Lesson #2: Your Future Self

Imagine your future self

We all have a specific motivation for wanting to lose fat and get fit.  Keep that in mind.  Whether it’s getting healthy enough to play sports with your kids or looking great on your wedding day.

You may visualize yourself doing these things, but it is also important to think about how you will feel.  Making a real transformation is not just about what you see in the mirror, it’s what you feel inside.

How do you want to feel?  Confident?  Capable of handling anything that life throws at you?  Free to try new things?  Comfortable in your own skin?

Imagine what it will be like to live as your future self.  How does future self look, how do they feel, and what do they do? How could you start living a little more like that person today?

Here's the thing.  You need to picture YOU as your future self.  It is one thing to visualize a fantasy future life, and something different to put yourself really into this visualized future life.

One of the reasons that people don't save for retirement is that they are not connected to their future self.  They can't imagine a time when they will not be as they are today.  Sure, they know it's going to happen, but when they picture their future self, they see it as someone else.

In a way, this is very similar to improving your health.  You know you should eat more vegetables and eat less, you know that if you are healthier you will have a more enjoyable life, but you haven't really connected with your future self.

Eating vegetables reduces your risk of getting cancer - I'll use this as an example.  OK, so I know I would be less likely to get breast cancer if I ate more vegetables.  And I know that would stink.  But, without really thinking about it, that's as far as I get, "it would stink to get breast cancer, I'd have to do all those medical procedures, and I'd lose my hair."

It takes a little bit more work to imagine myself IN that situation - imagining how it will affect my husband's life, how it will affect my work and this company that I have worked so hard to build, how sick and depressed I might feel … the guilt I would feel, knowing that I maybe could have prevented it if I had done all those healthy habits …

Do you see how that is different than just acknowledging that, yeah, it would not be fun to get cancer.

This example uses a negative one, partly because I am at a healthy weight and my health is good, so I don't have a weight loss goal.  And picturing something that you will have strong emotions over is important.  So picture yourself in any situation that holds strong emotions for you.

There should be constant internal dialogue and visualization of you succeeding, however you have defined success. Eventually that internal dialogue will not have to be forced. You will just naturally think like a slim healthy person.

Concentrate on your behaviors, not outcomes.

Now, it is important that your daily actions are congruent with this future self - your daily actions need to be moving you closer to your desired feeling.  You must behave and think in a manner that is conducive to being healthy in all areas of your life in order for you to be your best.

You can’t focus on weight loss – that’s not something you can control. What you can control is the process. Your choices. Enough good ones built up over time will lead you to your goals. Work hard on the healthy behaviors, and the rest will fall into place.  If you’ve found yourself obsessing about outcomes  - trying to get the scale to budge on a daily basis, for example  - try focusing on actions instead, think about the next step. What are you doing today to help encourage a different outcome later?

Say goodbye to the old you

Many people harbor an invisible fear of losing themselves if they lose weight.  Instead of fear, celebrate, and consciously mourn, your old self as you greet the healthier you.  After all, all of the things you have accomplished thus far in your life are thanks to your old self.  Your old self is a wonderful and valuable person in many ways - you need to acknowledge this, thank yourself for all the wonderful things in your life, and especially for getting you on the right track to transforming into Awesome You!

Stay connected to all the things you love about yourself

You deserve all of the amazing insights, health gains, friendships, learning — whatever you take from this program— as you find and discover a new and best version of yourself.  It’s easy to get hung up on all the things you want to change about yourself, but that does not lead to anywhere happy.  Celebrate yourself instead — even your smallest successes — along the way to keep up the momentum.


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