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So many of us love happy endings. Whether it’s at the movies, in a book, or in life itself, why not have it all work out in the end? Think of the greatest children’s stories you remember from childhood. They usually finish with “and they lived happily ever after.” It’s a beautiful fantasy. And this makes it easy to understand then, why so many people are looking for what I would call “a happy dietary ending.” Meaning, we want to eat whatever we choose to eat and be happy, skinny, healthy, and perhaps even live forever. Really, we’re not asking for much from our food.

So let’s be playful and fanciful for a moment, and see how we can indeed invent for ourselves a happy dietary ending.  Better still, I’d like to share with you a way that can almost guarantee such an outcome.  Here’s the process.

First, make a list of all the benefits you expect to receive once you’ve reached your goals with eating, weight, energy, fitness, and health.  In other words, why would you want to eat better?  Why do you want to lose weight?  Why would you want a different shape?  More energy?  Greater health?  Take a moment to write down all the benefits you anticipate will be yours once you’ve arrived at your desired destination.  Some of the typical benefits people expect from having a healthier metabolism include “I’ll have more energy”; “I’ll feel better about myself”; “I’ll feel lighter”; “I’ll fit into my clothes”; “I’ll be more attractive and desirable”; “I’ll be more confident”; “I’ll finally be the person who I really am”; “I’ll accomplish more”; “I’ll have a better experience of life.”

Now here’s the trick to assuring your happy ending:

Whatever benefits you expect to be yours at the end of your dietary efforts, simply receive them in the beginning.

Meaning, if you think you’ll be happy once you lose 10 pounds, be happy now.  If you imagine you’ll have more energy when you finally eat right, have more energy now.  If you believe you’ll be more confident and loveable when you have the body you want, be more confident and loveable now.  Whatever benefits you expect at the end – generate them in the beginning.  Take on that personality, that role, that story.  Act as if you already are the person you wish to be.  We worship the stars and starlets of Hollywood for their ability to make us believe in the stories and characters they portray.  It’s a fabulous talent that, behold, you and I are well endowed with.  Act as if you are the person you wish to be and you’ll not only convince the rest of us, but you’ll also prove it to yourself.  You’ll literally generate the physiology of the character you’re portraying—the metabolic power of story is that potent and real.

If you look over the list of benefits you expect to receive, you’ll notice that almost all of them are a choice you can make in this instant.  Indeed, perhaps the ultimate benefit of any diet or fitness program, the one that supersedes them all, is that we’ll be happier.  Why wait?  Choose to be happier now, act more energetic and light now, be more sexy now, act healthier now and you’ll already be at your final destination.  And magically, by self-generating the end results in the beginning, you’ll create the precise metabolic environment for those benefits to truly materialize and talk hold even more.

You’ll have cultivated the chemistry of relaxation, pleasure, deeper oxygenation, awareness, empowered thought, and aligned rhythm, all of which fan our metabolic flames.  Whatever chemistry we create along our journey informs the chemical conclusion we reach at the end.  Do you really believe that weight loss will come any easier if you’re living out a story that produces the physiology of self-judgment and negativity?  Do you honestly imagine that the right nutritional approach will grant you more energy if the story you live along the way continues to drain it?  Even in the worst-case scenario, if you choose to be happy at the beginning and you don’t lose the weight you wanted to lose, at least you’ll still be happy.

It only takes a moment for metabolism to rearrange itself in response to our story.  Recall a time when you were feeling low energy or low metabolism and an unexpected visitor or phone call instantly lifted your spirits.  That person or message had a certain meaning for you, put a positive and inspiring spin on your story of the moment, which in turn spun your subatomic particles in just the right way to activate your inner feel-good pharmacy.  We can invoke the same metabolic magic by rewriting our stories in any given moment and bringing the happy ending we’ve always hoped for into present time. What would happen if you let yourself be the real you now and stopped holding back?

Excerpted in part, from The Slow Down Diet

My warmest regards,
Marc David
Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014

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    About The Author
    Marc David

    Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.