By Kyle Finneron
This week I asked all of the participants to think about their lives if they woke up tomorrow and had their ideal body. I wanted them to really imagine what their lives would be like, what would they be doing and how different their life would be. It sounds like a simple (and maybe silly) exercise but many people don’t have a clear picture of their ideal body. Having people really sit down and think about how much different their life could be if they lost that 50 pounds or if they could run further or faster can help motivate people towards their goals.
Anyone can do this. Take a moment and really imagine your ideal body. Would you be more muscular? Leaner? It can be what ever you would like, after all, it’s your ideal self. Then write down what your life would be like, what would you be doing? How would you look? Would you still be doing the same things you’re doing now or would there be new behaviors or hobbies that you have always wanted to start. Again, it’s important to write it down!
The next step is to take action towards this goal. Do not let acceptance or denial keep you from taking action towards a healthier life. What I mean by avoiding acceptance is to stop saying, “Well this is just the way I am and there is no reason to try and change it” or denial :“I’m not that unhealthy.” These thoughts will keep you from making even the smallest change towards a healthier life. The actions you take can be as simple as making a healthy dinners at home or going for a walk. You can start small. Once a week is far better than not at all. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that change has to be all or nothing. Recording your actions, helps keep yourself honest and accountable toward your longer-term goals. Food journals can be a little labor intensive and luckily there are apps to help you track your diet. But I have another simple alternative: take pictures of your food.
Do this for one week to start, take a picture of everything you are about to eat before you eat it (obviously.) If nothing else, this will make you more aware of what you are eating on a daily basis. Save these photos to one of the free online photo albums for your records. Then find a group of people with a similar goal and share your journal with them. Having people to share this journey with helps with accountability and to keep you on track.
An appropriate African proverb that comes to mind is: “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.”