Consistency and patience are the two biggest factors in seeing the effects of lifestyle changes on our health and our body composition. If you look back to the body/health you had then that you want back now, 99% of the time, it wasn’t overnight that the body, or the health, went away. No one woke up 40 pounds heavier. There was a consistent, and gradual decline in decisions regarding exercise and food choices, which gradually let that health and the body composition slip away. If it took two years for you to gain X amount of lbs, being realistic, it will take some time to lose X amount of pounds, and thinking it will be overnight, and a quick, easy fix is incorrect thinking.
You consistently ate a certain way, and patiently gained the weight, now you need to consistently eat a different way, and exercise, and patiently lose the weight! This is where the struggle begins. Because our human brains are Our human brains are trained to want things now, rather than later. Eat the cookie (I am referring to the proverbial cookie of all our bad food choices) now, and enjoy the mouth watering deliciousness, and the dopamine release in your brains reward system now, along with the 200 extra calories of processed food we don’t really need that will be stored as fat, or don’t eat the cookie, and slowly and consistently work our way back into the healthier version of you, that you hope to obtain.
Temporal discounting is our tendency to want things now rather than later. The reward in the future needs to be large enough to compensate for us going without it right now. In order to delay the gratification of eating the proverbial cookie, we have to be convinced the future healthier self is a greater reward.
Think back to the past X amount of years since you had the health/body composition you desired. Look at today. Take those metrics of pounds of body fat gained, Blood pressure points raised, energy perception lowered, jean size gained, bad cholesterol points elevated, and add those same numbers to your current numbers, and look at your future self the same X amount of years in ahead of you. That is the course you have laid out for yourself. That is your future if you eat the cookie. That is your reward for eating the cookie now, and continue to delay working our way back to our healthier version of ourself.
Now then why do we eat the cookie, and hinder our progress? The vision of you five years forward on your current trajectory, or the vision of you five years forward, by saying no to the cookie. Which vision brings you the highest quality of life as you get older? Which vision brings you the greatest satisfaction? Which vision brings the greatest reward? The decision is yours. Eat the cookie, or don’t.