
  • Am I ever going to make progress?

That’s the innate problem with Future Self — it’s always somewhere in the remote distance.  So, what to do? Here are some keys to success:
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  • Set very specific goals.  Make them attainable and near term: Fit the next smaller size of jeans, run a mile without stopping, lose 5 pounds and keep it off.  Once you hit that goal, set another.  Losing lots of weight is much harder than losing 5 pounds, and then 5 pounds, and then 5 more pounds.
  • Regularly visualize your Future Self.  Create a vivid mental image of yourself once you’ve achieved victory. What will you be wearing?  Imagine your facial expression. Will you need to change your hair or your style once you become your Future Self?  Every time you eat a healthy meal, exercise or resist temptation, go to that mental picture.  Every time you consider an unhealthy option, bring yourself back to that place.
  • Keep a food diary.  A photo food diary is particularly helpful because it’s so quick to use and easy to maintain.  Keeping track of everything you eat not only gives you a powerful mechanism to understand the types and quantities of food you’re consuming, it also provides one last chance to prevent a bad decision.
  • Remember that this is a lifelong lifestyle decision.  Being healthy now literally means a longer, happier life.  Your healthy lifestyle doesn’t end when you achieve your goal.  It changes your daily habits and your real time decisions.

Focus your Current Self on the goal and your Future Self will thank you for years to come.