Your Future Self
The first year I started ShesLosingIt.com I entered a blogger’s challenge that gave us different writing prompts to answer each day. A lot of those posts became incorporated into my memoir “She’s Losing It!”
The book opens with a letter called “Dear Former Me”. The challenge was to talk your younger (and in my case heavier and insecure) self and share wisdom from your future self with her.
People often ask me how I stayed motivated to first lose the 50 lbs. and then managed to have kept it off going on five years now.
A big part of that has to do with the fact that I have worked with excellent personal trainers who held (and hold) me accountable to my own fitness goals and push me to excel in bodybuilding. But even the best coach can only do so much.
A trainer can give you the tools, but YOU have to do the work. YOU are the one who decides to drink wine or water, eat clean or eat junk, hit the pavement or hit the snooze button. YOU are the master of your own fate.
This begs the question “how”? How do you maintain this self-discipline?
There was a fascinating article in The Atlantic about empathy and it’s role in self-discipline. Empathy is the ability to set aside your viewpoint to understand another’s point of view. Self control is the same thing, except that other person is your future self.
In “She’s Losing It!” I may have written a letter to my former me after the hard work was done, but while I was going through the real-time weight loss transition, I was creating stories about my future me.
My future me was a total badass. I had this vision of her in my head and it was so clear and wonderful to me:
- Future Me is standing on stage in a red bikini with a six-pack stomach, walking with confidence and winning a trophy.
This was what I thought of when I was eating turkey and green beans out of Tupperware while everyone else ate fried chicken and fries.
- In my mind’s eye was a movie poster: Future Me has my toddler on her hip and she’s holding my daughter’s hand with my husband and trainer on either side like book ends.
This was the poster that made me smile and get out of bed at 4 a.m. on cold Tuesday mornings. This was the picture of what my book cover would look like some day.
- While running sprints, gasping for air, and mentally cursing out my metabolism (and anyone else who happened to be standing near) I told myself, “Some day my transformation story will be posted on the wall at the gym, and other women will read it and be inspired, because if I can do it so could they!”
Treat your future you with empathy. From this perspective, isn’t it sort of selfish of you to eat junk food all the time when you know that your future you really wants to be in shape? Why are you denying her the opportunity to fulfill her dreams?
I know – it’s a little outside the box to think this way, but why not give it a try? What does your future self look like a year from now? How about five years from now? Is she happy, confident, self-disciplined? Is she rich beyond her wildest dreams? Does she do charity work that makes a difference? Is she on TV? Are her relationships strong and healthy?
What steps do you need to take right now to make that vision a reality? And now think what will your future self look like in a year from now if you do nothing? In five years?
Make your future self a positive, powerful person. Make her the person of your dreams! Make her one badass boss-lady! Make this New Year the best one yet.
If you’re serious about getting healthy, but need help getting started, try my S.L.I. Method on my website ShesLosingIt.com. Only YOU can do the work, but I can give you the tools that I’ve learned over the past five years about nutrition, exercise and overcoming excuses.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
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