What Are You Waiting For?
Procrastinating is one of the unappealing aspects of being human. Everyone does it sometimes. After all, why be unhappy today when you can put it off ‘til tomorrow, right? Well, that might work with making an appointment to have your teeth cleaned or doing your taxes, but if you keep postponing these activities, your teeth will rot and the IRS will be camping on your doorstep. We think we can ignore unpleasant consequences because they’re off in the future, but every day brings us closer and closer to them.
Many people talk about changing their eating habits but do little or nothing about it. Understandable: change hurts, is hard, and rocks our boat. Fortunately, in my practice and classes, I work with individuals who are eager to learn new attitudes and behaviors. But, what of you folks who keep saying that you’ll get into therapy or join an eating support group (or even an anti-diet online chatroom) . . . tomorrow? Or who have a small library of eating books but haven’t cracked open a one? What are you waiting for?
Perhaps you believe that it’ll be easier to do the new behavior or adopt a new attitude tomorrow, but it actually will be harder because you’ve added another day to the old way of thinking or doing and heaped another 24 hours on the countless ones you’ve already spent chiding yourself for procrastinating. Like surf pounding the shore, knowing that you’re not doing what you should be doing wears down your self-esteem and –trust. And the less you think of yourself, the more comfortable you’ll be letting things slide.
I bet you’re a person whose back needs to be against the wall to stop self-harming behavior; without in-your-face proof that the walls are about to come crumbling down, consequences just don’t seem real to you. You think, It won’t happen to me, or I’ll deal with that when it happens. Okay, then. It’s fine not to change as long as you’re willing to accept the consequences. So instead of putting energy into overcoming procrastination, work on accepting staying as you are and stop beating yourself up for not changing.
If you do want to change, however, face it: you’re going to have to be uncomfortable some time before you reach your eating or weight goals. More than that, you have to endure discomfort to reach them. There’s no other way. Repeat: no other way! The bright spot in forcing intentions into action is that you’ll inevitably feel better after you do. A burden will lift from your shoulders and you’ll feel proud (unless you do a number on yourself for not taking action sooner). Stop right here and make a “What am I waiting for to change?” list. If the answer is nothing, then the future is now.