Michael Matthews Bigger Leaner Stronger The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.pdf

54 for example if youre struggling with starting a

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54 For example, if you’re struggling with starting a diet, just imagining shopping and eating differently is enough to make it
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more “real” and appealing. Another exercise is writing a letter to your Future Self about what you think he’ll be like, what your hopes for him are, what you’re doing for him now that will pay off later, what he might say about your Present Self, and even what the consequences of your present willpower failures will turn into down the line. FutureMe.org offers a cool little tool for this that allows you to write an e-mail to yourself and choose a future date on which it will be delivered. The final exercise is similar to the others and entails imagining your Future Self in vivid detail, which has been shown to increase self-control. 55 Explore the consequences of current behaviors, good and bad. What will your Future Self look like if you don’t commit to changing your ways? What are the likely physical, mental, and emotional consequences? Disease, regret, shame, ugliness, depression, and loneliness? Don’t hold back. And what if you do change? How will your life look then? How will you look and feel? Will you be proud and thankful? Again, explore the possibilities. DON’T FIGHT THE URGE—RIDE THE WAVE You’ve just sat down on the couch after a long, tiring day, and your mind begins to wander. Suddenly, a pint of ice cream materializes, and your taste buds snap to attention. No, you think, anything but ice cream. Do not think of ice cream! The commands don’t work, though. The harder you try to banish the visions of creamy, fluffy clouds of delight, the more the thought dominates your consciousness and salivary glands. Finally, the only way to make it stop is to spoon the stuff down your gullet. Ironically, however, the experience rarely lives up to the expectations. The problem with this scenario isn’t the spark of imagination that started it but rather the forceful attempt at suppressing it. Research shows that a willingness to think thoughts and feel feelings without having to act on them is an effective method of dealing with a wide variety of challenges, such as mood disorders, food cravings, and addiction. 56 On the other hand, trying to suppress negative thoughts and feelings, like self-criticism, worries, sadness, or cravings, can lead to greater feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, depression, and even overeating. 57 So, when you have disturbing thoughts, face them calmly instead of trying to sweep them under the mental rug. You don’t have to believe them or contemplate their meaning; you just have to accept that they’re there and be aware of them. Don’t read into them—just play them down. They’re not that important and will fade. This is particularly relevant to dieting, as research shows that thought suppression is very poor dietary strategy. The more you suppress thoughts about
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food, the more likely you are to struggle with cravings and binge eating.
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  • Winter '17
  • Santos O'Neill Garcia
  • History

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