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Monday, 21 February 2022 11:11

But That Means...

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What happens if I actually succeed and get to my weight goal? That means I have to be perfect. People will look to me as an example and that’s a lot of pressure. I won’t be able to backslide. There will be so many people just waiting to say “I told you so!” And if I’m successful at reaching a weight goal, everyone will expect me to be successful at everything. I won’t be able to make the slightest mistake in my career, as a friend, as a parent, or anywhere in my life. It means I’ll have to be perfect and I can’t do that!

Does any of this go through your head? Maybe it’s not actually these thoughts, but something like them. Maybe you’re afraid to succeed because you’ll see that your whole life doesn't magically turn into happily ever after. And that’s because the future is always a fairy tale. It’s imagination, fortune-telling, and guess work. None of us knows what the future will actually be until we arrive and then – poof – it magically becomes the present moment!

The only way we can address our fear of the future is from the present moment and by staying centered in the here and now. All of our power resides in this moment. We make choices right now. We can’t make a future choice. It’s just not possible. What we choose right now has an effect on what comes after, on the future, and we can make the next choice in that present moment once we’ve seen the result of the choice we make right now.

So, as much as we might think about what a future outcome means, the only time we can do anything about it is in the here and now. The energy we spend worrying about what it’s going to mean when we reach a weight goal is better spent actually taking action right now.

Right now, we can develop our self-talk to build and boost our confidence. Right now, we can practice making choices that bring us closer to the life we desire to have. Right now, we can practice making choices that feel good and bring more joy into our lives.

By making conscious, deliberate choices in each and every ‘now’ moment we build those decision muscles that we’ll rely on when we get to the future that seems so overwhelming in our imagination. By practicing the habits and developing the skills that increase our joy and move us along the path to our goals, we will have the go-to behavior that will make that future, when we arrive there, feel like just another day – in paradise!

Take a look at your own fears about the future and see if there’s something you can do in the present moment to address them. As an example of how to do that, we can use one of the statements I started out with in this blog and it might sound something like this. “People will look at me as an example and I won’t be able to backslide.” Wait a minute, is that what actually happens? What is my experience of working toward my weight goal? Have I moved forward with constant decreases in weight or have I gained, lost, and stayed the same along the way? I can accept that I am not perfect now. My path to my weight goal has a lot of ups and downs. The people who care about me support me and accept me just the way I am. They aren’t disappointed, and probably don’t even notice, when I don’t make steady, consistent progress.

Let’s try another one. “If I’m successful at reaching a weight goal, I’ll have to be successful at every other aspect of my life.” Hmmm, is that true? I haven’t yet succeeded at getting to my weight goal, but I’ve succeeded at other things in my life. I’ve gotten a couple of college degrees. I've passed the national board certification for health and wellness coaches. So, if being a 'failure’ at one thing doesn’t mean I’m a failure at everything, then being successful at one thing doesn’t mean I have to be successful at everything. I’m allowed to be better at some things than at others.

You’ll notice in re-examining these two statements, I have no action steps. What I’m doing is stepping back to listen to what my self-talk is saying to me and trying to find a more objective truth. I am changing my inner dialog to move away from projecting my fears and into stating my current experience. Once I transform fear into truth, I can make a more conscious decision about what action step I want to take right now. More importantly, I’m moving away from being paralyzed by the overwhelm brought on by fear and into being empowered to take action.

What future are you afraid of? What’s overwhelming you and stopping you in your tracks? How can you look at it more objectively? How can you can bring it back into the present moment? Isn’t it time to step into your power, right here and right now? Wouldn’t that feel great?

Start right now. Choose now!

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Betty Brink

Betty Brink is an expert on the mental and emotional aspects of dieting and body image. She is the author of "The Main Meal: The New Perspective on Weight Loss." In seminars, speeches, and consultations, she demonstrates practical methods to quiet the diet chatter, and to empower yourself to make conscious choices in diet, in life, and in relationships.

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