Visualising Food Goals

Dieting, weight loss, and health are some of the toughest measures of self control. Size was last on my list of priorities recently as I turned a bit work-a-holic. I never claimed to change my habits in a day. The goal is at top of mind every so often, so now the trick is to make it a continuous conscious purpose.

How do we keep our eyes on the prize when feeling tempted by comfort-eating and couch-potato-ism? Let's get inspired by Delta's song Visualise. Why? Because some of us learn visually. So naturally we train ourselves visually too. They say people either learn by looking, hearing, or doing. So my idea here is primarily for those who catch onto ideas by watching.

Food surrounds us in our physical environments because it is a significant industry. Walk down an urban street and, to those trying to get off the see-food-diet, every building beckons us to join in the feast. There is no escaping the food courts and convenience stores of life. We need them. But let's listen to Spider Man's father and remember that with great freedom comes great responsibility.

Then you get inside and the same problem follows you. What grabs our attention at home? Between dining rooms and kitchens, the majority of the house could remind us of food because that's the purpose of those central rooms. There is nothing wrong with that, but it means we might need a distraction.

This photo of me at the top of this page is very significant because it's me just a few years ago appearing a few dress sizes smaller. I am not using this image as a negative guilt trip. Listen carefully: do not make yourself feel bad for any actions. Guilt trips are useless. This image to me is a happy proud memory of what I can look like as an adult. It shows me a realistic expectation of what can be. You might have a picture of one of your past realities, which you can use as a potential future reality. That is where paper-based or digital scrap booking comes in.

Scrapbooking is another extremely popular way of visualising goals. You can use them for any goal - be it personal, professional, and so on. But here I'm focusing on food. This Youtube video by Howcast is a step-by-step in how to turn a 3 ring binder into a pretty portrait of what is and what will be. The authors of this book on the topic have set up a blog, Facebook page, and other sites dedicated to scrap booking beautiful reminders of your edible goals. Paper-based weight loss scrap booking is common enough in Google searches. Or hey, there might be books about it.

But of course we live in a digital age of almost intangible information. So no visual motivation strategy is complete without a computer-based version of the scrap book. Some apps and sites are too math based for what I'm after. They're all about calorie counting instead of focusing on how healthy we can look. But plenty of programs are out there for our needs. You can create a photo album in "My Pictures" or on your smart phone, to quickly glance at your before and after shots. Remember: the beautiful "before" should be the goal for a future "after." I'm a big fan of Pic Collage for the iPhone because the photo collection lets me see everything at once. There is also an e-book called Weight Loss Scrapbooking by Cynthia Carpenter on iTunes. I haven't read it, but it's one of the many digital guides out there. Experiment with the technology just like you would a craft kit.

Whichever medium you use, don't get bogged down in the creativity of it. Definitely have fun with aesthetics. But remember the primary goal is to visualise your future self as a motivation for continuing those healthy changes. Now it's time for us to try all these ideas. I'll definitely show you my paper-based weight loss scrap book when it's ready. And you can try it too. Have fun!


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