What’s your fantasy? All diseases cured, crime eliminated, and the world at peace? Oh, and things finally fall into place so that you lose weight and keep it off, always stay on track with exercise, never overeat, and always get the right amount of sleep?
Sure, we can tell fantasy from reality but sometimes we act like we can’t. That is, we hang onto the illusion that we have control over things that we don’t (bosses, family, friends, weather). Then we convince ourselves we don’t control the two things we actually can (our own thoughts and actions).
Fantasy allows us to put off the hard work of change but doesn’t help us feel any better about our current situation. And if it continues, the current situation gets worse – we gain weight, get sick and tired, lose patience…fantasy leads to a worse reality because, in essence, we’re waiting for perfection.
Can you fill in the blank? “I’ll start ____________ when/if _____________.”
So many options:
- Exercising / if I have a friend to go with me
- Drinking less alcohol / when my partner stops bringing home wine
- Walking in the morning / when it’s not so cold
- Snacking on candy at work / if my boss would take the candy bowl off her desk
- Getting to bed on time / when purple cows spread fairy dust on my pillow
Our fantasies set up situations that are outside our control. Instead, get creative and find how to make what you want work. Discover the myriad of ways you can exercise with or without a friend, whatever the temperature may be. When you pass by the candy bowl ask yourself if you’re hungry. Then ask if it’s one of your true favorites. If the answer to both is yes, have a piece. Add in a little protein to balance out the sugar and voila – a snack you enjoy. But if the answer is no, tell yourself it’s not worth even an ounce of attention and go about your day.
The “I’ll be perfect when…” sets up a rigid, impossible standard. It lets you off the hook so you can feel good in the moment, but over time it builds up the sinking feeling that you can never change. Worse yet, you believe you can’t control it.
Instead, I encourage my coaching clients to envision (fantasize) that they exercise despite a hectic schedule, enjoy saying no to food when they’re not hungry, and that they ask for support – and receive it – from close friends and family. Consider what is possible now, with all the un-perfect-ness of life, and move forward.
Want to achieve your ideal body weight and stay there? Schedule a call now.