Of course this time your diet will be a wild success.
You’ve made great progress, lost a few pounds, started a new exercise program. It’s all under control. The question is, why will it work for you this time? What made it click?
This morning over coffee, a buddy referred to “the mythical switch,” that successful dieters are able to flip. Where is that switch, and what makes it possible, after trying and failing several times, to find it, finally find the conviction within oneself to stick to a program, commit to the long haul, lose extra weight, regain health by eating better and exercising?
For many people the switch is plain old fear: Your body begins to break down, and you’re not ready for that. For some, it’s a job change, or loss, that opens up time for working out, cooking healthier meals. For some it’s having kids that brings the responsibility of modeling healthy behaviors home to roost.
What will be the secret to your success? This is a journal writing assignment. Start from the point of view of two years in the future. Sitting there in your new, older, healthier body, write down what it was that made it work for you this time. What made it click? What made it work? Was it a conviction? A new set of habits? A decision? A revelation? What finally gave you the power over food? Over inertia?
You will want to write this as if you were recording it for future generations of your own family, so they can learn from you, so you can help them. So they have a kind voice from their own nest who can help guide them. What would you want to say to future family members?
If you don’t keep a weight loss and fitness journal, well, consider it. This is a great first writing assignment for a habit that has been shown over and over again to help people stick to their diets longer, form new, better exercise and eating habits faster.
If you freeze when writing anything, pretend you’re writing a letter or email to a young person you know. Conjure that person in your mind’s eye, and just talk to them on paper, or on screen.
Write it all out. No need to edit if you don’t want to. No one will grade your work. But do save what you’ve written. On days when things don’t seem to be going well, pull it out and read it again, just to remind yourself why it’s going to work this time.
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