You start a new diet. In the beginning it’s all about reading over your program material and getting fresh fruits and vegetables in and the hidden stash of cookies out. After the first few losses on the scale, the excitement starts building. “This is it!” you think to yourself. “Why didn’t I do this sooner? You can see it all now …
Walking in your skinny jeans.
Hurrying up two flights of stairs without being out of breath.
Making an entrance at your next reunion in a little black dress.
I have to admit it, I’ve had my fair share of daydreams. It’s only natural when we feel so passionate about something. Daydreaming can actually be very encouraging. Setting goals and envisioning the achievement of them are an important part of staying motivated. But daydreaming has its hidden dangers as well. Think about how you feel when you come out of a daydream. Looking down, the fading image of your gorgeous trim thighs melds with the truth of what’s in your lap and you realize how far you have to go to achieve your dream. You aren’t in your skinny jeans after all. Far from it, actually.
A sudden dose of reality can sting like a cold shower and cause a strong feeling of impatience. How long is this going to take? “I lost four pounds this week. Let’s see … if I can average three pounds a week for the next 16 weeks, I can reach my 50-pound goal in four months, and that’s with a pound to spare. That puts me at …”
As a weight loss leader, I have often had people join my meetings and ask me, “How long will I have to do this?” My answer is always the same. “We all have to do it for the rest of our lives.”
Well, in the end I have this to say about daydreaming: When you’re all done with peeking into the future, turn your focus to today. Ask yourself, What can I do to make today a fabulously tasting, on-target eating day? If you can transition your excitement from the fabulous future to a delicious, well-planned present, you can have the best that fantasy and reality have to offer.
Kim Bensen, author of Finally Thin, was a lifetime yo-yo dieter who lost 200+ pounds and has kept it off for more than 10 years. She owns the Kim Bensen Weight Loss Center and just opened Kim’s Light Café at 405 Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton. For more information, tips and recipes, go to www.kimbensen.com.